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Death notices for Sarah Duncombe, Howard Benjamin and Bessie Zemke


Sarah (Sally) Duncombe died on July 9, 2005, at her home in White Salmon, at the age of 72. She was born in Vermont to the Reverend and Mrs. Hugh Morton.

She attended Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts, graduated from Antioch College in Ohio, and earned a teaching certificate in Connecticut. She worked at a woman's prison in New York, a mental hospital in Connecticut, a folk art school in North Carolina, and in preschools and kindergartens in Connecticut and San Francisco.

She married the Rev. David Duncombe in 1958. They had three children while he attended graduate school at Yale.

Since moving to White Salmon in 1993, Mrs. Duncombe has volunteered at Head Start, Whitson Elementary School, the White Salmon Library and the Columbia Gorge Commission. She has been active in Bethel Congregational Church in White Salmon and St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Hood River.

She is survived by her husband, David, White Salmon; children Betsy, Maine, Jane, Parkdale, Ore., and Steve, New York City; four grandchildren; and a sister, who lives in Thorp.

Mrs. Duncombe's last days were lived as she was known and loved -- to the end interested in the world, caring about others, independent of mind and spirit, yet without fear of death.

A memorial service will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Hood River at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, 2005.

Memorials may be made to St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Bethel Congregational Church, or Hospice of the Gorge.


White Salmon resident Howard Noel Benjamin died at Skyline Hospital in White Salmon on July 4, 2005, at the age of 88. Born on March 19, 1917 in Oak, Neb., he was the son of Noel and Addie Melissa (Frew) Benjamin.

Mr. Benjamin was raised in Nebraska. He married Velda Flo Williams on May 30, 1941, and in 1942 the couple moved to the White Salmon area. They relocated to the Yakima Valley in 1968, living there until Mrs. Benjamin's death in 1993. Mr. Benjamin moved back to White Salmon in 1994.

Mr. Benjamin drove logging trucks for SDS Lumber Company for several years. He was a volunteer fireman and also worked with the West Klickitat County Sheriff's Mounted Posse. He spent a lot of time camping and fishing with family and friends. He loved to dance and was involved with Seniors activities.

Survivors include his children Dennis Benjamin, Innsbruck, Austria, Terry Benjamin, Battle Ground, Kay Carter, Lynden, Barb Doscher, White Salmon; sisters Mary Clements, Tigard, Ore., and Florence DeVere of San Bruno, Calif.; seven grandchildren and three great grandsons.

Mr. Benjamin's family will honor him privately. He will be laid to rest next to his wife in the White Salmon Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be given to Klickitat County Search and Rescue in care of Gardner Funeral Home, PO Box 390, White Salmon, Wash., 98672.

Send condolences to the Benjamin family, visit and sign the online guestbook.


Bessie Irene Zemke, 87, Klickitat, died on Friday, July 1, 2005, at her home. Services and inurnment will take place in Iowa in August.

Mrs. Zemke was born Jan. 2, 1918, in Pocahontas, Iowa, to Louis F. H. and Mary Estelle Westmoreland Hammer, the sixth of 10 children. She graduated from Pocahontas High School and taught in a one-room school for one year. She married Lester C. Zemke on March 17, 1938, in Varina, Iowa. They raised three children while farming in several northwest Iowa locations. In 1969, they moved to Northeast Oregon, settling in Cove, Ore. After Mr. Zemke's death, Mrs. Zemke moved to Klickitat.

She was active in her church, home extension, the Cove Improvement Club, the Chatter Club and PTA.

Family was very important to Mrs. Zemke. She loved having her children and grandchildren come to visit. She enjoyed writing and receiving letters, keeping up on news with her siblings by a Round Robin Newsletter which arrived every six weeks.

She lived up to her childhood nickname of Happy and will always be remembered for her sense of humor.

Mrs. Zemke is survived by her children Jerry Zemke, Eugene Zemke, and Joy Miller; grandchildren Alex and Kathy Zemke, Arlene and Alvin Montgomery, Richard Zemke, Robert Zemke, Aimee and Joe Filipowiez, Debra and Manny Rashidi, Cami Comstock, Nicholas Tomenga; great-grandchildren Jessica and Jordan Ann Zemke, Jason Montgomery, Alexandria and Madison Rashidi, and Newala Comstock; sisters Mary Lou Johnson, Laura Belle McConnell, Dorothy Olson, and LuVerne Danielson; and brothers Louis and Herbert Hammer. She was preceded in death by her husband, two infant sons, and brothers Walter, Mervyn and Harry.

Memorials may be made to Cove Library, 606 Main Street, Cove, Ore., 97824.

Gardner Funeral Home in White Salmon handled arrangements.


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