Obituaries

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John Heelen O’Connor

John Heelen O’Connor, 89, died Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at Alpine Way Assisted Living in Shelton, WA.  He was born in Brunswick, Maryland to Cecil Heelen and Edna Marie (Stickley) O’Connor on August 15, 1922. 

John earned is BS at Shepard College, Martinsberry, WV and MS at Illinois State University at Normal IL.  He served in the USMC during WWII retiring from the Reserve as a Major in 1962.  On April 6, 1946 he married Natalie Osterhaudt in Brunswick, Maryland.  He taught history in Junior and Senior High School in Illinois for ten years.  John was then a sales representative for the Rand McNally Company in Colorado and in Washington for 15 years.  He was a member of the Marine Corp League and enjoyed trains, history, fishing, cruising in Alaska, Mexico and Caribbean. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil and Edna O’Connor; wife, Natalie O’Connor; and son, John P. O’Connor.  John is survived by his daughters, Michael Kriegbaum (Rich) of Allyn, WA and Connie Salmen (Wayne) of Longmont, CO; son, Thomas O’Connor (partner, Roberto Espinoza) of San Francisco; and six grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.

Inurnment will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery Denver, Colorado. The family was served by McComb Funeral Shelton, Wa.

Wilma L. Herrel

herrelwilma.jpgWilma Lee Herrel, 83, of Shelton, WA went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. Wilma was born on April 28, 1928 to Ernest and Tessie (Searle) Phillips in Ridgely, Missouri. Mrs. Herrel was one of eight children born to a minister of the Assembly of God Church and his wife. She met her husband Elmer Herrel Sr. at the age of 15 and the two were married at 17 in July of 1945 in Baxter Springs, Kansas. They were married for 64 years upon his passing in 2009.

Wilma was a homemaker. She loved the Lord and was a member of the Bethel Assembly of God Church and church secretary for 30 years. She and Elmer were youth group counselors for many years, a member of the Women’s Mission Group and of Primetimers (a retired group of seniors from the Assembly of God Church) and very, very active in the church. Her hobbies included sewing (making her children’s clothing with patterns she made herself), crocheting, needlepoint, flower gardening, cooking and baking. She loved to sing and enjoyed her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her family and friends take comfort in knowing she is now reunited with her husband in Heaven.

She is survived by her daughter, Becky Willis, Shelton; sons, Erv (Deb) Herrel and Elmer Herrel Jr, both of Shelton; brother, Eston Phillips, Nampa, Idaho; sisters, Thelma Lee, Shelton and Geneva Sjurson of Boise, ID, seven grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Burial will take place on Monday, November 7 at Shelton Memorial Park at 2 pm. A memorial service will be held at the Bethel Assembly of God Church on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm. McComb Funeral Home was honored to serve this family.

Dorothy Laverne McCleskey

mccleskeyd.jpgDorothy Laverne McCleskey was born on July 17, 1921.  After a life filled with love and laughter with many friends and family, God called her home to live with him. On November 1, 2011 Dorothy closed her eyes and with angel’s wings was passed into the loving arms of Jesus.

Dorothy grew up on a small farm near Lamoure, North Dakota as one of 14 brothers and sisters.  She didn’t like life on the farm very much at the time, but said she really learned to appreciate it later in life, and it was probably from those early days there that she learned the incredible work ethic that would be with her all of her life.  Too beautiful and adventurous to stay on the farm long, Dorothy, or Dot as she was better know, left and settled in the Seattle, Washington area.  She was briefly married to Charles Hampton and had her first child, Sandra, in 1945.  In 1950 she married Edward Torre and had two children, Toni and Michael born in 1951 and 1952. Her husband Edward died in 1965.  In 1971 Dot met and married her soul mate and best friend forever, Jim McCleskey.  Dot and Jim moved to New Orleans and then Mississippi for Jim’s work.  When Jim retired in 1988 they chose Lake Cushman as the place to build their home where they would live the rest of their lives.  They had a wonderful life there with friends and neighbors stopping by and family staying over.  Dotty remained very close to her children throughout her life and had the joy of watching them grow and have their own families. She loved being home visiting with friends and family, going shopping (especially for shoes) and she cherished her animals.  Dot was truly a very special lady, wife, and mother. She had an incredible spirit and determination.  She was loved by all for her warmth, kindness and amazing sense of humor. She will be missed and loved forever.

Dot is survived by her two daughters and son: Sandee Torre, Toni Nicholes, and Michael Torre, 8 grandchildren: Edward Rodriguez, Pam Simpson, Erika Wheeler, Lisa Sanford, Tory Vetter, Krissy Nicholes, and Sean and Dylan Torre, and 13 great-grandchildren. Dot was preceded in death by her husband Jim in 2008.

Dorothy was baptized into Christ on July 4, 2010.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 6, 2011 from 10 until 3 at McComb Funeral Home, Shelton, WA with a celebration of life to follow at her residence.