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Death notices for Elsie Thomas, Heinrich Swager, Clyde Willey and Maurice Hathaway


Elsie Thomas, 96, Husum, has taken her journey to be with her creator on Sept. 1, 2007, at the Hood River Care Center.

She was born Nov. 26, 1910, to Jake Thomas and Lucy Cayuse Thomas in Husum. For many years, she lived in Husum, raising her children. Later on in years, she moved and resided in Bingen. She lived there until her illness and then resided a few years in Hood River Care Center.

She was a hard working woman, from a child growing up to being responsible for the traditional teachings of her people by her mother and Kat'la Mary Hunt Cayuse. She gathered the traditional foods (roots and berries) on horseback and in wagon, mainly in the Trout Lake areas. And as the seasons changed, she would preserve salmon at Underwood -- drying, salting and canning. She preserved and dried eels and canned all kinds of fruits. As times changed, she had her own 1964 Ford car to do the many activities she continued to do throughout her life.

Mrs. Thomas raised her children on her own and did many labor jobs picking fruits and working in hop fields.

She was a skilled Klickitat basket maker, who was taught by generations of Klickitat basket makers before her. Her baskets are in many museums and collections. She taught basket making at the Bingen School for a few years. She also did beautiful bead work, going to powwows and being with her family.

She was a member of the Yakama Nation (Klickitat Band), the 7-feather/drums religion, and the Mormon Church.

Mrs. Thomas is survived by her son, Leonard Kuneki Sr., Bingen; daughter Patricia Bly, White Salmon; grandchildren Samantha, Angela, Elsa, Sharon, James, Gerald, Lawanda and Julia, 10 great-grandchildren and three great, great-grandchildren; and many relatives.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Jones and Tommy Thomas, sisters Julia and Sophie Thomas, daughter Hazel T. Spence, four infant children, and grandson Leonard Kuneki Jr.

Dressing services were held at Gardner's Funeral Home in White Salmon at 11 a.m. on Sept. 3, 2007. with overnight services at the Lyle Longhouse. She was buried on Sept. 4, 2007, at the Husum Indian Cemetery.

Gardner Funeral Home in White Salmon was in charge of arrangements.


Heinrich J. Swager, a longtime resident of White Salmon, died on Aug. 15, 2007, in Union, Miss. He was born April 16, 1925, in White Salmon to Jan and Olga Swager.

He worked as a logger most of his life and owned and ran a small farm in Snowden. In the mid 1940s, he was a cook for the railroad. He retired to La Center about 1993 and later moved to Union, Miss.

Mr. Swager married Edna Ruth Palmer on Nov. 2, 1962, in Stevenson. They later divorced.

Mr. Swager is survived by daughter Lori Wallace, Albany, Ore., stepdaughter Katherine Giddings, Albany, Ore.; brothers Hansel Swager, Seattle, and Fred Swager; sister Carol Harris, Seattle; six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, several brothers and sisters and two stepchildren Jim Palmer and Sharon Seward.


Clyde Ross Willey died at his oldest son's home in Vancouver, on Aug. 15, 2007, at the age of 90. He was born in Columbus, Kan., on Oct. 1, 1916, to Edward and Elizabeth Willey.

Mr. Willey married Margaret Elizabeth Thayer on March 21, 1937, in Pueblo, Colo. He worked on the construction of Grand Coulie Dam in the late 1930s, for Boeing in the early days of World War II, and spent 21 years working at SDS Lumber in Bingen. Over the years he and his wife also owned and operated many small businessess.

He was an avid rock hound and, in his later years, loved spending winters in Arizona adding to his rock collection with his sweetheart wife. He was a wonderful father and grandfather who found great joy in watching his family grow.

Mr. Willey was baptized a member of the Grace Baptist Church in March 2007 at 90 years old.

He is survived by three of his four children: Lena "Marie" Peters, Oakley, Kan., Edward Harrison Willey, Vancouver, and Clyde "Ross" Willey Jr., White Salmon; 20 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and 11 great great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty, and his daughter, Florence Irene "Ikie" Cox.

A memorial service and celebration of Mr. Willey's life will be held at Grace Baptist Church in White Salmon at 2 p.m. on September 29, 2007.

Memorials may be sent to Senior Services in White Salmon.


Maurice Keith Hathaway was born in Hood River, Ore., on Dec. 15, 1928, to Maurice and Piccola (Castle) Hathaway, Sr. He died on Sept. 4, 2007, on Bainbridge Island, at the age of 78.

Mr. Hathaway was a hard worker who had several jobs throughout his life. After graduation from Glenwood High School, Maurice worked as a shovel operator for J. Neils Lumber Company. In 1958 he moved to Connell, where he farmed and worked for the Washington State Water District for 17 years.

On July 8, 1950, he married Barbara Baugher in Glenwood. The couple shared 42 years of marriage before she died on July 12, 1992. Later that year, Mr. Hathaway found love again and shared the rest of his life with Laurine McGrew.

Mr. Hathaway loved to travel and had crossed the United States a number of times. He liked to spend winters in Arizona. He was very skilled at rock cutting and making belt buckles. He also enjoyed hunting for gold and reading, especially the newspaper ads and the Bible.

Survivors include his wife Laurine McGrew of Sequim; sons Keith Hathaway, Cyprus, Calif., Kelly Hathaway, Zillah, Kevin Hathaway, Bremerton; stepdaughters Lila Duncan, Sequim, Donna Mack, Augusta, Ga., Julie Ralph, Matlock, Patty Jo Richworth, Lincoln City, Ore., and stepsons Larry Henning, Everett, Donald Henning, Randall, and Gary Henning, Merced, Calif.; brothers George Hathaway and Ray Hathaway, both of Glenwood; sister Catherine Waller, Vancouver; grandchildren Keshia Lieby, Kelly, Kamron, Kody and Kellsee Hathaway and numerous step grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Kenneth and Warren, sister Nellie Smith and his wife Barbara Baugher Hathaway.

A memorial service will be held for Mr. Hathaway at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007, at Pioneer Memorial Community Church in Glenwood. He will be interred at Mt. Adams Cemetery in Glenwood in a private service. Columbia Hills Memorial Chapel handled arrangements.


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