MARCH 11, 2010

Obituaries for March 11, 2010

Clifford D. Kleer, 81, Orofino

   Clifford (Cliff) D. Kleer of Orofino passed away Tuesday, March 2, 2010, at his family home in Deary, doing what he loved. He was 81.

   Cliff was born July 22, 1928, at his parents' home in Avon, ID, to William and Maud Hawkins Kleer. Cliff was a born woodsman; at the young age of 13, Cliff told everyone he was 16 and started working for the Potlatch Timber Protection Association in 1941.

   In 1945, at the age of 17, Cliff took the option to graduate early from Deary High School to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. After training at Camp Pendleton, CA. Cliff served 13 months in the Asiatic Pacific Area as tank crewman, equipment operator and rifle marksman. In 1947, Cliff was discharged at Treasure Island as corporal and was a lifetime member of the Deary Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3330.

   After his tour in the service he returned to Deary and went back to work for the PTPA (now C-PTPA) for one more year, following the 1948 flood, before going to work for Carl Nelson. This was the start of a lifetime career of logging.

   During the off-seasons from logging, Cliff used his GI Bill to take flight instruction from Charles (Frenny) Frensdorf at the Orofino Airport. Cliff owned two airplanes with which he flew fire patrol and mail, for both the Clearwater Timber Protection Association and PTPA for several years.

   In 1967, after working with and for various logging contractors, Cliff bought his first line machine, "Daisy," a LS98 Link Belt, and formed his own logging company. He logged for the Riverside Lumber Company, Potlatch Corp., the state of Idaho and other private landowners up until he retired in 2005 at the spry age of 77.

   On March 23, 1970, Cliff married Darlene Forest Larson and accepted John and Tom Larson as his sons. Cliff was a loving husband and father who spent his summers with his family in the woods hunting, fishing and working. Cliff helped develop the two boys' already healthy love of the woods by taking both of them to work and teaching them the ways of the logging world. Both John and Tom worked for Cliff, and John purchased the line skidding side of Cliff's logging company in 1995.

   Along with being an avid hunter, gardener and fisherman, Cliff was a 46-year member of the Grangeville Elks Lodge. Cliff also was a longtime member of the Associated Logging Contractors and served on the board of directors, as well as a founding member of the Associated Loggers Exchange, and served as chairman of the board of governors for two years. In 2007, Cliff and Darlene were given the honor of serving as grand marshals of Orofino Lumberjack Days.

   Cliff cherished time with family, especially the time he had with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he often referred to this as his bonus.

   Cliff is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Darlene and his oldest son, John Larson and wife Vickie. Grandchildren include grandson Alan Larson and his wife Cody and granddaughters Amy Larson and Mallory Martinez and her husband Jesus, and youngest grandson Corey Kleer Larson. Great-grandchildren include Erika Larson, along with Kala, Nathan and Anthan Kleer Martinez, all of Orofino.

   Cliff is also survived by his sisters, Nancy Swenson of Potlatch, Irma Lunsford of Deary, Dixie Graham of The Dalles, OR, and Nina Sandquist of Salem, OR along with six nieces and four nephews.

   Cliff was preceded in death by his parents, William and Maud Hawkins Kleer; brother, Hurbert Kleer; sister, Donna Kleer; sister, Alma Prickett; brother Kenneth Kleer and son Thomas A. Larson.

   Cremation has taken place. Cliff's family is planning a celebration of life to be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 18 at the Orofino VFW Hall. Please join them, come share your stories as they celebrate Cliff's wonderful life.

   The family suggests memorials be made to Clearwater Historical Museum or Clearwater Search and Rescue.

Louis W. Stalnaker, 89, Clarkston

   Louis Ward Stalnaker of Clarkston, WA died Saturday, March 6, 2010 at Life Care Center of Lewiston due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 89.

   Louie was born June 22, 1920 in a farmhouse near Southwick, the fifth child of Lewis Elsworth and Myrtle Leanna Widvey Stalnaker. He was raised on a farm upriver from Ahsahka on the North Fork of the Clearwater River just a few miles behind the present day Dworshak Dam. The homestead is now covered in some 500 feet of water.

   He attended school in Orofino and graduated from Orofino High School in 1938, after which he worked the farm with his Dad as well as at Riverside Mill and began doing carpentry work. In 1942, Uncle Sam tapped him on the shoulder and he was off to serve our country during WWII in Northern Africa and Southern Europe.

   During his time overseas, his father had passed away and Louie returned in 1945 to continue to run the farm and expanded it not only to raise cattle and hay, but also nearly 1,000 laying hens. He also continued his work as a carpenter in Orofino.

   On June 20, 1958 he wed Esther Lucille Shubert at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Orofino. Their time to settle in together on the farm was short lived as Uncle Sam had other plans for the land along the river as the government intended to build the tallest straight-axis dam in the world just downstream. The young family, which now included three very young children, scrambled to find a new home, build the necessary buildings to house the chicken operation and move all the livestock within a six month period.

   The family settled on acreage on Lower Fords Creek Road. Within the next few years, the family was complete with the birth of two more children.

   Louie and Esther continued farming for many more years while they both took employment in Orofino. Louie was a talented cabinetmaker and concrete finisher working for CV Concrete. After retirement and selling the farm, he and Esther moved to Moscow, where he built them another home. Louis was baptized in the Catholic faith in 1997 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

   In 2005 as the effects of Alzheimer’s became more challenging, they sold the Moscow home and relocated to Clarkston, where Esther could focus better on his care. After moving he became a member of Holy Family Catholic Church.

   Louie is survived by his wife in Clarkston, daughters Cathy (Bernie) Judge of Pocatello and Bobbi Konzek of Nampa, and sons Norm (Debbie) of Orofino, Ed of Aloha, OR, and Jim (Tami) of Hillsboro, OR; 10 grandchildren (Heidi Judge Hough, Brian Judge, Shawn Judge, Tim Konzek, Mark Konzek, Kristin Konzek, Jordyn Stalnaker, Jarryt Stalnaker, Karena Stalnaker and Justine Stalnaker); and four great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn Hough, Tyler Hough, Dallas Konzek, and Addisyn Konzek; and several nieces and nephews.

   He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Lloyd Stalnaker, Verna Horton, Alma Stalnaker, and Alice Chase, and a great-grandson, Hayden Hough.

   A rosary and memorial mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 13 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Clarkston. Inurnment with military rites will be held at the cemetery in Southwick at 3 p.m. that day.

   In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of choice.

Russell Edward Heiskari, 80, Orofino

   Russell E. Heiskari passed away March 4, 2010 at Life Care Center of Lewiston, ID. He was 80 years old.

   Russell was born Feb. 27, 1930 to Waino and Mary (Beckman) Heiskari in Saint Louis County, MN.  He married June D. Mehtala Aug. 25, 1951 in Boise. They lived in Kamiah until 1953 when they moved to their residence in Orofino.

   Russell enjoyed the outdoors by taking long drives, trap shooting with his family and friends and steelhead fishing. He also loved tinkering, whittling, adding to his prized junk collection, watch and sewing machine repair, mechanics and listening to polka music. By far his favorite hobby was spending time with his grandkids.

   Russell was a 50 plus year member of the Masons and also an avid 50 plus year member of the Shriners, being a unit member of the Jackass Patrol.

   Russell was preceded in death by his wife, June, in 2003 and his parents.

   Russell is survived by his three daughters, Judi Snyder, Laurel Wynn and Mary Gord; a brother, Wayne Heiskari; a sister, Karen Knapik; grandchildren Nsharra Key, Shawna Knight, Jodie Wyant, Deak Wynn, Justin Hollibaugh, Lacy Spencer and Jake Spencer. Russell also has 20 surviving great-grandchildren.

   A memorial service for Russell will be held Saturday, March 13, at Orofino’s VFW at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations can be made for funeral expenses to Potlatch No. 1 Federal Credit Union in Orofino.

   Pine Hills Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in care of arrangements.

Dianna L. Rice, 66, Orofino

   Dianna L. Rice passed away Wednesday, March 3, 2010, with her family by her side at her home in Orofino. She was 66.

   She was born June 1, 1943, in Covington, KY., to Laura Davenport, and was the oldest of five siblings. Dianna grew up in Sandpoint and later moved to Libby, MT. When she came back to Idaho Dianna worked at the Jaype Mill in Pierce throughout the 1970s.

    In the spring of 1980, she and her beloved husband Bill moved to Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. There she worked at the Fireweed Lodge in Klawock, AK. Bill and Dianna later moved to Craig, AK where she worked as a bartender at the Hill Bar as well as the Moose Club.

   In 1987, Dianna and her husband adopted their oldest daughter, Jessi from South Korea. They later moved back to Idaho, where they purchased their home on Huckleberry Butte. In 1990 the couple adopted their second daughter, Sirenna and completed their family.

   Dianna loved their log home in the country and worked there as a homemaker and loving mother while her husband worked as a helicopter logger in Alaska.

   She liked cooking, planting flowers, hummingbirds, reading and spending time with her two daughters. She was very talented and enjoyed painting, quilting, sewing, crocheting and any other craft project she could get her hands on. Dianna enjoyed giving her creations to friends and family as well as teaching others to make them. Dianna loved Alaska and revisited her mother and stepfather Paul there many times with her daughters.

   Dianna is survived by her husband, Bill; her oldest daughter, Jessi; her youngest daughter, Sirenna and boyfriend Robert Falconer, and grandson Cameron Falconer; mother-in-law Dixine Rice; sister Janie Decker and brother-in-law Allen Decker; sister Linda Howard and brother-in-law Bob Howard; several nieces and nephews and their children; caregiver Donna White and dear friend Jean Karlin.

   She was preceded in death by her beloved mother Laura Davenport; stepfather Paul Davenport; brothers Tom Rickett and Rick Breeden; and sister Cathy Breeden.

   Dianna was a loving wife and mother and will be greatly missed.

   A memorial service was held Wednesday at the Pine Hills Funeral Chapel in Orofino with the Rev. Philip Bonner officiating.

Betty (Brownlee) Firzlaff, 72, Spokane

   Betty A. Brownlee was born on Sept 9, 1937, in Spokane, WA. to Barney and Sylva Brownlee. Betty passed into eternity and the arms of her Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, following complications from surgery. She was 72.

   She attended the Five Mile School and graduated from Mead High School in 1955 where she was a badminton state champ and even ran on the boy’s track team.

    She married Jim Firzlaff in June 1956 and they had four children while living at Newman Lake, Genesee, Orofino, and Hayden Lake before settling in Spokane. Betty raised and taught the kids then worked for Clearwater County as the Zoning Administrator. Jim and Betty retired and enjoyed being snowbirds in Yuma, AZ.

   Betty is survived by her husband of 53 years, Jim; daughter, Julie; and sons Cory, Dan (Tami), and Jim II (Jamie); grandchildren include Jamie, Jared, Travis, Tannar, Tysen, and Trent; one great-granddaughter Jacy;  mother, Sylva Brownlee; brothers Tom (Lauri) Brownlee and Mike (Lori) Brownlee; sisters JoAnn Allen and Claudia (Lee) Schorzman; and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

   A celebration of life was held at The Intersection Church, 905 N. McDonald Road, Spokane Valley on March 6.