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Gail Elaine Hoopes Guyer, 64, of Ontario, a former Huntington resident, died July 17, 2009.
A graveside memorial honoring her life will be held at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Baker City on Saturday, July 25 at 10 a.m.
Gail was born on Oct. 27, 1944, at Weiser, Idaho. She was the third child and only girl of Roland Leroy and Marie Rebecca (Paulson) Hoopes. They were known to all as Rollie and Sally. Gail’s dad called her mom Sally because he liked the name and thought it better suited her.
Their first child was Alan Leroy, born in July of 1938 and then, Dallas James, born in May of 1942.
Gail was born in Weiser, Idaho, because it was the nearest town with a hospital from Huntington before the freeway was built. She grew up in the government housing project in Huntington where her dad started as a switchman for the UPRR in 1942. She had a lot of fond memories of her childhood and of the family camping and fishing trips. One of her favorite places to camp and fish was the South Fork of the Burnt River and the Malheur Reservoir.
Gail had many friends from her days growing up in Huntington, through her college years and throughout her teaching career. She stayed in contact with many of them throughout her life.
Gail was deeply devoted to her parents and brothers and when her brother Alan returned from the Army, they became very close until the time of his death in 1965. His death had a great emotional impact on her and it was about that time she became close to a friend of her brother Alan’s, Ron Guyer.
Ron and Gail developed a great friendship and when he was drafted and sent to Vietnam with the 27th Infantry, she wrote him letters every week. Upon his return, she was teaching school in Rufus, but came to La Grande to complete her master’s degree, where Ron had enrolled on the GI Bill. After Ron had completed three years, he decided to go to Mexico to live with an Indian family, but in the summer of 1970, he called her from Mexico and asked her if she would meet him in Reno to get married. They were married on Aug. 4, 1970.
They returned to La Grande to finish up Ron’s last year and then they moved to Brogan for Ron’s first teaching position.
Their first child, Daniel, was born in August of 1972 in Ontario and that same year Gail’s dad passed away. His passing was also a great emotional impact on her as she was very close to her dad.
Gail’s second child, Vincent, was born in December of 1973 in Ontario. The next year her mom passed away, which was also very devastating to her.
Gail’s third child, Sally, was born in Corvallis in January of 1976 during the time Ron was completing his master’s degree. Gail was very pleased to have a girl.
After Ron completed his master’s degree he took a job with the Ontario School District as the director of special education, and two years later, in May of 1978, Gail gave birth to a boy named Luke. She always said he was the prize at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box.
After staying home to raise the children, Gail went to work for the Ontario School District, teaching at the elementary and middle levels. Gail made many very close friends during her teaching career.
Gail loved to dance and at the time of her death she was dancing with Ron when about half way through the song she became ill, her heart gave out and she passed away.
Gail and Ron were both retired at the time of her passing. She was loved by many and will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Contributions in Gail’s memory may be made to the Ontario Food Bank in care of Gray’s West & Company Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 22, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor