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Death notices for Philip Biesanz, Frances Bentley, Lillian Holtmann, David Claridge


Philip Wayman Biesanz, known as "BZ," died peacefully on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, surrounded by his loved ones.

He was born in White Salmon on Aug. 4, 1910, to William Alvin Biesanz and Lydia Lou (Crow) Biesanz.

He was the last surviving member of his immediate family, living to the wonderful age of 101 years, 2 months, and 4 days.

He retired from Bonneville Power Administration in 1970, and enjoyed the retiree luncheons held in Portland, Ore.

BZ and his wife Dorothy raised their eight children in North Bend on the Oregon coast. Upon retirement he moved to five beautiful acres on Panther Creek in Carson, where he built and maintained beautiful rock walls, bridges, and gardens, among many other things.

BZ spent the last few years meeting and making new friendships with his fellow residents at The Bedford, an independent retirement community in Vancouver. He loved living there, telling his jokes, stories, and making others smile and feel good. They remarked, "You would not know BZ was 101 by listening to his sense of humor, quick wit and charm. We all enjoyed his writings, cards, pictures and just being around him."

He was preceded in death by his daughter Kathie Luellyn Hastings in 1985, his son Brett Philip Biesanz in 2003, and his wife Dorothy Phyllis (Richards) Biesanz in 2004.

He is survived by his son Dick and spouse Franzi Biesanz of North Bend, Ore., daughter Cynthia and spouse Jerry Gregory of Kent, son Lyle and spouse Donna Biesanz of Stevenson, daughter Lisa and spouse Robert Armstrong of Springfield, Ore., son Jeff Biesanz of Sutton, Alaska, son Guy Biesanz of Carson, 14 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren, several nephews and cousins, some twice removed.

He will be cremated and a private ceremony will be held at the Trout Lake Cemetery. A celebration of his life is planned for Sunday, Oct. 23, at The Bedford, 13303 SE McGillivray Blvd, Vancouver, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., in the dining room.

Arrangements under the direction of Gateway Little Chapel of the Chimes, Portland, Ore.


Dec. 30, 1929-Oct. 11, 2011

Frances Marie Bentley, 81, of Hereford, Ariz., passed away Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. Frances was born Dec. 30, 1929, in Simla, Colo., to Harold and Gladys (Seeger) Rinebarger.

She married Ray "Pete" Bentley on May 21, 1949 in Nampa, Idaho. Shortly thereafter they moved to White Salmon, where they resided for 55 years.

She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She worked for 20 years as a floor supervisor at the cannery in Hood River, Ore. She also spent several years working in White Salmon, in the elementary school kitchen.

She was a member of the Rebekahs and was a Past Noble Grand Matron. Frances had many interests and enjoyed cooking, crafts and playing any type of card game. She had a kiln and made beautiful ceramic pieces.

She loved travelling and camping with her husband, Pete, and visited five countries in Europe, Mexico, Canada and most of these United States including three trips to Alaska. While camping, she liked hiking and riding motorcycles in the mountains she loved.

In 1990, Pete and Frances were crowned King and Queen of the White Salmon May Fest in honor of the many contributions made to their community.

They became residents of Hereford, Ariz., in 2005 in order to be closer to family, as family was everything to them.

Frances was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her devoted husband of 62 years, Pete, of Hereford, Ariz.; one daughter, Beverly (Alan) Pederson of Sierra Vista, Ariz.; two brothers, Harold and Donald Rinebarger both of Boise, Idaho; two sisters, Mary (Norman) Potratz of Enterprise, Ore., Betty (Marion) Whitton of Nampa, Idaho; one sister-in-law, Pat Rypkema of Mora, Minn.; three grandchildren, Bill (Toni) Pullum of Hood River, Ore., Gary (Juanita Chambers) Marlow of Sierra Vista, and Allison Pederson of Sierra Vista; three great-grandchildren, Tyler Chambers, Jordan and Kyla Marlow all of Sierra Vista; several nieces, nephews and friends too numerous to count who, along with her immediate family, will miss her beautiful smile and loving heart.

A memorial service will be held Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 at 11 a.m.. at Hatfield Memorial Chapel, 830 S. Hwy 92, Sierra Vista.

A memorial service will also be held Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, at 2 p.m. at the White Salmon United Methodist Church, 341 N. Main Avenue. Interment will be at the Klickitat County Cemetery District 1, White Salmon.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Valor Hospice, 500 E. Fry Blvd, Ste L-11, Sierra Vista, Ariz. 85635, or to the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements are by Hatfield Funeral Home.


