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Death notices for Joe Smith, Ralph Gunkel and Mildred Rutledge


Trout Lake resident Joe Edward Smith died in Portland, Ore., on Sunday, April 13, 2003. He was 61 years old.

Mr. Smith was born in Laramie, Wyo., on Oct. 13, 1941, the son of Florence (Ferguson) and Herman "Mike" Smith. During his freshman year, he moved to White Salmon and graduated from Columbia High School in 1959. Later that year, on Sept. 5, he married Eula Nickols.

Mr. Smith worked for Dickey Farms and drove fuel trucks before buying the service station in Trout Lake in 1979. In 2002, he retired and sold Joe's Valley Service.

Mr. Smith was a Trout Lake Fire Commissioner and worked to get the new fire hall built.

He enjoyed the outdoors and outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, ATV riding and camping. He cherished his grandchildren and loved Hank Williams.

Survivors include his wife, Eula, Trout Lake; mother Florence Smith, Hood River; daughters Veronica Moline, White Salmon, and Teri Nickerson, Longview; sons Joe Smith Jr., and Lanny Smith, both of Trout Lake; brothers Dan Smith, White Salmon, and Ernest Smith, Molalla, Ore.; sister Melody Smith, Albuquerque, N.M.; 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, brothers Terry and Mike, a son and a daughter.

A memorial service for Mr. Smith will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, 2003, at the Trout Lake School.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Trout Lake Community Foundation, PO Box 322, Trout Lake, Wash. 98650, or to the Klickitat Fire District #1 at PO Box 328, Trout Lake, Wash. 98650.

Gardner Funeral Home handled arrangements.


Dr. Ralph Daniel Gunkel, a Goldendale graduate, died on Jan. 8, 2003.

Mr. Gunkel was the fourth out of five children born to Daniel and Rosa Gunkel of Maryhill on April 15, 1911. He was a graduate of Goldendale High School, Washington State University, and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He served for four years in the Pacific as the Optical Repair Officer aboard the USS Medusa, AR1. He resigned from the Naval Reserve as a Lieutenant Commander, but continued his studies in Optics and entered the Civil Service. At his retirement from the National Institutes of Health in 1987 he was credited with 40 years of service in ophthalmologic research at the National Eye Institute.

He was preceded in death by his sisters' Pearl, Ruby, Edith, and his brother George.

Survivors include niece Rosalie Coffey, Coquille, Ore., nephew Dan Gunkel, Goldendale, nephew Ron Gunkel, Maryhill, niece Rachel Gunkel, Goldendale, and nephew Les Ashbrook, Dufur, Ore.

A graveside memorial will be held at Maryhill-Columbus Cemetery Wednesday, April 23, 2003, at 1 p.m.


85-year-old Mildred Verla Soloman Rutledge, Hood River and formerly of Bingen, died in Hood River on April 8, 2003.

She was born on April 29, 1917, in Ava, Mo., the daughter of Laura Susan (Mitchell) and John Engelhardt. She grew up in Missouri, marrying Lonnie Solomon in 1934. In 1942, the Solomons moved to the Yakima Valley. The family later moved to Bingen, where Mrs. Rutledge worked at Dickey Farms for many years. In 1966, her husband and one of her sons died in a boating accident. She later married Roy Rutledge, who would also precede her in death.

Mrs. Rutledge attended the Baptist Church and was a former member of the Eagles Lodge. She was an accomplished seamstress, whose home was always spotless. She loved spending time with her family.

Surviving her are her son Ivan Solomon, Bingen; daughter Sue Scribner, Yakima; eight grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by three sons and one granddaughter.

A graveside service was held at the White Salmon Cemetery on Friday, April 11, 2003, at 11 a.m. with Pastor Bob Long officiating.


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