Recent Obituaries and Guest Books
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Buslach, Clara L.  
CLARA L. BUSLACH January 2, 1932 ~ February 2, 2016 Clara L. Buslach, 84, passed away at her home in Vancouver, WA. She was born in Lamar, MO to Walter and May Belle Smith. As a child, she moved to Vancouver with her two brothers, Bill and Dave. Clara worked at Memorial Hospital as an anesthesiology aide. After retiring, she loved to take drives, tending to her rose garden, and spending time with her family. Clara is survived by her daughters, Diana Thomas and Dorothy Walker; and many grand and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Tom. Services will be held at Hamilton-Mylan Funeral Home Sun., Feb. 7, 2016, 2p.m., with a private inurement at Memory Memorial Park. Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 5, 2016
Flanagan, Anna Marie - Vancouver  
ANNA MARIE (CIOE) FLANAGAN September 17, 1935 ~ February 2, 2016 Anna Marie Cioe Flanagan was born on September 17, 1935 in Barrington, RI. She moved with her husband to Vancouver, WA in 1964. She passed away surrounded by family on February 2, 2016. Anna was the youngest of 11 children and the last surviving Cioe sibling. Anna was a homemaker for many years and raised her children on her own after the early passing of her husband Bill Flanagan. She then went to work as a waitress and bartender at the NCO Club at the Vancouver Barracks. During this time she met her longtime companion, Chuck Reed, who passed away in 2005. Anna enjoyed spending time with family, agate hunting, making puzzles, reading books, collecting treasures, and fun at the casino. Anna is survived by Cindy (Mike) Leichner, Bill (Bridget) Flanagan, Elaine Schmidt; 9 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, who will all miss her very much. Anna will be remembered for the love of her family, her selfless nature, strong spirit, and kind heart. Services will be held at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 10:00a.m. Viewing at 9:00a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association 310 W 20th St., Ste. 300, Kansas City, MO 64108. Please sign her Guest Book at www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 5, 2016
Hammerstrom, Marvel Johanna "Hanna"  
MARVEL JOHANNA "HANNA"SERAFIA HALBERG HAMMERSTROM August 18, 1923 ~ February 3, 2016 Our dear mother and grandmother, Hanna, died peacefully at 92 years of age in Battle Ground, Washington. Born of Finnish immigrant homesteaders in Gackle, North Dakota on August 18, 1923. Her parents were Isaac and Anna Aliina (Uskoski) Halberg. Her father came to America alone from Finland at age 16. He lost his first wife in 1920 leaving him with 6 children from this first marriage. Hanna's mother lost her first husband and an infant son during the Spanish flu in 1918. Her father died in 1926, 2 months after Hanna's baby sister died. Her twice widowed mother raised her 3 young children during the depression in Gackle where Hanna lived all her young life. After graduation in Gackle, she was a teacher in North Dakota's one-room country schools. Hanna met her husband, Francis Hammerstrom, in Detroit, Michigan where she had gone to work during WWII. Francis and Hanna were married in 1944 just before he was sent overseas to France. After the war, they raised their 6 children in the Clawson Michigan areas. In the 1970s they moved to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, living in Hancock and having an antique store. In later years, Francis and Hanna moved to Washington state where he worked at Hyster Company in Portland, Oregon from where he retired. Raised by a loving mother, Hanna and her siblings had a strong faith in God, a cheerful outlook and interest in many things and people all their lives. They lived with a twinkle in their eyes and plans for the day and future. Mother faced her last trial of dementia in old age with patience, acceptance and unwavering faith. Survivors include her three daughters: Patty, Peggy with Nils, all of Battle Ground, and Marie with John of Bend, Oregon; three sons: Rick with Connie of Hancock, Michigan; Gerald with Sharon, and Rodney with Wendy of Pasco, Washington; 40 grandchildren; 151 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Hanna was preceded in death by her husband, Francis; 3 grandchildren, Richard, Aaron, Sam; two great-grandchildren: Louis and Isabelle; and her son-in-law, Calvin Ek. Also, preceding her were her parents; infant sister, Marie; her brother, Norbert Halberg; sister, Irene Ruonavaara; 5 half-sisters: Lillian, Rose, Violet, Hyacinth and Ivy; her half-brother, Clifford; and step-father, Walter Ollila. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Monday, February 8th, 2016 at the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church, 16603 NE 142nd Ave., Brush Prairie, Washington. Burial will follow at Elim Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church Sunday evening, February 7th at 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Layne's funeral home is in charge of arrangements. Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 6, 2016
Huffman, Robert Lee - Portland  
ROBERT LEE HUFFMAN March 4, 1937 ~ January 16, 2016 After a brief illness, Robert Lee Huffman passed on Saturday, January 16, 2016, in the loving home of friends in Beaverton, Oregon. The scion of generations of Willamette Valley pioneer families, he was born to Harry and Nellie Wright Huffman on March 4, 1937, in Eugene. His musical gifts, evident in his early childhood, led to piano lessons from a young age. As an adult Robert credited not only his youthful studies in Eugene, but also the rich McArthur Court concerts that he attended from age nine. Hearing such artists as Jascha Heifetz, Gina Bachauer, Grant Johannesen, Dimitri Mitropoulos, and (especially) William Kapell left indelible impressions. After graduation from Eugene High School, he set forth on an odyssey of self-education that led him to Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, New England, and Paris. True teachers and mentors, the composer and pianist Noël Lee, and the composer Aaron Copland, appeared to guide him back to formal music studies. After three years in Paris, where he was deeply involved in the city's music life, Robert finished his bachelor's degree in piano performance at the University of Oregon, studying with Francis Bittner and Marlene Soriano Thal. While beginning work toward a doctorate in piano at the University, Robert established the Newport Summer Music Festival. His reputation as a chamber music colleague, concerto soloist, and piano recitalist drew talented colleagues to the Oregon Coast during the three-year life of the Festival. In 1975 Robert moved permanently to Portland, where his prodigious piano skills found their niche. An indefatigable performer, he concentrated on piano repertoire of the romantic era, Debussy, Ravel, Faure, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff, and works of his own invention. His true calling emerged in the mid-1970s, when he became the company pianist for Barbara Remington's ballet studio. During the following forty years, Robert acquired a sterling reputation as the Northwest's most respected and influential ballet pianist. At the time of his death Robert Huffman was the principal pianist of The Portland Ballet, a company and school of which he was a founding member in 2001. His passion for music was matched by his passion for the education of young people, about whom he cared deeply. Even a partial roster of other companies, dancers, and choregraphers for whom Robert Huffman played is impressive: Oregon Ballet Theatre, Summer Dance Lab at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Northwest Academy, Jefferson Dancers, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Melissa Hayden, Mark Morris, Paul Sanasardo, Ed Kresley, Denise Dabrowski, Gelsey Kirkland, Jacques D'Amboise, Trey McIntyre, Alonzo King, and many more. In 2002 Robert self-produced two CDs, Robert Huffman: Music for Ballet Class (Volumes I & II), which received admiring reviews. They are in wide use in ballet schools and studios throughout the U. S. Possessed of a prodigious memory for everything from the recording histories of every pianist you've never heard of to the statistical records-right up to the present day- of every professional golfer you've never heard of, Robert Huffman brought his enthusiasm for music, reading, cooking, fine dining, and conversation into his remarkable life. Survivors include his cousins, Janie Stone McAllister, Gordon Dale Wright, Alda Riles, and Dick Wright; nephews, Kip Huffman and Charlie Huffman; nieces, Shanna Masi and Kelly Huffman Campbell; and legions of friends and admirers. A public "Celebration of His Life" will be held on Monday, June 13, 2016, at 7 p.m. in Lincoln Recital Hall of Portland State University. Contact The Portland Ballet to RSVP. Contributions in his memory may be made to Robert's Shoe Box, at theportlandballet.org . -Sandra Hyslop Please sign Robert's Guest Book at www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 5, 2016
Kniss, Laurence John "Larry"  
LAWRENCE "LARRY" JOHN KNISS January 22, 1930 ~ January 28, 2016 Larry Kniss, 86, passed away at his home in Vancouver, WA, Jan. 28, 2016. He was born in Portland, OR to John and Thelma Kniss, Jan. 22, 1930. After Larry's father was killed in a logging accident in 1935, Larry, his older brother Don, and his mom moved to LaCenter, Amboy, and ultimately to Hockinson, WA. He attended school there and graduated from Battle Ground High School in 1948. Larry met Phyllis Rogers in high school, became sweethearts and married Aug. 12, 1950. They celebrated 65 years together. Larry enlisted in the US Air Force during the Korean War in March 1951. He ended his service as a Staff Sgt. in 1955. Larry was hired by IBM in Portland, OR and enjoyed 31 years with that company. Larry and Phyllis settled in retirement on 15 acres in Eastern Yacolt for 30 years. He cleared the land and built every building on the property. Travel, annual reunions, and gardening also filled up his time. He loved slow pitch softball, golf, classic cars, hunting, and fishing. Larry was a member of 1st United Methodist Church of Vancouver. Larry is survived by his wife, Phyllis; sons, Kevin (Mona) and Michael (Jeanie); grandson, Joshua Kniss; brother, Harley (Niemi); sisters-in-law, Barbara Kniss and Dorothy Durkee; nephews, Don and Bob Kniss; and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his father and mother; and brother, Don. A Celebration of Life will be held at Layne's Funeral Chapel in Battle Ground, WA, Sat., Feb. 6, 2016 at 11a.m. In lieu of flowers, you may wish to donate to County Wide Chaplaincy or Open House Ministries in Vancouver. Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 4, 2016
Larango, Cheryl Joan  
CHERYL JOAN LARANGO July 16, 1940 ~ January 27, 2016 Cheryl Joan Larango passed in the loving arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 27, 2016. She was 75 years old. Cheryl was born on July 16, 1940 to her parents Alvin Gunderson and Ruby Golphenee (Bucklin) in Fairview, Montana. Cheryl spent her life as a homemaker. She was a resident of Clark County for over 50 years. Cheryl is survived by her husband of 56 years, John "Jack"; her son, Shane (wife Melissa) Larango; her daughter, Kristy (husband Allen) Nelson; her two beloved grandchildren, Shalane Larango and Blaine Ellis; her brothers, Gary and Bill; and her sisters, Darlene and Norma Jean. Cheryl was preceded in death by her parents; her infant daughter, Shelley; and beloved grandson, Bryce. A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, February 9th, 2 p.m. at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Vancouver. A committal service will be held Wednesday, February 10, 2 p.m. at Park Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are under the care of Brown's Funeral Home. Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 3, 2016
McIndoo, Cathy Joy - Portland  
CATHY J. SHIRTCLIFF MCINDOO November 8, 1951 ~ January 22, 2016 Cathy Joy Shirtcliff McIndoo, 64, went home to her Lord, surrounded by family, after years of battling cancer. Cathy loved the outdoors and the water, but most loved time with her family, especially her grandchildren. Cathy had a lifelong passion for the Lord, happily volunteered her time, and always brought a smile to those who knew her. A Celebration of her life will be held at 2p.m., Sat., Feb. 6, 2016 at Renewed Hope Ministries, 716 W. 17th St., Vancouver, WA. Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 5, 2016
Zagorsky, Stanley Francais "Buzz"  
STANLEY "BUZZ" FRANCIS ZAGORSKY May 29, 1945 ~ January 26, 2016 Stanley "Buzz" Francis Zagorsky, 70, passed away on Jan. 26, 2016. He was born on May 29, 1945 in Wilkes Barre, PA to Stanley and Constance. Buzz was a veteran of the United States Marine Corp and served in combat during Vietnam. He went on to complete his Master's degree and spent his working life as an Adult Parole Supervisor. Buzz was married 47 years to his wife Nancy. They enjoyed many adventures together in New York and Colorado and have been residents of Camas, WA for the past 11 years. Buzz is survived by his wife, Nancy; his son, Jason (wife Angela); his daughter, Kyra (husband Patrick); three grandchildren, Tyler, Ashé, and Bodhi; and his two sisters, Connie and Christine. He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Michael. Military honors will take place at Willamette National Cemetery on Mon., Feb. 8, 2016 at 10a.m. Arrangements are under the care of Brown's Funeral Home. To sign the online guest books or to leave a condolence for the family, please visit www.brownsfh.com and www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 3, 2016

Obituaries from the Past Week

Billings, Betty B. - Vancouver  
BETTY B. BILLINGS February 9, 1928 ~ January 28, 2016 Betty B. Billings, 87, passed away Jan. 28, 2016 at Discovery Nursing and Rehab. She was born the youngest of eight,on Feb. 9, 1928 at the home her grandfather built in Vancouver, WA, to Eledge and Effie Gates. At the age of 8, Betty's family moved from Vancouver to Battle Ground where she graduated from high school in 1946. While in high school, she worked at the Battle Ground Theater. Betty married and started her family. They moved around the area, living in St. Helens and Vancouver. Her husband began the original stores that became 7-11 in Portland, OR. They only owned these stores for a few years before selling them, but this brought Betty into the grocery business, in which she continued to work for the rest of her hardworking career. Betty had a great sense of humor. She always had a witty comeback or joke at the ready. She enjoyed playing bunco and bingo, but what she really loved was the Blazers! Betty is survived by her children, Richard (Trish Hayes) Billings, Ron (Laurel) Billings, and Julie (Don) Risto; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter. A graveside service for Betty will be held 1:00 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 4th at Park Hill Cemetery. Please share memories at www.VancouverFuneralChapel.net and www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Feb. 2, 2016
Coenen, Joseph H. "Joe" - Vancouver  
JOSEPH H. COENEN April 11, 1950 ~ January 4, 2016 Our dearest Joseph H. Coenen passed away January 4, 2016 in Vancouver, Washington. He was born April 11, 1950 in Harlan, Iowa. If you knew Joe, you know that he loved a good party and dancing, so please join us to celebrate his life by sharing memories, love, and laughter, on Friday, February 12 from 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at the Artillery Barracks at Ft. Vancouver, 638 Hathaway Rd., Vancouver, Washington 98661. We will raise a glass and dance under the disco ball in his honor. Please sign his guest books at www.DaviesCremationBurial.com and www.columbian.com/obits . If you plan to attend the celebration, please leave an entry in his electronic guest book so we know to look forward to seeing you there.
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Published in The Columbian on Jan. 31, 2016
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