The Observer. (La Grande, Or.) 1968-current, October 15, 2020, Page 11, Image 11

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Dorsa D. (Zigler) Mutch
1944-2020 • Formerly of La Grande
Dorsa Diane Mutch, 76, for-
merly of La Grande, died Aug. 2.
Dorsa was born March 28,
1944, in Vancouver, Washington,
to Charles Arthur and Pauline
Opal (Vess) Zigler. She was raised
in La Grande with her older sister,
Laurel, and younger sister, Anita,
and attended La Grande High
As a young adult
Dorsa moved to the
Portland area where
she worked a few
modest jobs such as
at an abattoir, a can-
nery and a line job at
Sawyer’s (View-Master), before
attending beauty school in 1966
and discovering her lifelong love
of hairdressing, which she per-
formed until retiring, except for
the year sabbatical she took to
volunteer for the Special Olym-
pics in 1977. In the late 1980s she
took a few construction classes
at Portland Community College,
then she and a girlfriend took off
rebuilding houses. In the 1990s
she worked for Tri-Met Bus as a
part-time bus driver.
In 1972 Dorsa moved to Aloha,
where she raised her family and
built her life. She loved to garden
and always had the prettiest yard
in the neighborhood. She also
enjoyed videotaping her grandchil-
dren, which usually ended with
long narrated trips through her
fl ower beds. She was extremely
crafty and always decorating
her beautiful home. She loved
Christmas and was in her element
when decorating for the holidays.
Her Christmas trees were stunning
and not a single branch ever went
without at least one ornament. She
had a great fondness for kitties
(cats) and her babies (great-grand-
children), and she’d beam pure joy
whenever she spoke of them. She
enjoyed oldies music, singing out
loud and attending Concerts in the
Park with her La Grande Alumni
Ladies group.
Dorsa adored her family,
cherished her friends, enjoyed
people, and loved giving gifts.
She was the queen of “garage
sale fi nds” and bedazzling, and
her family and friends were often
the recipients of such fi nds and
Dorsa had a memory that
wouldn’t quit and she delighted
in real trips down memory lane.
She was a strong, determined lady
and a force to be reckoned with,
which often led to herself fi xing
anything that needed fi xing. She
was so strong that she tirelessly
fought a battle with cancer for 16
years. She didn’t lose the battle of
cancer, but bravely won the battle
of freedom.
Dorsa was sister to Laurel and
Anita and her husband, Glenn;
mother to Brent and Cristy and
her husband, John; stepmother
to Brad and his wife, Lynnette;
and grandma to three grand-
daughters, two grandsons and fi ve
She was preceded in death by
her mother and father.
Terrence R. Huff man
Terrence R. Huffman, 81, of
Imbler, died April 6 at Grande
Ronde Hospital. A graveside ser-
vice will be held Oct. 24 at 2 p.m.
at the Summerville Cemetery, fol-
lowed by a potluck. Casual dress
is preferred by the family. Those
who attend must wear a mask and
practice social distancing to meet
COVID-19 guidelines. Arrange-
ments are by Loveland Funeral
Chapel & Crematory.
Mary Brown
La Grande
Mary Brown, 92, of La
Grande, died Oct. 7 at a local care
facility. Arrangements are by
Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Crema-
tion & Life Celebration Center.
Patrick Gekeler
1951-2020 • La Grande
Patrick Gekeler, 68, of La
Grande, died Aug. 4 at his home.
A memorial gathering will be
held Oct. 22 from 6-8 p.m. at the
La Grande Gun Club. Those who
attend are reminded to wear a
mask and practice
social distancing.
Patrick, also
known as Pat, was
born Aug. 18, 1951,
in La Grande, to
Wendall and Doris
Pat was well known in the
community for his consistent
attendance and support of the La
Grande Gun Club and Eastern
Oregon University Trapshoot
Club. He taught several family
members to shoot their fi rst gun
and passed along his love and
joy of the sport to those who sur-
rounded him, whether they were
friend or family.
Pat was an incredible brother,
uncle and great-uncle. He never
missed a sports game or a
birthday party. His great-nieces
loved to crawl into his lap and
play with his beard and fondly
Please follow guidelines
regarding face coverings
and social distancing at all
6-8 p.m. memorial gathering, La
Grande Gun Club.
MAN: 2 p.m. graveside service,
Summerville Cemetery (casual
dress preferred); potluck follows.
— Calendar courtesy of
Loveland Funeral Chapel, La
called him Papa Pat. He was an
animal lover and a friend to many
— his kind heart, soft-spoken
demeanor and easy calming pres-
ence soothed his family and
friends and will be sorely missed.
Surviving relatives include his
brothers, Gary Gekeler and Bruce
Gekeler; nephews, Kiel Gekeler,
Neal Gekeler, Sam Gekeler and
Lane Gekeler; and great-nieces
and great-nephews, Genevieve
Gekeler, Josephine Gekeler,
Megan Gekeler and Ezra Gekeler.
La Grande police set ‘Drug Take Back Day’ Assistance available
The Observer
the prescriptions in your
medicine cabinet have
expired or you have other
unwanted medications, the
La Grande Police Depart-
ment is offering you a
place to safely leave these
drugs on Oct. 24 from
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For a decade, the
police department has
participated in collabo-
ration with the Oregon
Safe Communities Coa-
lition and the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administra-
tion in “Drug Take Back
Day” to prevent pill abuse
and theft.
The Observer, File
The La Grande Police Department is participating in Drug
Take Back Day on Oct. 24, 2020, inviting residents to drop
off unwanted and expired prescription medication at the
police station at 1109 K Ave.
“This initiative
addresses a vital public
safety and public health
issue,” a press release
from the La Grande Police
Department said. “Med-
icines that languish in
home cabinets are highly
susceptible to diversion,
misuse and abuse.”
The drug collection
event cannot accept liq-
uids or needles, only pills
or patches. And the event
requires anyone dropping
off drugs to wear face
masks due to COVID-19.
La Grande police in
2019 collected a combined
283 pounds of prescription
drugs for disposal. There
also is a 24/7 drop box in
the lobby of the police sta-
tion at 1109 K Ave., La
EOU cancels trick-or-treat for residence halls
The Observer
LA GRANDE — La Grande youths
this year will have to go without trick-
or-treating at residence halls at Eastern
Oregon University.
EOU in a press release Monday, Oct.
12, announced it is closing the resi-
dence halls on Halloween night, a move
to keep the community safe due to the
COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many university events integrate
students with local life,” the press
release stated. “However, this means
when problems arise, like a pandemic,
it is important to prioritize community
Residence Life director Jeremy Jones
said in the announcement there was no
viable way to host the event in a safe
manner. He said he understands there
may be some disappointment among
community members as well as college
students and hopes to resume the trick-
or-treating next year.
“I always want to take the oppor-
tunity to thank our community and to
thank our students for their sacrifi ce and
continued commitment to the safety and
the well-being of our students and our
community,” he said in the press release.
Jones also said it is important for
everyone to assess their Halloween
activities for risk and fi nd creative, safe
ways to celebrate.
to help people with
Medicare enrollment
The Observer
— Medicare and Part D
prescription drug plan
open enrollment begins
Thursday, Oct. 15, and
runs to Dec. 7. The North-
east Oregon Network and
Grande Ronde Hospital
both offer assistance in
connecting people who
are eligible for Medicare
with those who can guide
them through the enroll-
ment process.
“In normal times,
Medicare is a complex
program,” said Chiqui
Flowers, Oregon Health
Insurance Marketplace
and Senior Health Insur-
ance Benefi ts Assistance
program administrator.
“During the COVID-19
pandemic, open enroll-
ment will be harder to
navigate, but we are avail-
able to serve benefi ciaries
and we’ll get through this
hard time together.”
According to North-
east Oregon Network’s
outreach programs coor-
dinator Holly Sorensen,
“NEON is able to assist
with Oregon Health Plan
and the Health Insurance
Marketplace application
processes, but when con-
sumers eligible for Medi-
care request assistance
we do our best to provide
a warm hand-off to local
insurance agents with
expertise in Medicare and
we also provide the phone
number for SHIBA and
information about how
they can help.”
For more information
about the Senior Health
Insurance Benefi ts Assis-
tance program visit www. or call
the SHIBA central offi ce
at 1-800-722-4134.
EOU/Contributed Photo
Eastern Oregon University will
not allow community members to
trick-or-treat at residence halls this
Halloween due to the pandemic.
6:12 a.m. — A caller reported
the theft of a chainsaw from
a vehicle on the 1000 block of
Alder Street, Elgin. A Union
County sheriff’s deputy took a
8:15 a.m. — The Union Coun-
ty Sheriff’s Offi ce received a
complaint about an intoxicated
person walking in and out of
traffi c at Buchanan Lane and
McAlister Road, La Grande. A
deputy gave the person a ride.
11:51 a.m. — La Grande
police and fi re responded to the
Moon Motel, 2116 Adams Ave.,
for a fi re. First responders ar-
rived and found Motel Manager
Pramesh Sam Lal, 57, was burn-
ing a mattress in the parking lot
to get rid of bed bugs. Police
cited her for reckless burning.
3:33 p.m. — La Grande police
received a report of a theft of
a vehicle from the 2000 block
of H Avenue. An offi cer took a
4:24 p.m. — Law enforce-
ment responded to the 400
block of 16th Street, La Grande,
for a disturbance between a
man and construction workers.
Offi cers resolved the situation.
10:50 p.m. — A caller on
the 2400 block of Q Avenue,
La Grande, reported a male
messed with residential prop-
erty, threatened the property
owner and then left. La Grande
police responded and took
down information.
11:42 a.m. — La Grande
police responded to a resi-
dential burglary alarm on the
600 block of Y Avenue and
arrested a 49-year-old man
on a Polk County warrant for
violating parole. La Grande
police booked Alvin David
Surratt, 49, into the Union
County Correctional Facility,
La Grande, for violating parole
and felony possession of
4:22 p.m. — A caller report-
ed the theft of an air compres-
sor from the 73500 block of
Gordon Creek Road, Elgin. A
Union County sheriff’s deputy
contacted the caller and took
down information.
4:30 p.m. — A semitrailer
crashed on Interstate 84 near
exit 265 for La Grande, block-
ing the westbound lanes and
spilling diesel fuel on the road.
The Oregon Department of
Transportation shut down the
westbound side all the way to
Ontario until about 10 p.m.
5:06 p.m. — A caller on the
1900 block of X Avenue, La
Grande, reported a male hit a
motorhome and threw trash
around. A Union County sher-
iff’s deputy responded.
6:03 p.m. — An Elgin
resident in the area of Merritt
Lane and Highway 82 reported
a neighbor threatened to
shoot him and has tried to
run him over. A Union County
sheriff’s deputy contacted the
10:15 p.m. — A caller report-
ed a person threatening self-
harm in La Grande. An offi cer
contacted the subject, who
reported being fi ne and would
seek help the next day.
Recent Oregon State Police
Oct. 6 — Oregon State
Police on the eastbound side
of Interstate 84 near milepost
264 arrested Jeffery Emmanuel
Beckstrand, 48, of Goldendale,
Washington, for driving under
the infl uence of intoxicants and
reckless driving.
Oct. 11 — A driver lost con-
trol of her vehicle on Interstate
84 near milepost 253 west
of La Grande and ended up
215 Elm Street La Grande (541) 963-5440
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