There will be a celebration of life memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7.
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Darel was born on Aug. 27, 1925, at Baker City to Leonard and Lola Morin Valentine. He was the second of eight children. He attended many schools as his family moved often during the Depression years. He completed the eighth grade, then his father was injured and he stayed home to help his folks on the farm.
Darel entered the U.S. Army in March 1944 and served in the European Theater. On the eve of the Battle of the Bulge, he was severely wounded and spent seven months recovering. He returned to active duty serving in the Air Force Motor Pool as a driver.
By chance, one day he drove officers to the Nuremberg Trials and was allowed to watch the proceedings. He was discharged in June 1946. His sons, also veterans, expressed deep pride in his service to his country.
He married Lorraine Alexander on Feb. 2, 1947, and 62 years later she was still the love of his life. They had four children in four years and claimed their best years were spent raising their kids.
Once home from the military, Darel lived the rest of his life in Baker City. He did ranch and mill work, drove truck, sold cars, and worked as a welder and a laborer. As a journeyman carpenter he worked construction on Baker High School, Brooklyn School, the Post Office, Mason Dam, freeway bridges, houses, and many other projects. He became the union business representative for the Carpenter’s Union until his retirement in 1988.
Once retired, he was busy remodeling and building for his kids. He kept a perfectly beautiful yard. Always an artist, he began painting landscapes in oils and watercolors. He enjoyed fishing and hunting with his boys, his brothers and his friends. He loved car racing and attended the Indianapolis 500 in 2003. It was an experience he treasured.
Darel’s place in his large family was always clear. He was a wonderful son to his parents and they depended on him throughout their lives. His relationships with siblings, cousins and in-laws were strong and enduring.
Stories abound of marvelous times shared. He was a loving grandpa and his grandkids adored him. He was a reliable uncle to his nieces and nephews. Many of them turned to him for help and advice. Friends of his children also found a friend in him and his home was a favorite gathering place.
Darel would challenge anyone to a game of 10,000 and rarely lost. His humor was universally known, appreciated, and emulated. He was fair and honest, dependable and loyal. His children feel he was always there for them. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandpa, brother and friend.
His legacy includes his love of life, his lessons on forgiveness, his belief in Jesus, his love of classical music, his laughter, and his deep love for his family.
Survivors include his wife, Lorraine; his brother, Roy, and sister-in-law, Pat; his children, Steve and Regenia of Richland, Bruce and Sheila of Haines, Craig and Peggy and Linda and Steve Tipton of Baker City; grandchildren, Donna and Carl Carpenter, Colby Valentine and Heather English, Lori and Doug Lien, Tyler Bowling and Hanna Kriege, Ryan and Laura Bowling, Fawn and Tom Kerns, Misty and Rich Rowe, Travis and Candice Valentine, Luke and Danielle Valentine, and Steve Valentine and Danika Sinram; 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Leonard Jr., Sam, Leo, and Don; and his sisters, Velma and Cleo.
Memorial contributions may be made to Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice or a charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon August 12, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor