Baker City, Oregon

Deshler Coleman “Dash” Lay, 91, a former longtime Baker City resident, died April 27, 2004, at Farmington Square, an assisted care center in Medford.

His graveside service was April 30, at the Mountain View Cemetery in Ashland. Chaplain Paul Hagedorn, of the Providence Hospital Hospice Unit officiated.

Dash was born on June 1, 1912, to Joseph and Katie Lay, a pioneering Union County farm family. He spent most of his childhood on the family farm in “The Park,” a pristine area of woods, springs and fields in the Beagle Creek drainage, just north of Medical Springs.

He attended a neighborhood grade school, and high schools in Union and Baker City, graduating from Baker High School.

On Christmas Eve of 1933, Dash married Myrtle Inman of Payette, Idaho. After a few years of farming in Union and Baker counties, the couple moved to Haines, where he was employed as parts manager for the Haines Commercial Equipment Co. In 1956, Dash and Myrtle moved to Baker City, where he became employed as stock manager for Levinger’s Rexall Drug Store, remaining there until retirement.

In September 2002, Dash and Myrtle moved from Baker City to Medford to be near their only child, Kerry Lay, and his wife, Janice, who are longtime Ashland residents.

Dash was a master carpenter and woodworker, who particularly enjoyed using a lathe to make decorative household items. He was also an avid gardener, and he enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping. Dash embodied the terms “friend” and “neighbor.” He was always very well-liked and appreciated for his generosity, helpful nature and sense of humor. He was hard-working, a kind and loving husband, father and grandfather, and a wonderful provider to his family. Everyone who has been touched by Dash will feel a great loss.

Dash and Myrtle resided at Fountain Plaza retirement community until Mr. Lay’s health recently required his transfer to the nearby Farmington Square. The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this past Christmas Eve.

Survivors include his wife, Myrtle; their son, Kerry, and his wife, Janice; grandchildren, Geoffrey Lay of Tualatin, Bradley Lay, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Christopher Lay of Glendale, Ariz.; sisters, Gay Lerwill of Redding, Calif., and Errolo Burford of College Place, Wash.; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters and four brothers.

Myrtle will continue to reside at Fountain Plaza in Medford. She asks that memorial contributions be made to any charity of choice, but particularly recommends the Providence Hospital Hospice Unit in Medford.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, May 14, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor