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Baker City, Oregon
Darris Elwood Eccles, 78, died at his Kala Point home on Oct. 14, 2004. He has been a resident of Port Townsend, Wash., since 1956.
Born on Sept. 5, 1926, to Richmond and Lenore (Sturgill) Eccles in Baker City, Darris graduated from Baker High School. He was employed by Safeway Stores in several Oregon cities and entered the U.S. Navy in 1952, where he graduated as an operating room technician with honors. He loved his time in the service, traveling on a transport ship to Alaska and the Far East, according to his family.
Darris married Lora L. Casteel on June 13, 1953, in Dayton, Wash. After his discharge from the Navy, he and Lora moved to Port Townsend and he was again employed by Safeway.
Always an avid gardener, he began a landscaping business and nursery adjacent to their home on Cherry Street. When Bonzo and Dorothy DeLeo decided to sell their garden supply business in 1976, Darris and Lora bought the store and operated a nursery, painting and wallpaper establishment.
Upon retiring in 1994, Darris enjoyed volunteering with the Friends of Old Fort Townsend State Park, serving as a docent at the Jefferson County Historical Museum, and spending more time with his grandchildren. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and a member of the Rhododendron Society. He also enjoyed traveling, especially a trip to Scotland where his ancestors originated.
Darris is survived by his wife, Lora; daughters, Susan Brandt and husband, Dennis, and Cheryl Miller and husband, David, all of Port Townsend; grandson, Jacob Miller, a student at WWU in Bellingham, Wash.; granddaughter, Katy Miller of Port Townsend; sisters, Elaine Sheridan of Ocean Park, Wash, and Yvonne Dennis of Newport; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, Oct. 23, at the First Presbyterian Church, with a reception following. Memorials may be made to Jefferson Healthcare Auxiliary, 834 Sheridan St., Port Townsend, WA 98368 or the Jefferson County Historical Society, 540 Water St., Port Townsend, WA 98368.
Used with permission from: The Record Courier, Baker City, Oregon, November, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor