Harvey Edward Witham, 89, a fourth-generation Baker City resident, died Oct. 19, 2005.
His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Lennie Spooner of the First Church of the Nazarene will officiate.
Harvey was born on April 30, 1916, in Baker City to William and Maud Moeller Witham.
He attended Brooklyn Elementary School and was a 1934 graduate of Baker High School. Thereafter he worked for his uncle, Ed Moeller, in Baker City.
As a young man he worked on many of the projects of Baker City. He was hod carrier for the brick masons who built Helen M. Stack Middle School. He was married on July 26, 1941, to Hertha E. LaBrier. In 1941 he was drafted by the U.S. Army, and served as a carpenter in Hollandia, New Guinea.
When he returned home from the service he and his brother, Fred, started Witham Bros. Construction. His brothers, Bill and Tom, also worked in the construction industry. They built several buildings including the Lutheran and Methodist churches, Baker Bulldog Memorial Stadium at Baker High School, the Ellingson plywood plant in south Baker and the Levingers building after the fire, the Production Credit building, bridges in Durkee and Halfway, and many residences.
His hobbies included wood working, carving, and stained glass. He built many pieces of furniture for each of his children and grandchildren. He was involved in the restoration of several stained glass windows at the St. Francis de Sales Cathedral. He worked to complete the stained glass windows at Calvary Baptist Church.
He was a 50-year member of the Elks Lodge, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. He served on the St. Elizabeth Hospital Board, the Baker County Fair Board, and the Civil Service Commission.
Survivors include his daughters and their husbands, Evelyn and Bob Ryan of Pennsylvania, Jeanne and Terry Schumacher of Baker City, Reba and Kenny Sharp of Beaverton, and Anna and David Baum of La Grande; his brother, Tom Witham, and his wife, Carol, of Baker City; his grandchildren, Mike Ryan, Mollie Peiren, and Mitch Ryan, all of New York, Thom Schumacher of Texas, Jacki Adams of Baker City, Carolyn Reagan of La Grande, Shad Sharp and Silene Rush of Portland, Regan Baum of Kentucky, Aleck Baum, Karl Baum, and Leigh Baum, all of La Grande; five great-grandchildren, Brendan and Alyson Ogan, Ashley and Josie Reagan and Jada Rush. He also has a great-grandson who is to be born in December.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Will and Maud Witham; his brothers, Fred and Bill Witham; his sister, Evelyn Grant; and his loving wife of 61 years, Hertha Witham.
Memorial contributions may be made through Gray’s West, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR, 97814, for the Honduras Medical Team. Make checks payable to the Nazarene Church.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 25, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor