Baker City, Oregon
Condon J. “Jerry” Van Hoomissen, 76, a longtime Baker City resident, died July 4, 2003, at his home.
His graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Mount Hope Cemetery. The Rev. Robert C. Irwin of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral will conduct the service. After the committal, family and friends are invited to the Van Hoomissen home at 320 Foothill Drive to swap stories and visit. Food and drink will be provided, but if you wish to bring a dish to share, please do so, it will be appreciated.
Jerry was born on Jan. 24, 1927, at Des Moines, Iowa. He was the only child of Jerome August “Van” and Winifred Degreta “Peggy” (Moffat) Van Hoomissen.
He went to work for the Willamette Iron Works in July 1943 as a machine rigger. He graduated from Columbia Preparatory School in May 1944. After graduation, he went to work for Pacific Bell Telephone Co.
He joined the U.S. Army in March 1946 and was stationed at Camp Crowder, Mo., in the Signal Training Regiment. He transferred to Fort Monmouth, N.J., and was in Signal Corps School there.
He was honorably discharged in April 1947. He returned to work at Pacific Bell in Portland as an installer. He attended TV & Radio School and got his license to install communication radios.
He worked in Portland, Medford and Bend. Then in 1974, he moved to Baker City as an installation supervisor for the telephone company. He thoroughly enjoyed his job and especially his crew and other employees. For his retirement, the crew gave him a German Shorthair pup, which he named Vans Radbach Eva Belle. Eva and Jerry were a real team, and she went everywhere with him.
In January 1975, he met Debbie. They dated and at Christmas 1976, they became engaged. They were married on Sept. 24, 1977. The Van Hoomissens enjoyed remodeling their home, going to the Snake River to fish and swim, and going into the mountains for woodcutting, mushrooming, and picnicking. Jerry retired from the telephone company in November of 1982.
In 1987, the Van Hoomissens and the Bouchards became partners in the Old Park Taylor Ranch, where they raised cows, put in fence posts and planted trees.
Jerry had many fine accomplishments he was proud of. He had a wonderful 38 years with the phone company, he was instrumental in getting the Baker City Hall clock repaired and running and he worked very hard getting the Cavin Rock Collection moved from Pismo Beach, Calif., to the Oregon Trail Regional Museum.
He also served many volunteer labor hours renovating the natatorium to the Oregon Trail Museum. He served as president of the Baker County Historical Society for several years. He was a member of the Eagles Lodge and managed it for several years. He was very active in the Baker City community.
Jerry enjoyed being with his wife of 25 years and had many wonderful times with family, friends, and pets. Jerry’s shorthair dog now is Sara, and she is missing him terribly. They would often enjoy happy hour in his shop where he would have a glass of wine and give Sara her cookies. He was a good friend and a wonderful husband.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Debbie Van Hoomissen of Baker City; daughters, Shannon Brown of Boise, Sherry G. Spencer of Meridian, Idaho, Shelley R. Sorensen of Boise, and Erin Hornish of Jacksonville, Fla.; a son, Scott Van Hoomissen of Vancouver, Wash.; stepchildren, Benjamin A. Tate of Portland and Pamela A. Daniels of Haines; former son-in-law, Mathew Daniels, who remains a son, of Baker City; grandchildren, Matthew S. Dunn, Shanna J. Chase, Hayden J. Fisher and Hestin G. Fisher, all of Boise, Jennifer R. Spencer, Jaime T. Spencer, Jesse M. Spencer and Joshua T. Spencer, all of Meridian, Idaho, Sara E. Hone, Orion C. Sorensen, Spencer D. Sorensen, Patrick O. Sorensen, Ciera E. Sorenson, all of Boise, Chloe Hornish and Carson Hornish, of Jacksonville, Fla., Allen Van Hoomissen of Vancouver, Wash., stepgrandchildren, Eli Tate and Breezy Tate of Portland, and Stephanie Daniels and Dustin Daniels of Baker City.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Leslie Van Hoomissen; and a grandson, Matthew T. McKee.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Society in La Grande through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 11, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor