Baker City, Oregon

Helen M. Tonning, 88, of Baker City, died Aug. 26, 2006, at Ashley Manor Care Center.

Her graveside memorial will be Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Haines Cemetery. Disposition will be by cremation at Eastern Oregon Pioneer Crematory.

Born Helen Lyuta on April 15, 1918, Helen spent her childhood years in New York City. After graduating from Newtown High School at Jackson Heights, N.Y., she worked at the R.H. Macy Co. in New York City.

On Sept. 19, 1941, Helen married John Tonning. The newlyweds settled on Long Island, where they raised three daughters. In 1962 Helen and her family moved to Washington, where they lived for the next 44 years, first on Mercer Island and later at Bellevue. Helen and John were married for 64 years.

Longtime members of the Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club, Helen and John spent many summers cruising the San Juan Islands in their seagoing homes away from home, the “Curlew” and the “Legasea.” Helen was a past president of the “Mates,” the women’s auxiliary of the Yacht Club. She also designed the costumes for and participated in the annual “Mates Follies.”

A talented gardener, Helen was active in garden clubs. Over the years she won many prizes for her flower arrangements and designs. She was an avid cook and enjoyed handcrafts, including sewing, knitting and crocheting.

Friends and family were Helen’s greatest joys in life. Her zest for living and her wonderful smile will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Survivors include her three daughters, Lynn Keener of Beverly Hills, Fla., Gale Tonning of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Diane Florence of Baker City; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s research through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, September 4, 2006
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor