Recent Obituaries and Guest Books
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Bales, Harriet Ruth  
HARRIET RUTH BALES September 7, 1931 ~ November 17, 2016 Harriet Ruth Bales, 85, passed into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on November 17, 2016 in Vancouver, WA. She was born September 7, 1931 in Vancouver to Morris and Estella Apling. She graduated from Toledo High School in June 1949 and shortly thereafter, married Arling Theodore Sorensen on June 17, 1949. They had seven children before Arling's death in 1961. In 1965, she married Floyd Bales and they had one son. Harriet is survived by four sons, Ted (Cindy), Ed (Francine), Randy (Missy) and Chris; four daughters, Ruth Behrendsen (Randy), Shirley Griggs (Kim Trinosky), Susan Nosler (Erik) and Loree Drake (Daryle); one step-son, Phil Bales (Ann); one step-daughter, Suzanne Dawson (Bill); three brothers, Norris, Freddie and Wayne Apling; 37 grandchildren; and 52 great-grandchildren. Besides her parents and two husbands, she was preceded in death by her brother, Steven Apling; two sisters, Elsie Apling and Dorothy Potter; a step-son, Dan Bales; and son-in-law, Greg Bauman. She will be remembered for her many hugs, sweet spirit and strength of character. Harriet possessed a deep and abiding faith in God and devotion to her family. She was loved and respected by many and adored by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Harriet's family would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the staff and caregivers at Discovery Nursing and Rehab in Vancouver, WA for the extraordinary care she received. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, December 9, at the Woodland Christian Church in Woodland, WA. A private burial service was held at the Toledo Cemetery, Toledo, WA. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to your local church or the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Dec. 4, 2016
Beaudoin, Vincent Daniel  
VINCENT DANIEL BEAUDOIN October 7, 1954 ~ November 24, 2016 Vincent the AVID Fisherman passed too early. He is survived by his loving family: his wife of 31 years, Paula; his children, Jason and Marites Earl, Kristine and Jennifer Riley, Kimberly Earl, Tiffany and Shawn Kruse and Nicole Stoneking; and 7 grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Peoples Autism Foundation at www.peoplesautism.org . Services will be held at Evergreen Memorial Gardens at 1101 NE 112th Ave., Vancouver, WA 98684 on Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 12:30p.m., with a reception following. Please sign Vincent's Guest Book at www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Dec. 4, 2016
Benson, Louise M.  
LOUISE M. (CONLIN) BENSON August 25, 1915 ~ November, 28, 2016 Louise M. Benson, 101, of Vancouver, WA, went to be with her Savior on Nov. 28, 2016. She was born in Emigrant, MT on Aug. 25, 1915. Louise married Vernon Strickland and had two daughters, Hazel V. Bonfiglio and family of Beaverton, OR and Helen L. Emery and family in Vancouver, WA. She later married Kenneth Benson in 1947. Louise worked many years in the Camas Paper Mill and Janzten Knitting Mills. Graveside services will be held at Park Hill Cemetery, 11a.m., on Tues., Dec. 6, 2016. Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Dec. 4, 2016
Bergeron, Margot Maria  
MARGOT MARIA (MAINZER) BERGERON February 4, 1925 ~ November 27, 2016 "Margot was known as a woman of great intellect, faith and determination." Our dearest mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Margot Maria Bergeron, died at age 91 on Nov. 27, 2016. She was born in Wurzburg, Germany, Feb. 4, 1925, to Johann (Otto) and Maria (Wohlmann) Foster. Margot survived WWII, including the bombing of Wurzburg on March 16, 1945. Her young adult years were spent participating in the German Catholic Youth Underground and becoming a nurse. Margot was arrested for this work and made to treat prisoners in a munitions factory. In 1945, she married Dr. Theodor Mainzer in Wurzburg. The young Mainzer family struggled in post-war Germany for the basics of life after having three children. Margot lost her firstborn son, had two girls and left Germany with her Theodor in 1951, leaving behind her home, family and our grandparents. But, Margot kept her deep Catholic faith and her determination. The Mainzer family settled in Burbank, CA, where our father established his medical practice and added 6 more children to the Mainzer tribe. This was a time of great promise until Theodor, her first husband, died an untimely death at age 42, leaving Margot widowed with no income, no husband and 9 young children in tow. Margot left California for Sedona, AZ in 1966 and in 1972, she moved to Sequim, WA, where she found friends and memories of the German Alps. There, she fell in love with and married her second husband, Col. Jerome Bergeron in 1974. After his death in 1976, Margot remained in Sequim, raising the rest of her children, caring for the elderly and becoming a lay Carmelite. She enjoyed this life for years until dementia began to alter her capability to continue. After a fall and serious injury in 2010, Margot was moved from Sequim to Vancouver, WA so she could be closer to needed care. Margot truly enjoyed her last few years. She laughed often, was less anxious, and enjoyed family and companionship in spite of her dementia. She was an avid reader and an excellent mathematician. She loved music, her roses, the Olympic Mountains, her Catholic faith and most of all, children. Margot's faith was active and rich and she participated in almost daily Mass and a daily prayer and devotional life. It was her solace and her rudder. Her legacy to us is not an unflawed life, but one lived with grace, faith and intention. Even as dementia clouded her agile mind, Margot found laughter, a continuous smile and peace. Our family is eternally grateful for all who helped care for her, including the caregivers at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Touchmark and All For Care adult family home. Margot is survived by a village of 9 children and spouses; 29 grandchildren and spouses; and 38 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by Johannes, her firstborn; our father, and her first husband, Theodor; and later, her second husband, Jerome Bergeron. A celebration of Margot's life, including Mass, will be held Dec. 9th, with Rosary at 10:30 a.m. and Funeral Mass beginning at 11:00a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Sequim, WA. If you choose to make remembrances in Margot's name, please consider donating to Queen of Angels Catholic School in Port Angeles, WA, a Catholic charity of your choice, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Foundation, or Doctors Without Borders. Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Dec. 4, 2016
Dobson, Richard "Rick"  
RICHARD "RICK" DOBSON August 6, 1956 ~ October 20, 2016 On October 20, 2016, Rick was called home after a brief, courageous battle with lung cancer. Rick served two years in the Army, stationed in Germany from 1974 - 1976. He worked for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad from 1976 until 2016. A 'Jack of all Trades', and a master of all he put his hand to, Rick was also an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed motorcycles, cars, boats, fly fishing, shooting and gunsmithing - and anything with the grandchildren. Gregarious with a ready smile and quick wit, his compassion and humor will be greatly missed. He is survived by Cheryl 'Cher', his wife of 41 years and friend for 44 years; son Jordan (wife Teresa) Dobson, and two grandchildren, Tesla and Edison. Also survived by his father Barry Dobson; sister Christie (husband Kerry) Reid, niece Brooke and nephew Collin; brother Stacy (wife Dana) Dobson; nephew Zackary (wife Sabrina) Dobson and great nephews Dean and Grayson; great niece, Remington, niece Amber (husband Cory) Killingbeck, and grandniece Luella; and nephew Jay Dobson. He was preceded in death by his mother, Betty Dobson in March 2016. A celebration memorial will be held, Sat., Dec. 3, 2016 from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the Red Lion Motel in Kelso/Longview. First hour remembrance followed by fellowship and buffet. All are invited to bring Cheryl the gift of your memories. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any Columbia Credit Union to the Rick Dobson Compassion Fund, honoring the continuation of the legacy of Rick's generosity and compassion. Please sign his guestbook at www.columbian.com/obits
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Published in The Columbian on Nov. 30, 2016
Geer, John M.  
JOHN M. GEER October 21, 1939 ~ November 6, 2016 John M. Geer, age 77, passed away peacefully on Nov. 6, 2016 at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver, WA. He was born on Oct. 21, 1939 in Gladewater, TX. John earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from North Texas State University, and a Master of Education degree from Western Washington University. John was a life long educator. He was a teacher and taught schools in three countries, the United States, New Zealand, and Alberta, Canada. He was an administrator at Western Washington University and Sam Houston State University, and spent his last working years in Vancouver, WA supervising student teachers. His passions included listening to all types of music, especially jazz and tight harmonies. John passed on a wonderful vinyl collection to his family. He was a Civil War buff and celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with wife and son touring Gettysburg and other civil war sites. John is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Sandra K. Geer; his son, Chris B. Geer and wife Monica of Curitiba, Brazil; daughter, Heather E. Geer of Seattle, WA; son, Jason M.C. Geer of Seattle; granddaughters, Chloe V. Geer and Leah V. Geer of Seattle; sister, Lois Anne Wadsworth of Eugene, OR; and two nephews and niece. Memorial service is on Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 (12:00) at St. Luke's ~ San Lucas Episcopal Church, 426 East Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver, WA. Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Dec. 4, 2016
Hein, Erwin Julius  
ERWIN JULIUS HEIN June 18, 1931 ~ November 28, 2016 Erwin J. Hein, 85, passed away peacefully on Monday, November 28, 2016. Erwin was born June 18, 1931 in Pine River, Minnesota. He was one of 12 children in the Hein family. The family moved to Camas, Washington in his high school years, and he graduated from Camas High School. Erwin served two years in the Marine Corps, and came back to work in the Camas Paper Mill for 44 years. He met his wife, Irene, and they married in 1956. Erwin and Irene raised three children at the home they built in Camas. After his retirement, he and Irene eventually moved from the family home to assisted living facilities, first in Vancouver, WA, then later in Lacey, WA to be nearer to their children. They were devoted to each other for over sixty years until Irene's death in September 2016. Erwin loved his family dearly. Every year, he and Irene would take the kids on some vacation adventure around the country. He loved to watch sports, and was an avid Seattle Mariners fan. He was blessed with eight grandchildren, and loved to take them to the park or swimming pool when they visited. Erwin loved talking about the weather, and kept track of temperature and rainfall with a small weather station in his backyard. He also enjoyed geography, studying maps from around the country, and could tell you facts about location, elevation, and other tidbits from all sorts of places. Erwin was devoted to his Lord, Jesus Christ, and to his family. He attended St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Washougal, Washington, and was active in ministry there, serving wherever he was needed. In later years, Erwin and Irene led devotions at the Highland Terrace Retirement Home. While Parkinson's disease eventually took its course with Erwin's physical abilities, he never lost his devotion to Christ. He continued to read his Bible, do daily devotionals, attend church, and sing hymns until his very last day. Erwin was a wonderful example of Christian devotion and service to his family, his Church, and his community throughout his life. He is survived by his children, Paul (Gail) Hein, Marie (Matt) Koehler, and John (Therese) Hein; his eight grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; his brothers, Martin and Hugo Hein; and his sisters, Hilda Hagen, Emma Naffin, and Mildred Kuschel. A memorial service will be held on Friday, December 9, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Matthew Lutheran Church. A light luncheon will follow, with a short graveside service at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Vancouver at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Washougal. Please sign Erwin's Guest Book at www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Dec. 4, 2016
Lehto, Gary N. - Portland  
GARY N. LEHTO June 26, 1950 ~ November 28, 2016 Gary N. Lehto, age 66, passed away Nov. 28, 2016, at Golden Living Transitional Care Facility in Roseville, MN after surviving cancer for 8 years. He was born June 26, 1950 in Virginia, MN to Nick and Martha Lehto, the second of three sons. He grew up in Embarrass, MN and graduated as class valedictorian from Embarrass High School, where he had participated in basketball, football, and track as a proud "Panther." After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College, where he spent his Junior year studying in Europe, he made his home on the West Coast, settling in Ridgefield, WA, where he lived the last 30 years. Gary earned a MS degree in Psychology from Portland State University in 1981 and then went to work at the State of Oregon's Bureau of Labor & Industries, retiring in July 2012. Gary married Melinda Ells on April 15, 2000 in Ridgefield. Together they ran a Christmas tree farm and raised two children. Gary was a lifelong Democrat who loved discussing politics and reading and discussing history, especially books on President Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. He played various musical instruments, including the accordion and saxophone. He was also a sports fan of both Minnesota and Washington State teams and an avid fan of the Portland Trailblazers. (He was, however, very happy to see the Cubs win the World Series this year!) ~ Gary was a devoted son, husband and father. ~ Survivors include his wife, Melinda (Ells) Lehto; daughter, Ashley and son, Nicholas (Ridgefield, WA); brother, Bradley Lehto (Roseville, MN); and nephew, Daniel (Dara) Lehto (Eden Prairie, MN). He was preceded in death by his parents, Nick and Martha Lehto (Embarrass, MN); brother, Donald Lehto; Don's wife Ellen (Jefson) Lehto (Rogers); and nephew, Jonathan Lehto. A service of remembrance will be held on Fri., Dec. 9th, at 11:00 a.m. at the St. Paul Chapel of the Cremation Society of Minnesota, 1979 Old Hudson Road, St. Paul, MN 55119. Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Dec. 4, 2016
Malloy, Lawrence Dewitt "Larry"  
LAWRENCE "LARRY" DEWITT MALLOY November 15, 1931 ~ November 21, 2016 Lawrence Malloy (85) passed away in Vancouver, WA on November 21, 2016 due to complications of Parkinson's disease. He was born November 15, 1931 in Olympia, WA to Mabel and William Malloy. Following his graduation from Olympia High School, he joined the Coast Guard and served during the Korean War. While living in Seattle at the end of his enlistment, Larry met his wife, Sally; they married in 1954. A few years later, they relocated to Vancouver with their daughter, Cathy. Their second daughter, Julie, was born within a short while and followed by their son, Jerry. In Vancouver, Larry worked for Fort Vancouver Plywood and eventually served as company president. He became increasingly involved in state politics and worked as a lobbyist in Olympia for eight years; passionately working to keep Northwest logging resources within the United States. In 1980, he campaigned for the position of Washington Commissioner of Public Lands. During Larry's formal working retirement, his attention focused on managing his various properties. He enjoyed discussing local and national politics, watching the Seahawks, and spending time with family. Larry is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sally; daughters, Cathy Johnson (Mark) and Julie Spencer; son, Jerry (Starla); eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., December, 3, 2016, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 4723 NW Franklin St., Vancouver, WA 98663. Please sign his Guest Book at www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Nov. 29, 2016
Oltmann, Gary Arthur  
GARY ARTHUR OLTMANN June 23, 1940 ~ November 27, 2016 Gary Arthur Oltmann, 76, of Battle Ground, WA, died November 27, 2016. He was born on June 23, 1940 in Spokane, WA. Gary lived in Battle Ground, WA for 50 years, and Clark County most of his life. He was a mill worker by trade and worked for International Paper in Chelatchie Prairie, WA and SDS Lumber Company in Bingen, WA. Gary is survived by son, Mike; and brother, Ken. He was predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Barbara Jean Oltmann; and son, Jerry Dean Oltmann. Funeral services will be at 9a.m., on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at Layne's Funeral Home, Battle Ground, WA. Layne's Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Please sign his Guest Book at www.columbian.com/obits .
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Published in The Columbian on Nov. 30, 2016
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