Aug 14, 2009
by WLJ


Frederick A. Phillips

Frederick A. Phillips II, 88, a lifelong resident of Baker City, OR, died July 17, 2009, at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Fred was born Jan. 30, 1921, in Baker City, OR, to Wayne Everett Sr. and Ara Vatel (Chisum) Phillips. Fred grew up on the cattle ranch his grandfather acquired in 1905, where he remained most of his life, and attended Baker High School, New Mexico Military Institute, and the University of Oregon.

Fred proudly served our country in the Air Force during World War II where he flew a P47 Thunderbolt Fighter plane running search and rescue missions in the Pacific. He was discharged as a captain in 1945. While stationed in San Antonio, TX, he met Willeva Halsell. They were married in 1946 and had three children, Frederick III, Polly, and Adam. When he returned to the home ranch, he entered into a partnership with his father, Wayne Sr., and his brother, Wayne Jr., running the Phillips Ranch.

Fred and Willeva were married for 49 years before her death in 1995. He was later married to Lavern A. Hindman for nine years before she passed away in 2005. Fred was very active in civic and community affairs as well as county, state and national beef industry programs. He was past president of the Baker County Farm Bureau and served on the Board of Directors on the Baker Chamber of Commerce.

Fred was also president of Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, director of the American National Cattlemen’s Association and served on their Executive Committee, chairman of the Oregon Livestock Advisory Committee, commissioner for the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, and board member for SOLVE. He also served on the Oregon Agriculture Research Foundation, Oregon State Livestock Disease Advisory Board, and the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee. Fred is survived by his children: Adam and wife, Deena, of Baker City, Fred and wife, Beth, of Baker City, Polly Johnson and husband, Marty, of Hood River, OR; seven grandchildren, Ryan Phillips and wife, Trista, Clay Phillips, Travis Carratt, Toby Carratt, Woody Johnson, Savanna Phillips, Riley Phillips; his brother, Wayne Jr., and his wife, Janice, of Baker City. Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society c/o Gray’s West & Company, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Mary von Forell

Mary von Forell, 52, of Wheatland, WY, died Aug. 3, 2009, after courageously battling bladder cancer for more than a year. She was born Jan. 8, 1957, in Billings, MT.

She graduated from Billings High School in 1975 and continued on to be a phenomenal gymnast and team roper on the national level at Oklahoma State University and Montana State, where she earned her degree.

After college, Mary went to work for the Iowa Beef Improvement Association. She then returned to Montana to help her father and brother continue to build and develop Midland Bull Test. Midland is now the most renowned performance test facility in the world. Mary moved to Wyoming 21 years ago to marry Hardy von Forell. They raised three children, Kristine, Ben and Amanda.

Mary’s enjoyment of breeding and showing cattle led her to inspire the same in her children and they had numerous champions throughout the country. This family activity made her family close and allowed her to develop wonderful friendships througout the country.

Mary always encouraged greatness. Not only did she believe the people around her could succeed, she knew it and demanded it. First and foremost, she was a mother, and this quality she passed on to her children and family. She was the kind of leader who not only led by direction, but by encouragement and example, too.

Everything she did was purposeful, and if there is a fault in what she did, it was that she was too selfless at times. Her acute eye for detail allowed her to enhance everything around her, from building one of the best cow herds in America to encouraging creativity and sensitivity. People will remember her for her passion and compassion. Her love had no boundaries and no prejudice. Those closest to her felt the core of her love and excelled because of it. It is her family’s hope that she is remembered as the compassionate, competitive, loving woman they all knew. They want her to be remembered for who she was, the woman whose obituary took hours to write because as they dug deeper into their memories, happy tears and loving stories were shared and cherished.

The family appreciates the skilled and loving hands that provided care to Mary from the staff of Wheatland Hospital, Billings Clinic, Cheyenne Hospital, University Hospital in Denver, and M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston.

Mary is survived by her husband, Hardy; children Kristine (Levi) Maltby, Great Falls, MT, Benjamin, Annapolis, MD, and Amanda, El Dorado, KS; mother, Donna McDonnell; siblings Leo McDonnell, Jeanette Manley, Patty Brus of Cody, Kevin McDonnell and Mike McDonnell; several nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, great-nieces and nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Leo McDonnell. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to a charity Mary organized, “Wheel Get You There,” in care of Platte Valley Bank in Wheatland. This charity funds travel for cancer patients to receive treatment.