Lillian E. Holtmann, beloved wife, mother, step-mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, passed away on Oct. 8, 2011. Lillian (Jaeger) was born in Milwaukee, Wisc., on June 26, 1927, the youngest daughter of Herman and Margaret (Nicklas) Jaeger.

She married Donald Simasko, also of Milwaukee, Wisc., in 1951. They moved to Casper, Wyo., where they started a family (Andrew, Joel, and Steven). From 1956 to 1959, they also lived in Salt Lake City, Utah and Farmington, N.M., before settling in Anchorage, Alaska, where their fourth son (James) was born.

In addition to raising four boys, Lillian contributed to the creation of an oil exploration company in Alaska with her husband Don. Business interests led to the family relocating to Colorado in 1974.

After Lillian and Don divorced in 1979 she returned to Anchorage where she met Bill Holtmann, a warm and generous man who could match Lillian's skills on the dance floor and the card table. Lill and Bill eventually moved to southwest Washington and settled in Vancouver where they married in 1995.

The adventurous spirit that brought both Lill and Bill to Alaska never left and was channeled into exploring of the country in their motor home. The RV adventures continued for many years until a recent decline in Lill's health.

Lillian's warm spirit, conversation, wit, and friendship around the card table and elsewhere will be missed by all who were lucky enough to have made her acquaintance.

Lillian is survived by her husband Bill Holtmann; her sons Andrew Simasko, Joel Simasko, Steven Simasko, and James Simasko; four stepchildren, Marci, Tamara, Dean, and Fred; sisters Antonio Bellart and Louise Dibb; and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, at the Memorial Lutheran Church in Vancouver.

Family suggests in lieu of flowers donations be made to Memorial Lutheran Church Memorial Fund or Luepke Senior Center Dance Fund.

Cascadia Cremation & Burial Services is in charge of arrangements.


David F, Claridge, 72, a life-long resident of the Gorge, died of cancer on Sept. 23, surrounded by family.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Stevenson.

David Claridge was born on Sept. 20, 1939, in Bryce, Ariz., to Arthur Joseph Claridge and Bessie Lyle Felshaw. As a young child he came with his family to White Salmon, where his father's family had roots. He spent most of his childhood in White Salmon. He graduated from Columbia High School in 1958.

As a young man, he served a two-year LDS mission in the southern states. On returning he attended college at Arizona State University and later at Brigham Young University. He was a brilliant student and made the dean's list in the engineering college, and again later when he changed his major to accouting.

After university, he returned to the Northwest, where he worked at a number of jobs over the years. He worked in construction, in the timber industry (in both mills and in the woods), and also at one time was a very successful salesman of Porsche automobiles in Portland.

He was a talented artist and a brilliant musician, playing guitar, trumpet, and piano. A lifelong learner, he was widely read in history, politics, and the arts, as well as in fiction and poetry.

He was also an avid photographer, and spent many hours photographing the places in the Gorge where he had loved to hike and camp since he was a boy.

In 1992, he moved to Stevenson with his sister and her family, and took full-time care of his mother until her death in 1999 of congestive heart disease. He then moved with them to Carson, where he resided at the time of his death. He was preceded in death by his parents, and sisters Frances Udall, Linda Claridge, Joyce Claridge and Julie Johnson.

He is survived by his nephew Scott Udall, of North Bonneville; nieces Caroline Udall, of Hood River, Catherine Turley, of Kirkland, and Elizabeth Thompson of Solihull, England; nephews- and niece-in-law Martyn Thompson, Tom Turley, and Patience Udall; great-nephews Mark, Robert, and Addison Johnson, and Henry Thompson; great nieces Charity, Faith, Hope, and Joy Udall, and Kellen Turley; great-nieces-in-law Megan and Christina Johnson; and great-grand nieces Alyssa and Katelyn Johnson.

He has left behind a great legacy amongst his family and friends who will miss him dearly.

A memorial fund has been established at the White Salmon Valley Schools in the name of his sister, Frances Udall, who passed away in July. Memorial contributions can also be made to this fund in David's name. Those wishing to contribute can send donations to The Frances Udall Memorial Fund, White Salmon Valley Schools, P.O. Box 157, White Salmon, Wash. 98672.


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