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Obituaries

Death notices for Brad Holcombe, Greg Meyer, Frances Udall, Herb Sellsted and Barbara Brasuell

BRADLEY HOLCOMBE

Bradley Browning Holcombe, 71, passed away on June 18, 2011, with his wife and daughters by his side.

Brad was the eldest child of Charles Mortimer Holcombe and Margaret Ely Bradley. Brad was born on Jan. 18, 1940, in Long Beach, Calif. His father was a Navy Captain so as children Brad and his sisters lived all over the United States and world, including Panama and Denmark.

During his high school years in Coronado, Calif., he met his wife Jan and they became sweethearts at 17 and 15 years of age. Brad attributed his ability to be a team player throughout his life to the coaches who inspired him in high school sports, especially football.

Brad graduated from the University of Redlands with a bachelor of science degree in geology. After a life changing experience traveling by bicycle in Europe, Brad's lifelong goal was to live and work overseas and ensure his children appreciated other cultures.

On Jan. 27, 1963, Brad and Jan were married. Shortly thereafter, he was called to serve in the U.S. Army. After his military service, Brad began working for Texaco. He was a brilliant geophysicist and very proud that he could find oil traps using maps and a variety of research techniques, not just computers. He was on teams charged with finding oil in places all over the world, including Alaska, Papua New Guinea, the North Sea, Ireland and Kazakhstan. As was his wish, his successful career took his family overseas. First they went to Brisbane, Australia, and then to London, England where the family lived for 20 years.

Brad was a much-loved coworker and mentor at Texaco. Many of the friendships from his work, both in the USA and in the UK created lifelong bonds. Their love of Great Britain inspired Brad and Jan to acquire dual USA-UK citizenship. They returned to the USA in 1995 but the UK will always be their second home. In 2000, after exploring much of the west coast of the United States, the couple found White Salmon in the Columbia River gorge. They decided it was the perfect place for their retirement. As was always his way, Brad immersed himself in the local community and made dear friends.

In retirement, Brad created a business card describing his position as "Single Malt Enthusiast and Duplicate Bridge Aficionado." Brad loved Single Malt Whiskey. He toured distilleries in Scotland, collected extensively, and hosted whiskey tastings. He played bridge at least three times a week and frequently attended bridge tournaments. He was the president and a director of his local bridge unit, taught bridge, and was tournament chairman of the Cherries Jubilee Sectional in Hood River from 2004 to 2011. The July 2011 tournament is dedicated to him.

Brad, an avid gardener, grew all kinds of fruits, vegetables and flowers. He also enjoyed woodworking including making puzzles for his grandchildren and cardholders for fellow bridge players.

Brad was devoted to his family. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. Some of his favorite moments with them were sitting by a log fire, preparing his famous Irish coffees and laughing and chatting over a home cooked meal. He always said that there was no need to go out because his house had the best food and the best view in the Gorge.

Brad is survived by his wife of 48 years Janice Friddle Holcombe, three daughters and sons-in-law: Cynthia and Niels Fuhrmann of Coronado, Calif; Dianna and Matthew Elam of Seattle; Sherilyn and Eric Waxler of Portland, Ore.; two grandchildren Olin Bradley Waxler and Kaia Fuhrmann; and sisters Margot Holman and Mary Rider.

The family is creating a memorial in White Salmon that will be available for friends and family to visit together.

GREG MEYER

Greg Meyer, 61, of Trout Lake died on June 30, 2011, at the Veterans Hospital in Portland, Ore. He was born in Yakima on Aug. 18, 1949, to Gilbert and Velda Meyer.

He is survived by his wife Bev, of 38 years; two daughters Alisa and Laura; three grandsons Landon, Austin, and Cooper; and son-in-law James Clark; his sister Karen Neal of Kennewick; and brother, David Meyer of Trout Lake. He is also survived by his mother and father-in-law Bob and Carol Beeks of White Salmon; brother-in-law Terry Beeks and wife Ethelyn of Trout Lake; brother-in-law Thomas Beeks and wife Elisabeth of San Francisco, Calif.; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his favorite horse Tuffy and bird dog Buck.

Greg was preceded in death by his parents Gil and Velda Meyer.

A memorial service was attended by several hundred people on July 9, 2011, in the outdoor gardens at Gardner Funeral Home in White Salmon.

FRANCES UDALL

Frances Udall, 75, beloved kindergarten teacher at Whitson Elementary in White Salmon, died of kidney failure at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital on July 3. Her family was at her side at the time of her death.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2011, at 1 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Stevenson.

Frances Gail Claridge was born on Dec. 29, 1935 in Bryce, Ariz., to Arthur Joseph Claridge and Bessie Lyle Felshaw. She spent her early childhood surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. In 1942, the family relocated to White Salmon, where her father's family had roots. She spent most of her growing-up years after that in White Salmon, interspersed with periods spent in Arizona with beloved family and friends. She graduated from Columbia High School in White Salmon in 1953.

On graduation, she briefly attended Clark College in Vancouver. She then transferred to Eastern Arizona Junior College (now Eastern Arizona College) in Thatcher, Ariz. She was thrilled to be back among her friends and relatives there.

A talented artist and brilliant singer, she studied music and art at Clark and Eastern Arizona. While music was her first love, and she considered pursuing her studies at musical schools in the east, in the end she decided to finish her education in the west and received a teaching degree.

After graduation from Eastern Arizona, she transferred to Brigham Young University where she majored in Elementary Education. She continued to study art and music, however, participating in Opera Workshops and winning awards for acting and singing in college productions. She graduated from BYU and obtained her teaching certificate in 1957.

Upon graduation, she was offered two teaching positions -- one at the Utah school where she'd done her student teaching, and another in the Phoenix Public Schools. The Utah school offered her $2,000 a year and the Arizona school offered her $3,000. That extra $1,000 and the lure of Arizona were deciding factors, and she went back to Arizona to start her teaching career. She lived with her aunt and uncle, Strelsa and Doug Dana on Camelback Mountain and taught in the Phoenix public schools.

In Arizona, she ran into Jack Udall at a dance. She had known him briefly at Eastern Arizona in Thatcher. He had recently returned from a three-year stint in Japan as an LDS missionary, and in Phoenix, they renewed and then deepened their acquaintance. They were Married on Feb. 13, 1959.

Their first child, John Scott, was born in Mesa, Ariz., in 1960. They moved from Phoenix to Tucson where Jack finished his degree in political science at the University of Arizona, and Frances taught in the Tucson school district. Their second child, Caroline, was born in 1961 and Catherine in 1963, both also in Mesa.

They decided to return to the northwest and settled in White Salmon where Frances had grown up and where her parents still resided. In 1965 she resumed teaching, at first as a Head Start teacher in White Salmon when that program was founded, then as a regular classroom teacher at White Salmon Elementary School (now Whitson Elementary).

The family briefly moved to Portland from 1969-1970, where their youngest child, Elizabeth Ann, was born. They returned to White Salmon, where Frances resumed teaching while Jack went to law school at Lewis and Clark's Northwestern School of Law in Portland. That was the beginning of her long, uninterrupted tenure at Whitson Elementary.

She had a profound impact on the children she taught, on her colleagues and on the school itself. While there, she played a founding role in the White Salmon Education Association, which continues to this day. She started the kindergarten program at Whitson and for many years was the only kindergarten teacher at the school -- some years teaching as many as 75 children in two sessions. She continually pushed herself to learn and develop as a teacher, and built a deep, broad understanding of the developing child and advocated at all levels for what she saw as the best practices and environment for young children. While teaching was not her first choice as a career, she was a gifted teacher and she found she loved it. It gave her deep, lasting satisfaction helping children to learn.

In 1993, she was awarded the Washington State Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in education by Gov. Mike Lowry.

She retired from teaching in 1996, but remained active in education and specifically in the lives of White Salmon's children. For six years following her retirement, she did the screening for all incoming kindergartners, working closely with her former colleagues to give children the best possible start to their school careers. She also was active in her church's children's programs. She was head of all church children's programs for the entire Columbia Gorge area from 1995-1998.

An avid quilter, she was heavily involved with the Columbia Gorge Quilt Show in Skamania County. She established ongoing quilting programs at the LDS church in Stevenson, with a special emphasis on providing quilts to those in need, for disaster relief kits, and as gifts for graduating seniors in the congregation.

In 1991, she and Jack moved to Stevenson and when he retired in 1998, they moved on to Carson, where they resided at the time of her death. She was an active and dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served it in many capacities. Over the years she served as a church music director, in children's programs, in teacher training and development, as a teacher in countless classes, as Relief Society president, as a public relations representative, as a social activities director, and in many other capacities both great and small.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and sisters Linda Claridge, Joyce Claridge and Julie Johnson.

She is survived by her husband Jack, also of Carson; son and daughter-in-law Scott and Patience Udall of North Bonneville; daughter Caroline Udall of Hood River; daughter and son-in-law Catherine and Tom Turley of Kirkland; and daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth and Martyn Thomson, of Solihull, England; brother David Claridge, of Carson. She is also survived by nine beloved grandchildren: Mark, Addison, and Robert Johnson, Charity, Faith, Hope, and Joy Udall, Kellen Turley, and Henry Joseph Udall Thompson; two granddaughters-in law: Megan Johnson and Christina Johnson and two great-granddaughters: Alyssa and Katelyn Johnson.

HERB SELLSTED

A graveside memorial service for Herb Sellsted will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 15, 2011, at Chris Zada Cemetery in Underwood. Mr. Sellsted passed away at the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles July 6, 2011 at the age of 91.

Herbert Almer Sellsted was born in Winnipeg, Canada on Sept. 11, 1919, to Georgina (Cornelius) and Elmer Sellsted. At the age of seven, he moved to the United States with his family. Since his father worked in construction, the family moved often. Herb attended 36 different elementary schools -- sometimes staying at one for only a day or two. In 1935, Herb settled in Willard and went to work as a saw filer for Broughton Lumber Company from 1940 until his retirement in 1985. On July 2, 1948 he married Lois Christine Brrong in Stevenson.

In his younger years, Herb enjoyed hunting and fishing. Always active and a hard worker, he loved to be outside doing chores such as cutting wood and yard work. Herb was a bookworm and was never without something to read.

He is survived by daughters Donna Bryant of Portland and Kathleen Sellsted of Carson, son Michael Sellsted of Vancouver, sister Doris Prante of Portland, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Lois and brother Cephus.

Gardner Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Please send condolences to the family at www.columbiagorgefunerals.com.

BARBARA BRASUELL

Barbara June Gilbert was born in Boise City, Okla., on June 24, 1936, to parents Miron E. Gilbert and Grace Bowles Gilbert. She was raised on a farm in Oklahoma and later moved to Kansas.

On Dec. 12, 1953, Barbara married Charles Dee Brasuell and the couple, along with their four children, moved between Kansas and Washington throughout the years. Barbara had left school early to get married, but returned to high school and graduated in 1972. She later graduated from college with a degree in nursing and worked as a registered nurse and director of nursing in hospitals in Kansas, Texas and Hood River, retiring in 1998.

Mrs. Brasuell was a determined woman who could do anything she set her mind to. She was a competitive game player and loved to laugh. Her sense of humor and goofy personality always made her fun to be around. She was an artist, accomplished in painting, sewing, playing the piano and was also a published poet. Barbara also enjoyed gambling and playing cards. Above all, she loved her children and grandchildren.

Mrs. Brasuell passed away in Hood River on July 1, 2011, at the age of 75. She is survived by her daughter Patty Pederson of Lyle, son Ivan Brauell of The Dalles, sisters Rene, Jane, Elsie, Ruby, Joy and Dorothy, eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by sons Mike and Bob, granddaughter Amanda, sister Alma, and her parents.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 15, 2011, at Gardner Funeral Home in White Salmon.

Please sign the online guestbook at www.columbiagorgefunerals.com.

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