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Death notices for Bill Wotton, Betty Lou Kessinger and Jerry Sterling


William S. Wotton was born in Trout Lake on April 5, 1928, to parents William G. and Ethel C. (Williams) Wotton. Bill grew up in Trout Lake and lived on the family homestead almost his entire life. In 1945, he graduated from Trout Lake High School where he was active on school and town basketball teams.

Mr. Wotton then worked as a logger for various local companies. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1951 and spent four years traveling the world. After his honorable discharge in January of 1955, Bill returned to Trout Lake. He married Norma C. Mathews in 1968. Bill enjoyed woodworking and was a member of the BPOE Mt. Adams Lodge, the American Legion and Eagles Lodge.

Mr. Wotton is survived by his wife Norma of Trout Lake; step-children Robert Wayne O'Neal of Port Angeles; Linda May O'Neal of Phoenix, Ariz., and Peggy Ann Knight of Portland, Ore.; three grandchildren, one great grandchild and many friends.

Bill Wotton passed away at his home in Trout Lake on Dec. 31, 2009, at the age of 82. A memorial service will be held at the Elks Lodge in White Salmon on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, at 1 p.m. Burial was private at the Trout Lake Cemetery. Gardner Funeral Home is handling arrangements.


Betty Lou Kessinger was born April 11, 1931, in Platte, S.D. She moved to Bingen with her family around the age of 6. She was from a large family of 13 children, survived by her three sisters, Adele Mansfield from White Salmon, Rosie Gates from Grants Pass, Ore., and Lillian Bringer from Rapid City, S.D.

She was happily married to BJ for 62 wonderful years with three children: Billie Joe Jr and wife, Renee; Chuck and wife, Sharon; Susan McKay and husband, Daryl. She was proud of her eight grandchildren and 19 great grand children: Traci Kessinger, son Konner; Troy McKay, wife Shannon, sons Dylan and Bryce Johnson; Bradey Lane, son TJ and daughter Kacy; Christina Charpentier, husband Christopher, son Christopher, daughter Havannah, step-daughter Jamie; Amy Roesli, husband Jeff, daughter Sydney, sons Wyatt and Garrett; Mike Kessinger, wife LeAndra, daughters KeAndra and Billie Jean, sons Mike Jr and Kaydon; Keith Kessinger, sons Matthew and Markus, daughters KyAnn and Kylie; and Allie Spino, husband Tony, daughter Kaitlynn.

Betty picked beans for Dickie Farms during her school years. She first met BJ at the White House Cafe and Bus Depot in Bingen. She tended bar at the Klickitat Tavern and worked 20 years in shipping and planing department for the Klickitat Mill. Betty retired in 1986 from Champion International.

Besides her family, she loved being at the ocean, watching the Klickitat River from her back deck, fishing (especially in her back yard), gardening, and no one went hungry at Betty's. During Klickitat high waters, it was the common practice to check the river on Skookum Flat last so the flood-watchers could stop at Betty and BJ's for something good to eat and a hot cup of coffee at anytime day or night.

She found peace from her COPD on Jan. 8, 2010. with family by her side. Pall bearers are sons Joe, Chuck and Daryl, grandsons, Troy, Mike and Keith. Honorary pall bearer, Jeff Roeslie. Donations can be made to the Kristy Kessinger Memorial or the Klickitat Fire Department.

Viewing will be Friday, Jan. 15, 2009, at the Gardner Funeral Home in White Salmon, noon to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be at Baptist Church in Klickitat, Jan. 16, at 11 am, burial in the Appleton cemetery, and a gathering afterwards at the Klickitat Ole' Mill Office Community Center.


Jerry Sterling passed away in the comfort of his home on Jan. 6, 2010. He is survived by his wife of 30 years Cleo, his son Marc Sterling and wife Brooke of Denver, Colo., sister Jane Canter of Sarasota Fla., his grandchildren Madelene, Sarah, Alex, and Chris, great-grandsons Ethan and Makoa.

He was born in 1932 in Paterson, N.J., and spent his early years on a farm in Pennsylvania. In the Navy for four years during the Korean War, he later attended Antioch College in Ohio and graduated with a split degree in physics/electrical engineering.

His enjoyments were without bounds. Ocean sailing, bridge, 3 cushion billiards, reading, smoking, drinking, tennis, backpacking, wine-making, pets, and all sorts of carousing, were a continuous part of his life!

He worked at Autonetics as a research engineer on pulse torquing of gyros for our early space efforts. He then worked for Yellow Springs Instrument Company as director of research responsible for the development of a significant line of ceramic temperature sensitive resistors (thermistors) that remain in production to this day.

After leaving YSI, he taught electrical engineering at his alma mater, and then moved on to a Dayton firm, Technology Incorporated, developing electronic devices including a digital voltmeter, mass flowmeters, oxygen consumption computer, and temperature controllers. He went up through the ranks from senior research engineer, to chief engineer, to general manager and ultimately transferred to a Chicago subsidiary as president of Lundell Controls, a manufacturer of power plant electronic monitoring devices, to "turn it around."

Through this period he published several papers relating to thermistors, and was awarded two patents: the first on mass flowmeters, and the other on a dewpoint hygrometer.

After leaving Lundell, he moved to California in 1970 and worked briefly for a small oceanographic firm, Martek, but quickly joined InterOcean Systems in San Diego as operations manager of that oceanographic firm while "living aboard" his 41 foot ketch on Harbor Island.

In 1978, he was transferred to a Redmond subsidiary as president of Northern Radio, a manufacturer of high frequency radios utilized for long range communications by large yachts and the historic Seattle fishing fleet. In 1981, he left to head a small start-up company, Communications Research Corporation, and retired to Underwood in 1986, where he and Cleo have resided ever since.

In 1996 Jerry was instrumental in joining his wife Cleo in the creation of PROD (Promoting Responsible Ownership of Dogs, Inc.) a non-profit, all volunteer local service organization whose main focus has become the spay/neuter of dogs and cats.

In remembrance of Jerry, contributions can be made to Heart of Hospice or PROD through Anderson's.

Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Ore. 97031.


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