Pete Basche, 90, of Richland, died July 17, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.
His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the Richland Methodist Church. Interment will be at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. Pastor Bill Shields will officiate.
Pete was born on Nov. 23, 1913, at Home to Fred Walton and Martha Ellen Rhodes Wilson Basche. Pete rode a horse to school where his sister, Josephine, was his first teacher.
He also rowed a boat across the Snake River to attend school on the Idaho side for a period of time. He graduated from Huntington High School in 1933, then he completed a diesel mechanic course in Portland.
He lived and worked on the family’s Snake River ranch until Fred and Martha moved to Halfway. There he met Ernestine Carnahan, and they were soon married.
He and his brother, Bert Basche, owned and operated the Halfway Grocery and Meat Market. In February 1942, Pete and Ernestine moved to Robinette. There he became a distributor of Standard Oil Co. of California products.
Pete was drafted into the U.S. Army in July 1943. He served in the Philippine Islands during World War II. After being wounded and returning home, he was honorably discharged in August 1945.
He returned to his business and family, which included Ernestine, Betty and “Little Pete.” He remained there until the Brownlee Dam construction was nearing an end. The oil plant was moved to Richland in 1957.
Pete married Helen K. Leake Morrison in May 1959. He retired from Standard Oil in 1968. He soon became the postmaster at Richland, and retired from that in 1978. He and Helen enjoyed taking trips around the country for several years.
They were both very active Grange members. Pete was an avid photographer most of his life, and enjoyed the great outdoors of Northeastern Oregon. Baker County was always his home, but he loved visiting. Pete made friends with everyone, and will be missed by many.
Survivors include by his wife Helen, and a daughter, Betty L. Whitnah, and her husband, Warren, of Richland; a son, Peter M. Basche, and his wife, Kathy, of Kennewick, Wash.; four grandchildren, Kail Miller of Yucaipa, Calif., Bob Miller of Templeton, Calif., Rob Basche of Kennewick, Wash., and Jackie Basche of Sacramento, Calif.; five great-grandchildren, Shawn Mitchell of Alta Loma, Calif., Kipp Miller of Richland, Ande and Megan Miller of Templeton, Calif., and Austin Basche of Kennewick, Wash.; three nieces, Joan Coats Valluer of Fruitland, Idaho, Mary Jo Basche Rode of Ontario, and Eloise Wilson of Arcata, Calif.; and a nephew, Bill Wilson, of Lady Lake, Fla.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Martha Basche; brothers, Ivor Wilson, Jim Wilson, John Earl “Jack” Wilson, and Bert Basche; a sister, Josephine Coats; and a niece, Roberta Kay Basche.
Memorial contributions may be made to the United Youth Fund of Pine and Eagle Valley through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 23, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor