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 Urdel LaMar Sam Lay

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Urdel LaMar "Sam" Lay

Birth
Death
8 Jun 2005 (aged 79)
Burial
Baker City, Baker County, Oregon, USA
Memorial ID
11186339 View Source

Urdel LaMar "Sam" Lay, 79, a longtime Baker City resident, died June 8, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.

Visitations will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Gray's West & Co.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Orrin Lay will officiate and Bishop Jeffery Daniels will conduct the service. Military rites will be under the auspices of the U.S. Army National Guard. Friends are invited to join the family for a luncheon after the service at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane.

Known to family and friends all of his life as "Sam," he was born on Aug. 10, 1925, in Union County to Urdel Wondel Lay and Mildred Ione Wanker. He grew up on the family ranch at Medical Springs, the oldest of seven children. His ancestry includes Mayflower pilgrims and Mormon pioneers.

Although he officially graduated from Union High School in May of 1944 as class valedictorian, Sam and several of his classmates finished high school in December of 1943 to answer draft calls from the U.S. Army.

While others were graduating with cap and gown in May, Sam was completing training as a mobile radio operator in the 2nd Signal Co., 2nd Infantry Division, and headed for Patton's Army in Europe.

He served in England, France, Belgium, Germany and Czechoslovakia, earning numerous medals and commendations. After the war, he completed his military service as a radio operations trainer at an Army training center in Texas.

After his discharge, he returned home and married Bonnie Nell Engum on April 6, 1947. Together they raised five children.

He worked for years as a driller and blaster at the Lime Plant in Baker Valley, and later formed a successful partnership with John Osborne. They drilled and blasted for highway and railroad construction contractors and rock crushers in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Sam was a master woodworker. He watched St. Louis Cardinal baseball games and Portland Trail Blazer basketball games whenever he could, and he was an accomplished pitcher for Union High School's championship baseball team. Before the war, he was invited to try out with a professional baseball club in Portland.

He enjoyed Western movies, history and geography.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Bonnie, who died Nov. 9, 1999; and his sister, Gloria Piper of Albany.

Survivors include his siblings, Oriel Galle of Pendleton, Ron Lay of Medical Springs, Charmaine Kohler of McMinnville, Cherin Humphrey of Bellingham, Wash., and Orrin Lay of Medical Springs; his five children, Marla Lay of San Clemente, Calif., LaMar Lay Jr. of Portland, Sam Lay and his wife, Vanessa, of Baker City, Gwen Fuller and her husband, Chris, of Arlington, Va., and Pam Morrison and her husband, Larry, of La Grande; and six grandchildren, Brandy Morrison Fisher, Annie Morrison Valek, Levi and Jordan Morrison and Hillary and Mat Lay.

Urdel LaMar "Sam" Lay, 79, a longtime Baker City resident, died June 8, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.

Visitations will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Gray's West & Co.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Orrin Lay will officiate and Bishop Jeffery Daniels will conduct the service. Military rites will be under the auspices of the U.S. Army National Guard. Friends are invited to join the family for a luncheon after the service at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane.

Known to family and friends all of his life as "Sam," he was born on Aug. 10, 1925, in Union County to Urdel Wondel Lay and Mildred Ione Wanker. He grew up on the family ranch at Medical Springs, the oldest of seven children. His ancestry includes Mayflower pilgrims and Mormon pioneers.

Although he officially graduated from Union High School in May of 1944 as class valedictorian, Sam and several of his classmates finished high school in December of 1943 to answer draft calls from the U.S. Army.

While others were graduating with cap and gown in May, Sam was completing training as a mobile radio operator in the 2nd Signal Co., 2nd Infantry Division, and headed for Patton's Army in Europe.

He served in England, France, Belgium, Germany and Czechoslovakia, earning numerous medals and commendations. After the war, he completed his military service as a radio operations trainer at an Army training center in Texas.

After his discharge, he returned home and married Bonnie Nell Engum on April 6, 1947. Together they raised five children.

He worked for years as a driller and blaster at the Lime Plant in Baker Valley, and later formed a successful partnership with John Osborne. They drilled and blasted for highway and railroad construction contractors and rock crushers in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Sam was a master woodworker. He watched St. Louis Cardinal baseball games and Portland Trail Blazer basketball games whenever he could, and he was an accomplished pitcher for Union High School's championship baseball team. Before the war, he was invited to try out with a professional baseball club in Portland.

He enjoyed Western movies, history and geography.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Bonnie, who died Nov. 9, 1999; and his sister, Gloria Piper of Albany.

Survivors include his siblings, Oriel Galle of Pendleton, Ron Lay of Medical Springs, Charmaine Kohler of McMinnville, Cherin Humphrey of Bellingham, Wash., and Orrin Lay of Medical Springs; his five children, Marla Lay of San Clemente, Calif., LaMar Lay Jr. of Portland, Sam Lay and his wife, Vanessa, of Baker City, Gwen Fuller and her husband, Chris, of Arlington, Va., and Pam Morrison and her husband, Larry, of La Grande; and six grandchildren, Brandy Morrison Fisher, Annie Morrison Valek, Levi and Jordan Morrison and Hillary and Mat Lay.


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