Keating, Baker County, Oregon
John J. Colton Jr., 90, a longtime Baker County resident, died July 31, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
The rosary will be said at 7 p.m. Monday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Cathedral. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a luncheon afterward at the parish hall.
Visitations will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.
John was born the third of 15 children on Dec. 21, 1914. He attended grade school at the Washington School (Medical Springs Grange) and high school at St. Francis Academy, graduating from Baker High School.
After graduation he herded sheep for the family ranch as well as working at the Pondosa sawmill.
He married Anna Hope Harris on July 15, 1936. They were married for 53 years before her death in 1989.
After their marriage, they herded sheep in the mountains of Baker and Union counties and began their family. During World War II, the family moved to Vancouver, Wash., where John worked as a welder in the shipyards.
The sheep called him home before the end of the war and the family returned to Baker County where they lived and worked on the family ranch in the Keating Valley. John worked on the ranch until he was forced to retire for health reasons.
He and Hope then began wintering in Arizona nearer to their two daughters. After Hope died, John continued to live on the ranch and to spend winters in Arizona, until this past year.
John had been active in the Baker County Sheriff’s Posse, serving as captain. He was a past president of the Baker County Livestock Association, a longtime member of the Baker Elks Lodge and the Knights of Columbus and a lifetime member of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.
He and Hope enjoyed dancing, playing cards, gardening, fishing and hunting and spending time with his brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren. He also was an avid sports fan.
Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Donaldine and Hal Huntington of Baker City and Loralee and Steve Ramsdell of Phoenix, Ariz.; his son and daughter-in-law, Gerald and Bonnie Colton of Baker City; his sisters, Nell Owen, June Premovitch, Jean Thompson, LaRue Brooks and Joyce Turner; a brother, Donald Colton; and nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Hope; five brothers, Frank, Hugh, Phil, Bill and Blaine; and two sisters, Mary Dolby and Madge Lloyd.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker County CattleWomen’s Scholarship Fund or a charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, August 5, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor