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Baker City, Baker County, Oregon
LaVelle Eileen Bailey, 76, a native of Baker City, died May 3, 2006, of natural causes at her home in Klamath Falls.
A memorial service was held May 13, 2006, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Klamath Falls. Disposition was by cremation.
Mrs. Bailey was born July 7, 1929, in Baker to Sherman I. and Norma (Craven) Bennett.
She graduated from Baker High School, then attended Oregon State University to obtain her credentials to teach cosmetology.
She married Bill Lethlean and had two sons, Lenn and Gary Lethlean. She later married Earle Bailey and had a daughter, Kim Bailey.
In 1955, they moved from Baker to Pendleton, where they lived for 10 years until moving to Klamath Falls.
Mrs. Bailey taught for many years at the Klamath Beauty College prior to opening her own beauty shop. She was still active with her favorite customers at the time of her death.
She loved to go elk hunting in her favorite areas around Baker City and camping out with family members and friends. “Sitting by the campfire brings me complete contentment,” she would often say.
She also loved music. Her husband was a musician and she often sang with his band at local hot spots. She organized the Simpletones, a group of local women who performed song-and-dance routines at local functions.
She was known, too, for putting together a “kitchen band” at a moment’s notice when regular instruments were not available to make music.
She was involved in her church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and for many years coordinated the summer Bible schools for three local churches. She loved to sing in the choir and looked forward each year to its English Tea.
She was an avid bowler with a 172 average and traveled to tournaments around the state for many years. She was an avid golfer as well and a member of the Reames Golf & Country Club, playing every day she could and serving on the club’s board of directors for four years.
One of her favorite memories was learning Navajo weaving from a world-famous artist while staying at a campground on the Sprague River. For three summers, she learned the weaving craft, using natural surroundings of the forest.
Survivors include her sons, Lenn Lethlean of Klamath Falls and Gary Lethlean of Waldport; daughter and son-in-law Kim and Ken Estes of Klamath Falls; grandchildren Christine, Randy, William “Will” and Gina Lethlean and Kara, Kadi and Kory Estes; great-grandchildren Tianna, Brittney, Cadwyn and Atticus Lethlean and Keegan Decker; sisters Connie Spencer and June Cook; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband on Nov. 14, 1995; infant son Benjamin Carl Bailey; brothers Wallace and Merle Bennett; and sisters Doris Staedler and Alice Spence.
Memorial donations may be made to I.F. Building Fund in care of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 801 Jefferson St., Klamath Falls, OR 97601.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, May 26, 2006
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor