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Chester David “Chet” Koontz, 73, a lifelong Hereford resident, died Feb. 7, 2005, at his home due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis.
His funeral will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Unity High School. Lynn Shumway and Matthew Schnetz of the Burnt River Community Church will officiate. Burial will be at Unity Cemetery. There will be a reception at the Unity Community Hall after the service.
He was born Oct. 29, 1931, at the family ranch, only a half-mile west of the home where he died. He was the sixth child born to William Asa and Rebecca Ruth Van Cleave Koontz. He was a star athlete in high school, and upon graduation he married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Marilyn Mitchell (Myrnie).
In the early years, Chet drove log truck and eventually bought his own truck. In the late 1950s he was asked to operate the Koontz family ranch. He subsequently purchased the property adjacent to it, which was originally owned by his grandfather, Orlando Chester Koontz. Chet was well respected in the community and was still ranching up to the present time.
He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was well known for his love of babies, and he loved spending time with all of his family. He enjoyed hunting, camping, picnicking, and especially huckleberry picking when he could find the time. He was an avid card player and truly enjoyed the camaraderie around the table. He was an awesome dancer, and he and Myrnie were quite a pair out on the dance floor.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Myrnie; nine children and their spouses: Davey and Dale Baker of La Grande, Jonda and Butch Myers of Unity, Gwynneth and Quinten Anderson of Unity, Kristi and Denny Ping of Bonney Lake, Wash., Valerie and Rod Wilson of Unity, Richelle and Loren Brown of La Grande, Kimala and Tim Hoskins, Chip and Cathleen Koontz, and Shauna and Corey Andrews, all of Hereford. He was the proud grandfather of 40 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Edith Derrick of Unity, Wilma Loeks of Dundee, and Maxine Brouillette of Brookings; as well as numerous other relatives and good friends.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother; two sisters, Donna Bradford and Nan Hix; and a brother, Henry (Hank) Koontz.
Contributions may be made to the Koontz family in care of Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, February 11, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor