CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME

JULY 1, 2010

Obituaries for July 1, 2010

John Loseth, 78, Orofino

   John Douglas Loseth, loving husband, father, grandfather, friend to many, and life-long Orofino resident passed away peacefully at Tri State Memorial Hospital in Clarkston on the morning of Friday, June 25, 2010. He was 78. He was comfortable in his passing as he was surrounded by his family while courageously fighting the pneumonia that took his life.

   John was born Sept. 10, 1931, in Lewiston to Johnny O. and Dorothy M. Page Loseth.

   He married Mildred Merle Bobbitt on Dec. 31, 1956, in Orofino and they spent the past 53 years living in the family residence on Riverside Avenue where he had lived since age five. 

   John attended Orofino schools, graduating from Orofino High School in 1949. He attended the University of Idaho for a year and a half before enlisting in the United States Army and serving in the Korean Conflict from 1951 through 1954 where he earned the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

   John was employed at Hanson’s Garage as a youth through his high school years. He returned to work at the garage after being honorably discharged from the service after the Korean Conflict. He left the garage to drive a semi-truck for Star Motor Freight for several years and then campaigned with his wife and sons and was elected Probate Judge for Clearwater County serving from 1965 through 1971.

   John used his life experiences to help many young people get their lives back on track and become better citizens. He then took an interest in bookkeeping and worked for Konkolville Lumber Company and the Clearwater County Road department before starting his career in credit union management. He served as Manager of the Orofino Community Credit Union from 1979 through 1993 and finished his credit union career as the Orofino Branch Manager of Potlatch #1 Federal Credit Union from 1993 until retiring in 1995. He enjoyed helping many credit union members with their needs throughout his credit union career.

   John was a volunteer fireman for the Orofino Fire Department for many years, an active member of the Orofino Lions Club in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, a member of the American Legion, and a member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post #3296.  He served as the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post #3296 Commander for two years from 1966-68 and remained a lifelong member after being honorably discharged from the United States Army.

   A member of Orofino Rotary Club for more than 20 years and a Paul Harris Fellow, John served as Secretary during the early 1990’s. He became an Honorary Member in 2009. He and his wife Merle enjoyed being members of the Orofino Fine Gold Camping Club and spent many years traveling and staying in campgrounds in the area while building fond memories with their many friends.

   He enjoyed meeting with his many friends after retirement at the “coffee clutch” in the mornings at Krystal’s Café and in the afternoon at the Ponderosa Restaurant. He served as President of the “OFC” club, known locally among friends as the “Orofino’s Finest Citizen’s” club.

   His many hobbies included trading cars, fixing them up for sale and he boasted about owning over 113 vehicles throughout his life, his first one being a 1927 Nash purchased and rejuvenated by him at age 14. He was well loved by his son’s many friends for always fixing their broken down cars through their high school years and keeping all their friends cruising around Orofino.

   He was a self-taught carpenter, totally remodeling the family home several times and designing and making wooden furniture to include a built-in china cabinet to match the dining room table.

   He was loyal in visiting sick friends and sensed when there was a need to help.  He was known for his ability as a “mister fixit” and enjoyed doing any kind of repairs for his friends and others.

   He was always interested in helping others. John could be seen in the early mornings plowing snow with his blue tractor from the sidewalks around town before going to work and until darkness fell after work. He helped keep the Rotary baseball field in good shape mowing and taking care of weeds.

   Over the last three years as his health declined he was seen about town riding his scooter greeting people and doing errands.

   John especially loved his grandchildren. John and Merle took their grandkids on many camping trips and motor home excursions. He loved attending their many sporting events, dance recitals, Junior Miss competitions and numerous school events.

   He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Fred.

   He is survived by his wife Merle in Orofino, his step-sister Mary Lou Atkins in Chino Valley, AZ, son Pat and his wife Diane in Clarkston, WA and their children Shawnna, Andrew and Keeton, and son Chris and his wife Lori in Asotin, WA and their children David, Caitlin and Erik.

   Please join in the celebration of his life at his memorial service in Orofino at the Pine Hills Funeral Chapel at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 10, immediately followed by a lunch at the Clearwater County Senior Citizen’s Center across the street from the funeral home. There will be a burial service at the Orofino Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.

   Memorials can be sent to the Clearwater County Senior Citizen’s Center at P.O. Box 93, Orofino, Idaho, 83544 or the Orofino Rotary Foundation Scholarship Fund at P.O. Box 482, Orofino, Idaho, 83544.

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

Ralph Johnson, 69, Orofino

    Ralph Johnson, Orofino, died Tuesday, June 29, 2010, on Rapid River, near Riggins. He was 69. Services are pending with Trenary Funeral Home in Kooskia.

Fern Paananen memorial service

   A memorial service for Fern Erthel Paananen will be held Monday, July 5 at 1 p.m. at Orofino’s Riverside Cemetery on Highway 12.

   Afterwards a lunch will be furnished at the Orofino City Park cabana, near the playground.

Laura L. Ingram, 81, Clarkston

   We lost our mother, Laura Laurine Ingram, Sunday, June 20, 2010, from complications after surgery. She was 81.

   Laura was born to Edith and Alexander LaPlante in a house on Snake River Avenue, where Snake River Adventures is now located. She was the second of seven children, Mickey Cerlock of Seattle, WA, Bob LaPlante, Gloria Jones of Santa Fe, CA, Jim LaPlante of Clarkston, WA, Nadine Kauffman of Lewiston, and Vonda Jones of Sacramento, CA.

   The family moved to Orofino, where her parents owned a team of horses and a '35 Ford truck that they used for logging. They lived in a tent with a wooden floor. Laura and her siblings walked two miles to a one-room school over a stile and up One Mile Mountain. Her little brother Jim remembers when it was so cold that Laura would walk behind him with her mitten-covered hands over his ears to keep them warm.

   As a young girl, Laura had a paper route for the Lewiston Morning Tribune as a Pony Express Rider on her horse, Boots. After she completed her daily downtown Lewiston route, she would ride to the Bollinger Hotel and buy a Hershey chocolate bar and would split it with her horse. One day she forgot to bring money to buy a Hershey bar and Boots refused to leave the Bollinger - so from then on she always remembered to put change in her pockets.

   Laura shot her first deer in Hells Canyon in 1945 with Kyle McGrady on the Steamboat Florence. She was initiated into the Hunters Club by having cheese and whiskey rubbed in her hair and being thrown in the Snake River.

   She graduated from Lewiston High School in 1946 and continued to meet with fellow classmates on the first Monday of each month for lunch.

   Laura worked for the Lewiston Telephone Office from 1946 to 1948, when she met and married Doc Thornton. They had one daughter, Edith (Cookie) Martian, in 1948. She cooked for the wheat harvest at Clark Beals' ranch in Pomeroy in the fall of 1948. She was also the cook for a sheep camp in Boles, on Billy Creek off the Salmon River for two winters. She had to pack the groceries by mule down Billy Creek six miles to the Salmon River. She and Doc Thorton divorced in 1949.

   Laura went back to work at the telephone company for two years. Then she married Jack VanPelt in 1951 and traveled for 2½ years throughout California and South Carolina.

   Their children are: daughter Nancy Garza, born in Nashville, TN., now living in Bandera, TX; Lorna VanTine, born in Baton Rouge, LA., now living in Spokane, WA; and Penny Prindle, Laurette Shaw and John VanPelt, all born in Lewiston. She divorced Jack VanPelt in 1971.

   Laura married Edward Ingram in 1985 and divorced him later that same year.

   She has lived in the same home on Elm Street for the past 50 years. Laura's grandson, Shane Preusser, was living with her at the time of her death.

   Laura started raising tea-cup toy poodles 47 years ago and then transitioned to Yorkshire terriers. She started the cross-breed she named "munchkins" in 1987. The munchkin puppies gave many people a joyful addition to their families. It wasn't unusual to see Laura around town with a puppy in her purse. She hand-raised her dogs with love and kept in contact with those who bought puppies from her.

   She worked at the Vogue in Lewiston for Helen Preston. Laura went to college at age 65 and became a certified nurse's aide so she could care for her older friends, and worked for Lewis-Clark Memorial Gardens selling memorial packages.

   Laura was a proud mother of six children, 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

   She loved playing cards with her family; pinochle and shanghai rummy were her favorites. Her daughter Penny Prindle stopped for coffee and played cards with her every morning before she went to work at Elegant Interiors.

   Shayla VanPelt says her grandmother never knew a stranger and was known by many as the "dog lady." Granddaughter Monica Shaw remembers her in three words: pinochle, puppies and pony express. Laura Rollins will remember her grandmother being an adventurous dresser with lots of confidence, and that she was always caring.

   Grandson Cody VanPelt remembers grandma as being surrounded with people who loved her. She never let anyone feel sorry for themselves, life was to be enjoyed.

   Preceding her in death were her father; brother, Bob; mother, and sister Nadine. She was also preceded in death by her three ex-husbands, including Jack VanPelt, and grandson Tyler Shaw.

   A celebration of Laura's life was conducted June 24 at New Bridges Church, 2102 Eighth St., in Lewiston.