Obituaries

Harry Davis

Harry Davis, life-long farmer of the Sunset/Lamont/St. John areas, known for his musical talent and dedicated service as a Mason and Shriner, passed away peacefully on the morning of August 1, 2015 due to cancer. He was 90.

Harry was an unforgettable man who seemed to relate to every generation with his warmth and kindness. The death of his father when Harry was 15 left him the family farm and a career that lasted almost three-quarters of a century, working the harvest as recently as last summer. He graduated from Lamont High School in 1943 and attended Eastern Washington University. He and Irma Swift were married on May 8, 1948.

As a young man, he was a member of “M2K’s and D,” a band that played all over the county at grange dances and was featured from 1950-59 at Sprague Lake, a hub of social activity then. His love of playing music continued throughout his life. He played his tenor saxophone for several El Katif Shrine groups, including the Concert Band, German Band and Dixieland Band, which performed in parades, nursing homes and retirement homes in Spokane area and competed elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Harry also performed on many occasions with his daughter, Carol, accompanying him on the piano. Most recently, he played in the New Creation band with his two daughters and son-in-law performing in Lewiston and Clarkston.

A life of service described Harry’s involvement with the community. He held various positions serving others throughout his life: Master of the Lamont Grange, chairman of the St. John School Board and membership in a multitude of other organizations. He helped spur construction of the temple in Sprague as a member of Sprague Masonic Lodge and was a 50-year member of the Masons, lifetime member of Scottish Rite of Free Masonry and a member of Eastern Star, El Katif Shrine, Whitman County Shrine Club, a contributor to the Masons’ Books for Kids project and a past president of Whitman County Cougar Club, which had a role in establishing plans for WSU’s Beasley Coliseum in the early 1970s. He was one of the first Washington Barley Commissioners, instrumental in founding that group in 1985.

Harry could continually be found donating his time to his local community, first in Sprague and Lamont, then in St. John. He helped build the Sprague Church, using timbers from his homestead in Lamont, and he and Irma were the first couple married in that church. In St. John, he worked at the cook shack at the St. John Stock Show, helped plant the row of trees on the St. John Golf Course in 1958, helped build community floats for many years and continually supported local high school sports and music programs as well as his beloved WSU Cougars. He held season tickets for WSU football and basketball for many years and was a loyal fan traveling to many Cougar events. His hobbies included: trap shooting, hunting, fishing, and “witching” wells. He raised and trained hunting dogs and was a Ham Radio Operator (WA7HWK) for more than 50 years.

He is survived by wife of 67 years Irma (Swift) Davis; children Carol Jeffries (Tom), Kay Andersen (Dan) and Jackson Davis (Mindy); grandchildren Tricia Hilt (Rich), John Jeffries (Shawna), Angie Withers (Ryan), Joel Andersen, Brittnay Davis, Danica Davis and Shelby Davis; great-grandchildren Houston Jeffries, William Jeffries, Jason Withers, and Roxas Castleman. Funeral services were held August 8, 2015, at the St. John United Methodist Church. Vault interment followed at the Maccabee Cemetery in Sprague. Donations in his memory may be sent to the El Katif Shriner’s Eastern Washington Transportation Fund, 7217 W. Westbow Blvd., Spokane, Washington 99224.

 

Coach Bill Hays

William (Bill) Warner Hays passed away June 19, 2015 of respiratory complications. He was born in Bismarck, North Dakota to George and Lucy Warner Hays on April 26, 1933.  At a young age he lost his mother. His father remarried Anita Larson Hays who raised him and his three sisters.  After the war, the family moved west to Rupert, Idaho, where he graduated from high school.

He was an all-state basketball player and garnered a college scholarship to Idaho State University.  At Idaho State he was the point guard for his team who played in the NCAA “Sweet 16.” He met Mary Boyd of Twin Falls, Idaho, and they married in October of his senior year at ISU.  Following graduation, he began his teaching and coaching career with his father in Salmon, Idaho.  The following year he moved to Twin Falls, Idaho also teaching and coaching.

In 1957, he started a 17-year stint as a teacher and coach in St. John.  During this time he coached football, basketball and track.  His teams brought home numerous trophies including four state basketball championships and four consecutive undefeated football seasons.

In 1974, Bill and Mary took teaching positions in Newport, Washington, to be closer to their family farm.  He continued to coach and lead his teams to success in football, boys’ and girls’ basketball and track. He was recognized and inducted into the Washington State Coaching Hall of Fame in three sports and has a box at the Spokane Veterans Arena.  In 1989, he retired to his ranch north of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, where he farmed and raised Black Angus cattle.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary; three children Leslie (John) Akins, George Hays, Paula (Ken) West; grandchildren Hailey (James) Padilla, Jenna (Greg) Caster, Chandler and Colby West, and Great-grandson Cole Caster; and three sisters, Beverly Port, Ginger (Dale) Hobbs, and Anita Stenersen.  His parents preceded him in death.  A ceremony of celebration was held July 18 in Mt. Hall Elementary Gymnasium in Boundry County. Memorials can be made to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) or a charity of your choice.

 

Beth Ann Engles

Beth Ann Engles, 54, passed away peacefully June 4, 2015, in Lamont, Washington. She was born in Colfax to Wilfred and Geraldine Becker on August 21, 1960. She was the first of their two children and was later joined by a brother, Lee Becker. She was a resident and active part of the Lamont community her entire life. She graduated from Sprague High School in 1978. On October 14, 1979, Beth married Mike Engles and they raised three children, Kristy, Scott and Steven.

Beth Ann was a staple in the farming community, working with the many agricultural companies in the area, such as Western Farm Service, Sprague Grange Supply and McGregors. She enjoyed the morning coffee conversations and stories with clients and colleagues. Her favorite pastime was surrounding herself with family and friends. From times at the lake, riding her bike on another adventure or chasing after her granddaughters, Beth Ann made every day count.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Shorty and Maxine Becker and Gerald and Eva Montague; her father, Wilfred Becker; her uncle, Dan Montague; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Dale and JoAnn Engles; sisters-in-law Kim Bell and Kelly Engles. Beth Ann is survived by her husband, Mike Engles of Lamont; mother Geraldine Becker of Lamont; brother Lee (Claudette) Becker of Spokane; aunt Mary Montague of Everett; daughter Kristy (Kevin) Koch of Reardan; son Scott (Alissa) Engles of Spokane; son Steven Engles (Stephanie Roeter) of Lamont; her four granddaughters, Kassidy and Kelsey Koch of Reardan and Grace and Maya Engles of Spokane; along with numerous other family members and friends.

Services for Beth Ann were held on Saturday, June 13, 2015,  with interment at Fairmount Memorial Park followed by a service in the Sprague Community Church and a reception at the Sprague Community Building.  Memorials may be made to the Lamont or Sprague fire departments or the Isaac Foundation for Autism.

 

Glenn Siron Jr.

Glenn Arthur Siron Jr. left this world to join the angels on April 27, 2015, at the age of 50. Glenn was born on September 24, 1964 to Glenn Arthur and Barbara (Hanna) Siron in Durham, North Carolina. Prior to settling in Portland, Oregon, when he was 13, Glenn and his family lived in North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas. Throughout his adult life he had various careers, however, he enjoyed his time in radio broadcast the most.

In 2010, Glenn and his wife, Patti, decided to pull up stakes and hit the road in their RV looking for a place to settle down south. He loved driving the motorhome across the nation, meeting new friends and spending extra time with his family. Glenn was passionate about music and travel, but he was most passionate about his family. He is survived by his wife Patti; his former wife Nikki; and his four children: Jennifer (Steven) Newberry, Zach (Tara) Siron, Nate (Megan) Becker, and Eli (Taylor) Siron. He was a proud PaPa of four grandchildren: Dustin, Kalen, Nolan, and Peyton. Three sisters also survive him: Linda Heard, Paula Trueax, and Kathy Siron, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and nephew CW2 Joshua Tillery (Iraq).

A celebration of life was held in Glenn’s honor on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at Sarg Hubbard Park in Yakima, Washington. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or the organization of your choice.

 

Joy Bonnington

A graveside service for Joy Margaret (Pierson) Bonnington was held at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in St. John on Saturday, July 11. Refreshments were served at the St. John Community Hall following the service.

Joy was born March 15, 1921, in St. John to Walter and Nanny Pierson. She was raised on the family farm located between Ewan and Lancaster. As a child her nickname was “Joy Bell,” which indicated a lifelong love of talk and conversation. She graduated from Ewan High School in 1937 as the class valedictorian.

After high school, Joy completed Nurse’s Training at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane. Thus began her lifelong love of medicine and service. Upon completion of her degree as a registered nurse, Joy worked at Sacred Heart before enlisting in the Navy in June 1943. She spent the duration of World War II at Port Hueneme in California, where Navy personnel wounded in the Pacific Theater were returned to the mainland. Joy left service as a lieutenant on July 4, 1946.

Joy met Warren Bonnington while both attended the University of Washington in Seattle after the war. The two were married in Spokane on May 29, 1947. They started their family in Seattle and over the next 10 years they moved to Moses Lake, Lynnwood, Roseburg, Oregon; back to Lynnwood; Dallas, Texas; San Diego and San Gabriel, California. Joy continued her work as an RN in all these locales. While in San Gabriel, she was the chief administrator of a convalescent home.

In 1965, Joy served in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, becoming the Washington State President in 1985.  She also made several journeys to the national office in Washington, D.C. for volunteer work.

Following Warren’s passing in 1994, Joy moved to Bremerton to be near her children. Again, she pursued many avenues of service through the Orthopedic Nurses Guild, the Navy Nurses Corps, her continued involvement with the GFWC, and volunteer work through her church.

In 2011, Joy entered assisted living in Seattle. She spent the final 14 months of her life at the Avamere Olympic Rehab Center in Sequim, where her daughter, Keri, is employed as a geriatric physical therapist.

Joy’s great passion in life was people. She loved to garden, read and play piano.

She is survived by her children: Julie Bonnington (John Figge) of Seattle, Cindy Wyman (Don Wyman) of Silverdale, Lance Bonnington of Walnut Creek, California and Keri Poffel (Jim Poffel) of Port Angeles; grandsons Jeff Wyman (Jessica Wyman and great grandson Sammy) and Ryan McCroskey.

 

Bill Scharffer  

William Richard Scharffer, 88, passed away on June 3, 2015, in Lewiston, Idaho, following complications from a hip fracture.

William “Bill” was born in Lancaster, Washington to Richard “Dick” and Marie Kromm Scharffer. After spending his youth in the St. John area, Bill joined the Navy at the age of 17. He served in the Korean War and participated in the famed Inchon Invasion. The USS Andromeda and USS Intrepid were the battle-tested ships he called home.

After eight years serving his country, Bill came back to Washington where he met a young red-haired lady named Shirley Louise Russell. They married April 9, 1953, in Colville, Washington. Together they had three children: Sherry (Gail) Larson, Georgia (Tom) Hennigar, Robert (Roxanne) Scharffer. Bill and Shirley raised their children in St. John. During this period Bill worked as the town municipal officer, school maintenance worker and finally as a Whitman County road crew supervisor. For 47 years Bill and Shirley shared a life together until Shirley passed away in 2000.

Bill spent 14 winters in Yuma, Arizona, where he met his companion, Shirley Otto in 2005. For 10 years they were dedicated travelers, splitting time between St. John, the Seattle area, Yuma and Joplin, Montana. Throughout the west, Bill could be found at a slot machine, dancing at the local VFW, wheeling and dealin, or just chatting up the nearest stranger. He always spoke his mind and had fun doing it.

He is survived by three children, seven grandchildren (his angels), and six great-grandchildren. A graveside service was held at the St. John cemetery Saturday, June 6, 2015.

 

Donna Flatt

Donna Marie Flatt, 82, passed away on July 23, 2015, in Kennewick, Washington. Born November 10, 1932, to Edna and Alfredo “Fred” Nosenzo and raised in San Francisco, Donna enjoyed a life of teaching, family and a passion for reading. In 1953, she met and married James Flatt, a handsome young sailor from Spokane, Washington, then stationed in San Francisco. When Jim was discharged from the Navy they moved to Spokane with their young family.

Mothering three young children, Donna learned to drive and earned her bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate from Eastern State University. After living briefly in Palouse and Soap Lake, they settled in the St. John area (Winona and Sunset) and Donna began her long career as the first grade teacher at St. John Elementary. Her children were actively involved in St. John’s music and athletics programs so Donna made it her mission to be head taxi driver, cheerleader and publicity director for Dorie, Pauline, Walter, Bruce and Regina.
Retirement brought Jim and Donna back to Spokane. Jim passed away in 2001. She was a devoted grandma, active in the Rebekah’s lodge in Spokane. In 2007, she moved to Seattle to be near her youngest grandchild, Vanya. Having the time and the means to travel, she visited the city of her father’s birth in Italy, accompanied by her daughter, Regina. Donna enjoyed many trips throughout Washington, California, Oregon, Montana, Alaska and Las Vegas.
She leaves behind her brother, Alfred Nosenzo; five children; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many good friends.
The family requests that donations be sent to St. John Endicott Cooperative Foundation. Graveside services were held at Fairmount Memorial Park on August 1, 2015 with a memorial service at the St. John United Methodist Church the following day.