Baker City, Oregon
Edgar Harold Gutridge, 78, a lifelong Baker City resident, died Jan. 6, 2004.
His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Aaron Oglesbee of the Agape Church will officiate. Private vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Mr. Gutridge was born on Jan. 26, 1925, to Allen and Lottie Springer Gutridge. Ed was free- spirited, fun-loving and had an inexhaustible sense of humor. He could find humor in any situation.
He was known as a good-natured, cheerful man. He often referred to himself as a n’er do well, but in truth he was a generous man with a heart of gold. It was not uncommon for him to go without in order for others to have what they needed.
Everyone knew they could depend on Ed. He worked for Ellingson Lumber Co. for 30 years before retiring. Some of his fondest memories were of the years he spent in the logging camps and later working on the chain at the mill.
As the storyteller Ed’s sense of humor along with his flair for using colorful and descriptive language made his stories come alive. He could speak for hours keeping the listener both enthralled and entertained.
He enjoyed reminiscing about the many misadventures of his youth, experiences during his years at the mill, and life lessons learned while growing up during the Depression. Above all he preferred stories of family history as they had been told to him when he was a young boy.
He never missed an opportunity to share stories of the old west, ancestors who traveled the Oregon Trail, their strong relationships with local Indian tribes and how they survived to settle in Baker Valley.
He was an experienced carpenter and he helped rebuild a number of homes in Baker City; however, he was particularly proud to have built the house his eldest daughter was born in. He liked to keep busy with all types of woodworking and repair projects over the years.
He loved to fish and was a fly fisherman extraordinaire. He loved to spend time in the great outdoors, and, in fact, Ed’s nature walks would last entire days. This he learned from his mother who regularly took him and his siblings out for hikes all over the mountains and valleys of Baker County. He taught his children to appreciate wildlife and to protect the environment. He would stop his car on a dime, any where at any time, just to admire the landscape of our beautiful state.
An avid reader, Ed was never without a book. He often selected books on unfamiliar subjects simply to educate himself. He preferred novels about conspiracies and international espionage. His favorite author was Mark Twain. He played the accordion and harmonica in his younger years. He enjoyed big band and classical music and listening to the great Caruso. Ed was a kind, loving and deeply devoted father.
Survivors include his daughters, Melissa Gutridge of Chicago, Lisa DeRoest of Boise, and Sharon Meyer of Elgin; a son, Lester Churchill of Kennewick, Wash.; three grandsons and two granddaughters.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, four sisters and a daughter, Jayna Marie Gutridge in 1970.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Salvation Army, Food Banks or to a charity of one’s choice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, January 16, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor