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Donald Rudolph “Don” Guyer, 84, of Baker City, died Oct. 5, 2005, at his home of cancer.
His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the United Methodist Church, 1919 Second St. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Military rites will be accorded by members of the U.S. Marine Corps from Boise.
Mr. Guyer was born on Aug. 5, 1921, at New Bridge to George Henry and Delia Lydia Buxton Guyer. He attended grade school at South Baker and was a 1940 Baker High School graduate.
Mr. Guyer attended Oregon State College (now Oregon State University) for two years. With the advent of World War II, he became a naval officer and graduated at Corpus Christie, Texas, with Navy wings.
He transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps Squadron 218 flying Corsairs in the South Pacific. During the course of his service in the South Pacific, he was awarded several Air Medals for his meritorious service.
When forming squadron 218 at Mojave, Calif., he met Elva Lou Gribble. They became engaged and when he returned from the South Pacific, they were married at Fresno, Calif., on Nov. 10, 1944.
After marriage, they were stationed at Sanford Naval Air Station in Sanford, Fla., for a year where Don instructed fighter and gunnery tactics. After his discharge, they returned to Baker City where Don went to work for Eastern Oregon Federal Savings and Loan Association as one of three employees.
The business became Pioneer Federal Savings and Loan Association. Don was called back into the Marine Corps in 1952 where he served as a helicopter pilot during the Korean War. Upon his discharge as a captain in 1954, he returned to Baker City and continued his employment with Pioneer Federal Savings and Loan.
Don opened the first branch of Pioneer Federal Savings and Loan at La Grande in 1959. He became a member of the Board of Directors and eventually president of the association when he and Elva moved back to Baker City in 1980. He served Pioneer Federal Savings and Loan Association for more than 55 years.
Mr. Guyer was an active member of his communities serving in these organizations: Baker Shrine Club; Baker Masonic Lodge for 50 years; eminent commander of Night’s Templar of Oregon; exalted ruler of the La Grande Elks Lodge; Lions Club; La Grande Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; American Legion; United Methodist Church member since 1927; and Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 1977, he was chosen Boss of the Year by the La Grande Legal Secretaries.
As well as being an active member of the community, Mr. Guyer was an avid outdoorsman. He especially loved hunting and fishing and especially enjoyed the beauty of the Baker Valley. He and Elva loved their travel trailer and going south for the winters.
Survivors include his wife of almost 61 years, Elva; his daughter Ellen Youngbluth and her husband, David, of Prineville, and their son, Marine Major Steven M. O’Connor, and his wife, Navy Lt. Commander Alda, and their newborn daughter, Madeline Grace; brother-in-law Guy McCoy and his wife, Sue; nieces and nephews include Randell C. Guyer and his wife, Mary Jane, Janet Chandler and her husband, George, Donald G. Guyer and his wife, Rose, Vickie Kirkwood, Dr. Robert R. McCoy and his wife, Julie, Kathy Krob and her husband, Jeff, Sandra McCoy, and Robert G. McCoy; and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Delia Guyer; his best friend and brother, Randell Guyer and his wife Shirley; and his older sister, Shurley H. Benton and brother-in-law Doug.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children or to the United Methodist Church Memorial Fund of Baker City through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 7, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor