John C. “Jake” Hefner, 69, of Union, died Sept. 12 at the Grande Ronde Hospital. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley. Private burial will follow at Union Cemetery.
Jake was born on Dec. 23, 1937, the son of Howard and Wilma (Starnes) Hefner in Hickory, N.C. The family moved to Oregon when he was 12. He attended schools in Pilot Rock. On Jan. 4, 1969, he married Dianne Bartsch in Pendleton. They ranched at Medical Springs until 1976 when they moved to Union.
Jake loved the Grande Ronde Valley and its four seasons. He was a very active member of the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show, was president in 1992-93 and was supervisor of the race track. He was also a member of the Cattleman’s Association. He earned the title of Cattleman of the Year in 1998. Those who knew him say he was great with older people and enjoyed coffee time with his buddies. He loved the outdoors, hunting, horses and sitting on his patio watching the world around him. He could often be found riding his four-wheeler down the road with his dog, Bingo.
Survivors include his wife, Dianne of Union; children, Kathy and Kelly McDowell of La Grande, John and JoAnn Hefner of Union, Jeff McClaskey of Touchet, Wash., and Wendy and Rob Langford of Union; sisters, Shirley Reeves of Hickory, N.C., Adalee Robins of Hickory, Barbara Ann Snyder of Pendleton and Betty Sue of Hickory; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild and other relatives. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Rebecca Hefner.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.
La Grande Observer – Obituaries For The Week Ending September 22, 2007 – Published: September 18, 2007