Linkous, Oscar – Obituary

Baker City, Oregon

Oscar Linkous, 89, a former Baker City, Haines and La Grande resident, died April 24, 2004, at a local care facility.

A celebration of Oscar’s life will be conducted Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Haines Methodist Church. Sally B. Wiens will officiate.

A lunch and gathering of family and friends will follow after a brief ceremony at the Haines Cemetery. Visitations will be Tuesday from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. in La Grande.

Oscar was born November 25, 1914, in Knoxville, Tenn., to Millum and Monty Bernard Linkous. When he was two, the family moved west to settle in the Weiser, Idaho, area. Oscar attended school in Weiser and left school after the eighth grade to work for his family, packing camp supplies to their summer mountain sheep camps.
While growing up along the Weiser River, Oscar started his lifelong affair with horses, cattle and dogs. He was always called upon to work with horses that no one else could handle. He told stories of riding green-broke horses into the mountains, fishing the high lakes, cougar encounters and all of the interesting and infamous people that he had met along the way.

When Oscar was 17, he moved to the Baker area and went to work for the Phillips Ranches, where he worked as a general ranch hand until the outbreak of World War II. It was in Baker that he met his future wife, Leora “Jackie” Blunt. They married on August 25, 1942 in Caldwell, Idaho.

Oscar enlisted in the Army in 1942 as a private and was encouraged by his officers to enroll in Officer Candidate School, where he attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Oscar served as a training officer until his discharge from the service in 1945.

After he and Jackie moved back to the Baker area, Oscar went to work for the Baker Livestock Auction Yards. In his 35 years with the organization he was known as one of the best cattlemen in Baker County.

Oscar was also known as one of the best cowboys around. His roping skills had everyone clamoring to have him as their partner in team roping, and a lot of cowboys shuddered when they heard he was in the pot for calf roping, bull dogging and steer roping. He augmented his regular salary with his rodeo winnings for many years.

After retirement, Oscar and Jackie moved to La Grande to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. Oscar’s greatest loves were his family, his horses and dogs, baseball, a good book and the mountain where he grew up.

Oscar was preceded in death by his wife Jackie, brother Lester and a nephew, Gary Linkous. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Richard Procsal of La Grande; grandchildren, Bill Sproul and Jamie and Beau Thomas; nephews and their wives, Rod and Donna Linkous of Seattle and Mike and Paula Linkous of Florida; and other relatives and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker High School Rodeo Team in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, April 30, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor

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