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Baker City, Oregon
Bernard Stephens, 86, a long-time Baker City resident, died March 15, 2003, at a care facility.
His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Ralph Holcomb will officiate. Visitations will be from noon until 5 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. until noon Wednesday at the funeral home. Military rites will be accorded by Oregon Army National Guard and Baker City Amvets, Post No. 1874. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Bernard Francis Stephens was born July 12, 1916, in the old St. Elizabeth Hospital, to John and Alma Reimann Stephens. He was the fourth of five children. They lived on a farm upon a hill in the Pleasant Valley area and Bernard attended the Pleasant Valley School.
During his teen years, he lived with his older brother, Harold, for a while at Port Angeles, Wash., and worked in a restaurant. He returned to Baker City where he sawed logs, worked at Montgomery Ward and worked in several restaurants.
He joined the National Guard and went on to be active in World War II, earning the rank of first lieutenant. He was stationed at several schools and bases in the United States and then was in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany.
He married Bea Peckham and they had a daughter, Anita, and a son, Larry. That marriage ended in divorce.
He later married Edith Mathson and they were married 33 years when she died. He married Merdith Herron in September of 1989 and they had more than 13 happy years together.
Bernard enjoyed playing pool and won many tournaments. He also enjoyed pitching horseshoes and became quite adept at that.
Bernard was a hunter and a fisherman. He loved catching those big striped bass in the Colorado River during the many winters he spent in Arizona and then showing off his fish pictures.
Bernard delivered mail for the U.S. Postal Service in Baker City for 23 years, and even until lately he could tell you “so and so’s” address, when perhaps they couldn’t remember it themselves for years back.
Bernard was a very kind and caring person and was always ready to lend a helping hand. He will be greatly missed by his loved ones.
He attended the Christian Church when he was able and belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He was also a member of the Powder River Pioneers Good Sam Club.
Survivors include his wife, Merdith; a sister, Lorna Decius; a son, Larry; a daughter, Anita; step-sons, Paul Pearson, Leonard Reitz and Norman Linton; stepdaughters, Delores Rees and Darlene Louviere; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and stepgrandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; his brothers, Harold and Garland; his sister, Emma; and his wife, Edith.
Memorial contributions may be made to Community Connection (the Senior Center) or to the Baker City Christian Church through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 24, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor