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Owen Neal Bleakman, 88, a longtime Baker City resident, died May 3, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
There will be no burial service. Inurnment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Gray’s West & Company Pioneer Chapel.
Owen was born Aug. 9, 1916, at Hardman to Bertrum Percy Bleakman and Hatty May Emery. He attended schools in Hardman and Heppner. When Owen was 18, he moved to Bates, where he worked at the Bates mill as a carpenter helper for one year. While in Bates, he met his wife-to-be, Katherine Taylor. They were married June 4, 1938, in Tacoma, Wash.
Leaving Bates, Owen bought a bus line, “Gray Rock Lines,” which traveled from Arlington to John Day to Heppner and Pendleton. After two and a half years, Owen sold the bus line and moved to Tacoma, where he worked in the ship yards.
In 1943, Owen enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became an air force aviation machinist mate 1st class. He was stationed at Terminal Island, Calif., for two years. He was in the service from 1943 to 1946.
Returning to Baker City, Owen and his brother-in-law, Roy Crockett, purchased a service station and re-cap tire shop on 10th Street. They later built and owned three tire shops known as Roy & Owen Tires, located in Baker City, Ontario and Weiser, Idaho. In 1985, they both retired.
Owen was a life member of the Elks Lodge No. 338, Shrine Club president and past member of the Masonic AM & FM No. 47. He also served on the Baker Planning Commission for two years and the Chamber of Commerce board. He very much enjoyed being involved in the Powder River Sportsmen’s Club. He loved to play golf and served on the Baker City Golf Board and was a lifetime member of the golf club.
Owen had a full and happy life. Family was very important to him. He was a avid golfer, hunter and fisherman and also had a love for nature and feeding deer and quail.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, one sister, his loving wife, Katherine Bleakman, and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Roy and Rosie Crockett.
Survivors include his very special best friend, Mary Basche; nieces, Darlene Friedlander and Deanna Reeve and brother-in-law, Les Taylor. His dog, Teddy, was always by his side.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, May 9, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor