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Sager, John Robert – Obituary

Baker City, Oregon

John Robert Sager, 84, of Baker City, died Aug. 30, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church, 1734 Third St. Pastor Dennis Marttala will officiate. There will be a reception afterward at the church.

John was the first baby born at Bates. He was born there on Oct. 21, 1918, to Jack and Clara Sager. During his younger years he moved with his family to sawmill towns from Stillwater, Minn., to Glenwood, Wash., where he finished the seventh grade. The family then moved to Pondosa, where he completed the eighth grade and graduated from Union High School in 1937.

John worked for Collins Lumber Co. in Pondosa for 21 years. During that time he spent a year in the U.S. Army receiving an honorable discharge in 1943. When the mill closed in Pondosa, John moved to Baker City in 1959 to work for Ellingson Lumber Co. He spent his working years as a lumber grader and finished his last years as head grader.

John enjoyed the outdoors and spent most of his free time camping, hunting, and fishing. He especially enjoyed camping and fly-fishing in the Eagle Caps, hunting for chukars or deer on the breaks of the Snake River, and bait fishing on the Powder River. When John wasn’t enjoying the outdoors he was designing and building with wood.

He happily undertook many woodworking projects at his church including building the Easter resurrecting cross, rebuilding cabinets for the preschool, and quietly doing anything that needed doing. John was a member of the Lutheran Church for 63 years and served on the church council for many years. He was also a life member of the Elks Lodge.

John is survived by four generations of family who will all miss his sense of humor, patient guidance, and gift of woodworking.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Helen Raley Sager; niece, Kathy Hudson Coulter of Boise; stepson, Larry Raley, and his wife, Beverly, of Baker City; stepdaughter, Shila Hessler, and her husband, Gene; grandchildren Cherie and Scott Ludwig, Gail Talus, Todd and Carol Wyatt all of Portland, Lance and Denise Raley, and Stephanie and Chris Mays of Baker City; great-nephews, Sean and Jerrod Coulter of Boise; and eight great-grandchildren, Jessica and Paul Wyatt, Courtney and Katelynne Raley, Kaleb and Hollie Mays, and Dustin and Danielle Ludwig.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Clara Sager; and sisters, Dorothy Peterson, and Virginia Hudson Fager.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Lutheran Church or to a charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, September 5, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor

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