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About The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current | View This Issue
Blue Mountain Eagle
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Sammie Lou Laurance
Feb. 2, 1931 – March 10, 2015
Sammie Lou Laurance, 84, died
March 10 at Valley View Assisted Liv-
ing Facility in John Day. There will be
no services at this time.
Mrs. Laurance was born Feb. 2,
1931, in Clarksville, Texas, to Jes-
se and Nell (Duncan) Robertson. She
graduated from Rule High School in
Knoxville, Tenn., in 1949.
On March 10, 1951, she married
Otho Laurance in Knoxville.
She worked for 15 years at the Grant
County Courthouse in Canyon City, where she was a deputy
Her hobbies included cooking, sewing, genealogy and can-
ning. She was noted for her pie baking and hot rolls. She made
She was a member of the John Day Church of the Nazarene
and the Grant County Genealogy Society.
Survivors include her husband, Otho Laurance of John Day;
daughter, Joni (Bob) Warren of John Day; sons, Gary (Jeanette)
Laurance of Isla Mejueres, Mexico, Rick Laurance of Sweden
and Steve (Brenda) Laurance of Chino Valley, Ariz.; seven
grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by seven brothers and sisters.
Memorial contributions may be made to the John Day
Church of the Nazarene or Valley View Assisted Living through
Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR
Carl Lee ‘Swiz’ Schnabele
May 16, 1945 – March 7, 2015
PAULINA – Carl Lee “Swiz” Sch-
nabele, 69, of Canyon City, died March
7 in Paulina. A celebration of life will
be at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the
Schnabele Ranch Headquarters in Can-
Mr. Schnabele was born May 16,
in Prineville, to John Lester and Helen
Loretta (Basey) Schnabele. He attend-
ed Paulina Elementary, and graduated
from Crane High School in 1964.
He had a successful career in cattle
ranching until his death.
His many accomplishments included professional saddle
bronc riding, steer wrestling and team roping. He was an avid
hunter, skilled gambler and enjoyed branding with friends. He
was a longtime member of the Paulina Rodeo Club and the Pro-
fessional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Survivors include his wife, Wanda (Landers) Schnabele;
daughters, Kelli (JW) Rose and Katy (Aaron) Kafka; mother,
Helen Schnabele; grandchildren, John Barry Rose, Tommy Jack
Rose, TC Hammack, Taelor Hammack and Tiersyn Kafka; and
nephew, Dustin Weatherman.
He was preceded in death by his father.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Paulina Rodeo
Club through Juniper Ridge Funeral Home, 678 N. Main St.,
Prineville, OR 97754.
Darrell James Morris
July 7, 1946 – March 8, 2015
SUBLIMITY – Darrell James Mor-
ris, 68, formerly of Prairie City, died
March 8 at his Sublimity home.
Mr. Morris was born July 7, 1946,
in Prairie City, the seventh of nine
children to Lloyd and Clara (Howard)
Morris. He attended school in the John
In August 1970, he married Patricia
Fowler in Burns. While living there, he
worked for the Bureau of Land Man-
agement patrolling the Steens Moun-
tains; delivered oil for the Hines Oil Company; and did security
for the Air Force.
His wife Patty died in 1973.
In 1976, he met Dolores Ditter, whom he married on May
21, 1977, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Scio.
For the next two years, they lived in Stayton, and managed the
They moved to Bend, where they lived for the next 25 years,
and where he worked at Thousand Trails Resort and at the Riv-
They raised several foster children on their small farm.
In 2004, they retired to Sublimity, where he enjoyed watch-
ing hummingbirds at the feeder, rock polishing and playing the
computer game Bejeweled.
Survivors include his wife, Dolores; son, Daniel; three sis-
ters; two brothers; and a sister-in-law.
Martha Rose Simonson
Martha Rose Simonson, 72, died March 10 at her Granite
home. No services are planned at this time.
Arrangements are under the care of Gray’s West & Company
Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Genealogy seminar on tap
down those brick walls.
• Newspaper research.
MT. VERNON – Interested
• Oregon Trail research.
in tracing your family history?
Lenzen is a lecturer, former
The Grant County Genea- National Genealogical Society
logical Society will hold a spring director, former president of the
seminar, featuring guest speaker %RDUGRI&HUWL¿FDWLRQRI*HQH
Connie Lenzen, CG, Saturday, alogists, and is on the education
April 11, at Mt. Vernon Com- committee of the Genealogical
munity Center, 640 Ingle St.
Forum of Oregon.
Registration is at 8:30 a.m.,
The cost of the seminar is
and the classes start at 9 a.m.
$35 a person in advance, or $40
/HQ]HQ D ERDUG FHUWL¿HG at the door. Lunch is included.
genealogist, will present four
For a registration form, con-
tact the Grant County Genealog-
• Vital records on the Inter- ical Society at gcgsociety94@
yahoo.com, or call Jeannette
• Evidence analysis: Break Harrison, 541-932-4718.
Blue Mountain Eagle
Luke Williamson shows off Robo, the Lego robot he
designed to accompany “RoboTales,” a children’s
chapter book series on which he is collaborating
with his mother, local author Jill Williamson.
Mom and son pen
Blue Mountain Eagle
JOHN DAY – If you can’t
think like a kid, the next best
thing is having a kid around
who can do the thinking for you.
That’s what local author
Jill Williamson learned, when
she welcomed input from her
13-year-old son, Luke, on a sto-
ry premise that would appeal to
tire family brainstormed ideas,
but it was Luke who became
his mother’s writing partner,
helping name characters and
creatures, and plot out stories.
The result is “RoboTales,”
a children’s chapter book series
about Robo, the robot dog, and
his adventures with children in
D ¿FWLRQDO JDOD[\ 7KH PRWK
er-son writing team have com-
SOHWHG WKH ¿UVW WKUHH RI HLJKW
books planned in the series,
designed for readers ages 7-13.
Luke even designed the
lead character out of Legos.
“I couldn’t have done it
without him,” Williamson said.
“He’s quite creative.
After several rejections
from major publishing hous-
es, they opted to self-publish,
which Williamson had done
with previous works, including
a short novel “Chokepoint.”
The next step was to secure
an illustrator, and that’s where
Able to afford only one il-
lustration, they commissioned
Michigan-based graphic artist
Kirbi Fagan to create a portrait
of Robo, to show the artistic
style the writing duo wanted
for the books.
Then they turned to Kick-
starter, an online crowdfunding
dreams through people in the
community backing the project.
Each project has a cam-
frame in which to reach
the target funding goal.
Michigan illustrator Kirbi
Fagan has created this
image of robot dog Robo.
Kickstarter is all or noth-
ing. If a campaign attains its
JRDO ZLWKLQ WKH VSHFL¿HG WLPH
period, people who pledged
money will need to pay up,
and the project can proceed. If
the goal is not reached, no one
is charged anything, but the
campaigners are back to square
7KH ¿QDO GDWH IRU WKH 5R
boTales campaign is March
19. To date, $1,158 has been
pledged of the $4,995 goal.
Williamson said prospec-
tive donors can think of it like
pre-ordering the books.
“We get the money in ad-
vance, which helps us to afford
to produce the product. And
when it’s complete, we mail
you that product,” she said.
Williamson plans to have
Luke’s name on the cover as
go into his Oregon College
They hope the books will be
released this coming October.
“It was a long time coming,
but I hope readers will enjoy the
stories,” Williamson said.
Check out the Williamsons’
Kickstarter campaign at www.
kickstarter.com and enter “Ro-
boTales” under the products
search at the top. The campaign
information includes an intro-
ductory video and synopses of
For more information
about RoboTales as well as
Jill Williamson’s books, visit
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