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Obituaries - November 13

Jeffrey Bunch

Jeffrey Roy Bunch, 42, of Hood River, Ore., died accidentally while piloting his plane near Bozeman, Mont. Jeff was born Sept. 26, 1960, in Milwaukee, Wisc., the eldest son of Roy and Patsy Bunch.

Jeff spent most of his childhood in nearby Waterford, Wisc., where he made his mark on his hometown, honed his considerable athletic skills and developed the obligatory fanatical allegiance to the Green Bay Packers. Jeff was graduated with honors from Waterford High School, and, having been voted “Most likely to succeed,” set his eyes firmly on the wider world.

At Carleton College, Jeff majored in economics, played tennis and started a wildly successful bartending school.

Jeff was recruited into the Corporate Intern program at Merrill Lynch in New York in 1982. Upon completion of the program he was assigned to Merrill Lynch’s Capital Markets Group in San Francisco. Jeff embraced the Bay Area, particularly the sub-culture of windsurfers, and windsurfing remained a touchstone of his existence all of his days.

After seven years with Merrill Lynch and two years with Lehman Brothers, Jeff moved back to New York with Barclay Investments, helping institutional clients construct and hedge global fixed income arbitrages. While in New York, Jeff met Patricia Martin of Culpeper, Va. The couple became engaged on a sailing trip off Australia. After their wedding in 1995, they made their home back in San Francisco, where Jeff was a Senior Vice President with Prudential Securities. Jeff co-founded LVS Capital Management in 1996, serving as its President.

He and Patricia decamped to Hood River in 1998, where he was able to indulge his passions for windsurfing, snowboarding, and most recently, flying, as well as engage in a vigorous battle to bring enlightenment to those benighted souls who disagreed with him on ecological issues. Jeff became a licensed pilot in 1999, and found in flying an intense exhilaration to match his utter fascination.

With the birth of Jeff and Patricia’s daughter, Payton Kimberly, in January of this year, a whole new world opened to him, as Jeff discovered and reveled in the singular ineffable joys of fatherhood.

Jeff’s acute alertness for the richness and variety of life’s experiences, and his dedicated commitment to “life lived large,” served to fill his brief years with an amazing abundance of love, excitement, deep and lasting friendships, high humor, exotic travelogues, and a litany of stories with uniquely Bunch-like features. Jeff drank the cup of life to the lees.

Jeff will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by his wife Patricia (Martin), daughter Payton Kimberly, parents Roy and Patsy Bunch of Bowling Green, Ky., brother Michael, Michael’s wife Patti (Suhm), and their sons Conner and Parker of Lake St. Louis, Mo.

A celebration of Jeff’s life will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, at 11 a.m. at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River. A memorial fund has been set up by family and friends to provide for Payton’s education. For further information please contact Trish Gooch at LVS Capital Management, 541-387-2688.

James Simpson

James Harold “Jim” Simpson was born in his family home in Spokane, Wash., Nov. 23, 1933, to Joseph Harold and Pearl Neomi Simpson.

He attended Spokane Public Schools, graduating from Rogers High School in 1952. He studied Civil Engineering at Washington State University before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1953. Jim received an honorable discharge from the Army in 1956, following the death of his father he returned to Spokane to support his family and work their farm.

On Aug. 16, 1958, he married his wife of 41 years, Patricia Marie “Patti” Craine in Veradale, Wash. They made their home in Spokane.

Jim went to work for Standard Oil in 1957, eventually owning his own service station. In 1973 he sold his service station and purchased the Shangri-la Motel in Spokane, where he began his next career as an innkeeper. The Simpsons moved to Hood River in 1976 when they purchased the Meredith Gorge Motel, which they owned until retirement in 1998.

Jim had a passion for service to his community, joining the Hood River Lions club in 1982. During his membership he held club offices of President, Secretary, Treasurer and Newsletter Editor, while maintaining 100 percent attendance. His Lions service was not limited to Hood River. He served in several offices in Oregon District “G” before serving as District Governor in 1991-1992. Jim was elected President of the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation in 1998-1999, after first serving on the Executive Board as Treasurer and Vice Chairman, and as a Trustee on the Board of Directors.

As a hobby Jim enjoyed collecting and trading Lions pins, having a network of friends with whom he traded pins and jokes. Many of the pins in his collection were obtained by attending International Lions Conventions both here and abroad, where he helped coordinate and participated in representing Oregon Lions to the world.

Jim was active in St. Mary’s Catholic Church where he coordinated ticket sales to the church’s annual ham dinner and helped organize bingo. Jim was active in the Knights of Columbus having held all of the local offices and was a Fourth Degree Knight. Jim served the region as Faithful Navigator for the Knights.

Jim’s memberships included 38 years as an ELK, Gyro’s International, Inland Innkeepers Association, and Oregon Lodging Association.

Survivors include his sons, Greg “Bumper” Simpson of Hood River and Joe Simpson of Bend, his daughter and son-in-law Beth and Jess Flem and grandchildren Meghan and Shelby Flem of Hood River, sister Audrey Browning of Sherwood.

His parents, Joe and Pearl Simpson, his brother, Ronald Simpson, and his wife, Patti Simpson, preceded him in death.

Rosary will be recited for Jim on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. at Anderson’s Tribute Center in Hood River, a Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hood River.

Vault interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation or the Hood River Lions Foundation c/o Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont, Hood River, OR 97031

Rex Watson

Funeral services for Rex O. Watson will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2002, at 1 p.m. at the Hood River Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Rex Owen Watson was born March 27, 1915, to George and Lucinda Watson at Twin Groves, Idaho. Mr. Watson died November 9, 2002, in Hood River, Ore. He was 87 years of age.

Rex graduated from Charlo High School in Montana. He served on a mission for his church in 1937. Rex was a veteran of World War II. He was a staff sergeant in the Army Air Corps, teaching airplane mechanics. He married Odette Miller on Jan. 10, 1947. He lived in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana for most of their married life and this is where they raised their four children. They recently moved to Hood River, to be closer to family.

Rex was a member of the LDS Church; he held the office of Elder in the Melchizedek priesthood. He also served as superintendent of Sunday school for many years. Rex retired from the National Institute of Health at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory after 30 years of service in 1977. Rex was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He also enjoyed gardening; He enjoyed traveling, especially to the coast where he loved to walk on the beach.

He is survived by wife, Odette, of Hood River; a daughter, Donna Kingery of Phoenix, Ariz.; a son and daughter-in-law, John and Marge Watson of Phoenix, Ariz.; a daughter and son-in-law, Lawnie and Richard Morgan of White Salmon, Wash., and a daughter and son-in-law, Debra and Robert Munson of Portland, Ore., and a sister, Gladys Pancake of Boise, Idaho.

He is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Greg, Traci, Tara, Shannon, John, Shawn, Erin, Megan, Colin and Lauren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Vault interment will be at Idlewilde Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, c/o Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont, Hood River, OR 97031.

Leah Abraham

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2002, Leah S. Abraham passed away at her home in Portland, Ore. She was 86 years old. A memorial service was held at the First Congregational Church in Portland on Nov. 12, 2002.

Her parents, Madeline and Frank Puppo, welcomed into their home in Portland, Ore., their only child, on May 12, 1916. She was raised there and graduated from Washington High. Then she attended the Portland Art Museum, School of Art and the University of Oregon.

On July 25, 1942, she married Kenneth M. Abraham. After he returned from serving in World War II, they moved to Hood River, his childhood home, where her husband practiced law. There, they raised their three daughters, Janet, Susan and Laurie, participating with them in PTA and Camp Fire Girls. Leah was active in the Riverside Congregational Church and was president of the Women’s Guild.

She was known as a loving mother and a gracious hostess, who enjoyed entertaining their many friends and business associates at their home. She was a charter member of the “Nile River Yacht Club.”

After her husband retired in 1982, they moved to Portland, where she delighted in the activities of her four grandchildren, Peter and Jayson Van Zeipel, Shelby Bell and Madeline Rice. Traveling was a passion she shared with the whole family, taking them on cruises and trips to exotic places.

There will be a private interment in the Rose City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Hood River Library or the Riverside Congregational Church.

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