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Obituaries

Death notices for Charles Mathews, Mary Kelchner, June Cook and Herman Donley

CHARLES MATHEWS

Charles C. Mathews, 89, died in White Salmon on Jan. 5, 2008. He was born in Canada on Aug. 5, 1919, the son of Ellala Louella (Street) and Charles C. Mathews.

Mr. Mathews served in the United States Army and received a Purple Heart Medal in WWII. He later worked for Tennessee Valley Authority until his retirement. On July 16, 1949, he married Geneva Hazel Wishoun in Klickitat County.

Mr. Mathews enjoyed watching Western movies and TV shows and listening to country music. He also loved cooking and gardening.

Surviving family members include his daughter, Judy Turner, White Salmon; grandchildren Kerrie Hickman and Vernon Turner both of Chattanooga, Tenn.; and two great grandchildren. Mr. Mathews was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, and brother Vernon E. Turner.

A gathering in his honor was held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008, at Mt. View Adult Foster Home.

Gardner Funeral Home handled cremation arrangements.

MARY KELCHNER

Mary E. Kelchner of White Salmon died at her home on Jan. 9, 2008, at the age of 78. She was born in Centralia on Feb. 18, 1929, to Dave and Velma (Nelson) Phelps and had lived there throughout her younger years. The family moved to Gray's Harbor, where she spent her growing up years and graduated from high school at Mochips. While in high school she met her future husband, Richard "Dick" Kelchner of Underwood, who was in the Army with her brother. They dated for two years then, when she was out of school and he was discharged from the Army, they married on Aug. 20, 1948. The couple had 51 years of happiness until Dec. 5, 1999, when Mr. Kelchner suddenly passed away at their home.

After their daughter was in school, Mrs. Kelchner decided to become more active in church and the community. She worked in an insurance office for a few years then in a drug store. She was also a Brownie Scout leader and later a Girl Scout Leader. She also taught Bible school and Sunday school. She loved to sew and do crafts and worked on the election board for years.

Mrs. Kelchner was an avid Blazer fan. She and her late husband loved to travel and went to Reno quite often in their pink Mary Kay Cadillac. After he passed away, her main interest was her family, church and friends and taking care of her cats. She would feed any cat that came around -- it was nothing for her to feed eight or more a day. She raised one lucky kitty from the age of two days until it died at the age of fourteen. Throughout the years and until she died, Mrs. Kelchner had cats to keep her company.

Mrs. Kelchner is survived by one daughter, Cathi Kelchner; brothers Jack Phelps and Gene Phelps; sisters Jeanne Brewer, Patricia Pritchett, Joanne Wilson, June Hansen; three grandchildren, 4 great, grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Dick, and brothers Herb and Ted Phelps.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2007, at 6 p.m. at Gardner Funeral Home in White Salmon. She was laid to rest beside her beloved husband at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Ore.

JUNE COOK

June Julia Cook died in Phoenix, Ariz., on Jan. 2, 2008. She was born in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 13, 1925.

She lived in Husum for over 30 years and was preceded in death by her longtime husband John Cook.

Mrs. Cook llived her life for her children Jonna Morgan, Dorothy Odell, Ginger Phares, Christine Dudzinski, Ron Cook and Susan Schoonover; her 14 grandchildren and more than 20 great-grandchildren, who all survive her.

She was granted a peaceful passing surrounded by her loving family.

HERMAN DONLEY

Herman Robert Donley was born May 4, 1912, in Volant, Penn., to Robert Emery Donley and Hattie May Rodgers.

After high school he attended Westminister College, Babson College, UCLA, USC and Bendrix school of computer controls.

Mr. Donley married Leona Elsie Walk.

Mr. Donley worked as an electrical engineer until his retirement, at that time he and his wife traveled to different countries as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. They loved the children and met so many people and formed many friendships.

He was a life member of the Elks Lodge #1378, Masonic Sunnyside Lodge #577.

He was also a Fire Commissioner with Klickitat County Fire District #3 for 20 years

The couple resided in Husum from 1982 until their move in 2006 to Hawks Ridge in Hood River. They attended the Christmas parties at Hawks Ridge as Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus including the 2007 Christmas party, where they had a great time.

He leaves behind wife Leona, Hood River; sister Judy Palmer, several cousins and many extended family and friends.

Mr. Donley will be buried at the White Salmon Cemetery.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008, at the Husum Fire Hall.

Gardner Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

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