Obituaries

Gary Stelle

Gary Stelle of Powell Butte, Oregon passed away on October 5, 2017, at the age of 74, at St Charles Medical Center.  A funeral service was held October 21, 2017 in Bend, Oregon.

Gary was born on November 27, 1942 in Portland, Oregon. He was raised in Shady Cove, Oregon and graduated from Eagle Point High School in 1961. Gary began working for the United States Forest Service at an early age and remained there for 36 years until his retirement.

Nearly his entire career was in aviation and wildfire management, and at the time of his retirement he was the Director of the Redmond Air Center. His service included many years as a member of the Forest Service Elite Interagency Fire Management Teams, dedicated to fire and natural disaster response around the nation.  He served on the Rogue, Willamette, Winema, Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests.  As a native Oregonian, he was an enthusiastic outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing across his home state, as well as Idaho and Canada.

Gary is survived by his wife of 44 years, Linda (Collins Stelle), sister Dianne Eccleston (Vic) of Eagle Point, OR; brother Ron Stelle (Wanda) of Eagle Point, OR; brother-in-law John Collins (Connie) of La Grande, OR; sisters-in-law Patricia Siegmund (Robert) of Eugene, and Maureen Collins of Redmond, OR; Niece Tami Davis of Powell Butte, OR; and many other beloved nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Memorial contributions in memory of Gary can be made to Wildland Fire Fighter Foundation, 2049 Airport Way, Boise, Idaho, 83705.

 

 

Dorothy I. Rotarius

Dorothy I. Rotarius went home to the Lord on October 7, 2017.  She was 89 years old.  She lived in the Rogue Valley for 55 years, but had moved to Redmond, Oregon 3 years ago to live with one of her daughters and son-in-law.  She was a member of Trail Christian Fellowship and of North Pointe Church in Bend, Oregon.

Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband, James R. Rotarius.  Dorothy loved her family and it is a large one:  Six daughters – Diane Meyer (Eric) of Eagle Point, OR, Sue LeBlanc (Randy) of Redmond, OR, Tricia Hale (Kevin) of Durango, CO, Karen Bowdoin (Steve) of Dundee, OR, Cindy Carroll (Tom) of Eagle Point, OR, Linda Curb (Bob) of Tigard, OR, and one son – Gary Rotarius (Kristi) of White City, OR.  She had 19 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, and 4 great great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of her life will be held on November 11, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at New Beginnings Church, 5889 Crater Lake Highway, Central Point, Oregon.

 

 

 

Robert F. Sloat

Heaven gained a good pilot and faithful servant when Robert F. “Bob” Sloat passed away at his home in Medford on October 15, 2017.

Born in Santa Rosa, California in 1933, Bob enjoyed his 84 years full of faith and family. Raised on the family ranch in Santa Rosa with his parents Ava Wilbur Sloat and Hazel Cooper Sloat, and his older brother Bill, Bob graduated from Santa Rosa High School at age 16. Being a mechanical whiz, he eventually enlisted in the US Air Force, serving his country as a bomber aircraft mechanic in Japan and honorably discharged in 1961.

After his military service, Bob graduated from Cal Poly State University with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. In his career as a certified professional engineer, he helped design and test the Titan IIIC solid fuel rocket boosters at United Technologies Corp, and designed roll-over cages at Medford Steel. Bob also served as the Shady Cove sewer engineer and the Jackson County plans examiner.

Bob loved flying, earning his pilot’s license at age 21. As part of a San Jose flying club, he and two friends purchased a high-wing Piper Comanche 4-seater airplane. Bob later co-piloted for Mercy Flights in Medford and was commander in chief with the rank of Major for the local Civil Air Patrol, locating downed aircraft throughout the Rogue Valley.

In 1963, Bob married the love of his life, Virginia Gally Brown, and they built a happy life together. In 1970 Bob and Virginia ventured out on their own, buying acreage in rural Shady Cove, Oregon, where Bob built the family home next to an airstrip. Over the next 34 years, they raised a close-knit family. Bob served as an elder in the White City Church of Christ and the Shady Cove Church of Christ, designing and helping build both churches. Bob and Virginia also lovingly took in foster children after their own children grew up.

Bob is remembered for his sunny disposition and charitable nature, his frequent stories and jokes, and his love of music. Friends and family recall the toe-tapping folk songs on his bass fiddle and him regularly playing guitar and singing hymns at church. After retiring he drove the tractor on his daughter and son-in-law’s ranch in Medford and enjoyed hunting with his son-in-law Del.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Virginia, along with their three children and spouses: Suzanne Hawley (Del), April Macauley (Ed), and Bobby Sloat (Tracie). Bob was blessed with seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A private burial will take place at the Eagle Point National Cemetery, and a larger Celebration of Life is planned next month for all family and friends.