Darrell Robert Bales of Baker City, Oregon, 83, passed away from pneumonia
on Aug 22, 2021 after a 7-month stay at Meadowbrook Place Assisted Living
facility. His family gathered to be with him during that last week of his
life. Memorial service plans for the spreading of his and his wife’s ashes
will be made in the spring.
Darrell was born July 13, 1938 at the hospital in Mt. Vernon, Oregon to
Robert “Bob” Thomas Bales and Lila Grace Friedly. He spent his earliest
years on the Bales sheep ranch near Kimberly and John Day, Oregon. In
January of 1945 the Bales relatives sold off the ranch and his family moved
to Baker where he lived for the rest of his life, a loved and respected
part of the community.
He graduated from Baker High School where he played on the varsity
basketball team and enjoyed playing basketball with his friends well into
his 50s. He was a hard worker. His first job was as a printer at the Record
Courier newspaper and later he delivered supplies for the Baker school
district where he would give the kids he knew a friendly wave. He retired
On April 12, 1959 Darrell married the love of his life, Bertha Ann Morris.
They bought a fixer-upper house out on Pocahontas Road which he continued
to help Bertha remodel into the house of her dreams. They loved their home
and to make it nice inside and out. There was the gorgeous garden and
patio, the Western-themed bedroom up to the last major project, a complete
kitchen redo. Darrell simply adored Bertha with a rare level of dedication
(thus the photo of both of them in this obit) and would help her do
anything with a happy heart. She would say things like “the windows need
cleaning” and soon the task would be done. He deeply grieved her passing
and that of his sister Sally and cousin Tom who called him daily.
Darrell studied his wife’s Catholic faith, becoming a devout member of
Baker’s St. Francis Catholic church and until the end attended services
whenever he was able to, after which he enjoyed gathering with a group of
others for a meal out.
He had a special bond with his half-sister, Sally Farmer, and a few times
a week they had lunch at the Inland Cafe. Bertha, Darrell, and Sally always
attended events together at the church of the other such as the Methodist
Ice Cream Social and the Catholic Thanksgiving dinner. He greatly enjoyed
the many holiday family gatherings and meals.
Darrell loved the outdoors, frequently camping, hunting, fishing and
taking the time to be with his family. Besides these outdoor adventures,
the couple never took a vacation except for when they won a trip to Hawaii.
He had fun visiting Tom’s ranch where he could ride the 4-wheeler while
helping out with the cows. The couple enjoyed having their grandchildren,
Kevin and Kelly, come over from Medford for 2-week stays.
He was slow to anger, agreeable, kind, loving, and generally quiet unless
someone else initiated it, then a long conversation might follow. He was a
favorite uncle that liked to entertain the nieces and nephews. A very close
and sweet relationship developed between the couple and nephew Cody who
loved visiting them and the long, warm and easy talks they had that made
him feel especially loved. Niece Jeanie fondly recalls that when she made a
batch of apricot jam that did not set up right, she gave it to Darrell and
“Bert” and it tasted so yummy that they fought over who got to eat it.
His passing leaves a huge hole in the hearts of those who loved him yet we
know he is surely joyous to move on to his eternal “home” to be with those
loved ones who passed before him.
Special thanks to Rocky Morris and her family for their help with the move
to Meadowbrook, and many other things over the years; and to the Martin and
Mary Neske family who helped Darrell around the property and with getting
to appointments during his last few years (and more).
Darrell Bales was preceded in death by his parents Bob and Lila, wife
Bertha (Morris) Bales and all his siblings, Roberta Bard of Pueblo West,
Colorado, Dennis Bales of Umatilla, Oregon, Patty Moyes and Sally Farmer,
both of Baker City; and nephew Kevin Moyes of Baker.
He is survived by sons, Brad Bales of Dayton, Oregon and Brian Bales of
Medford, Oregon; grandchildren Kelly of Medford, and Kevin (Bergan) of
Missoula, Montana; great-grandchildren, Riley Bales of Medford and Greyson
Bales of Missoula; nieces and nephews, Karen Eck, Kay Patterson, Kip
Farmer, Michael Moyes, Dean, Chris and Colette Bales, Lori Bushke, Jeanie
Dexter, Stephanie and Jessica Eck, Jason and Brad Waldrop; and the many
members of his wife’s family.
For those who would like to make a donation in memory of Darrell the
family suggests St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church through Tami's Pine
Valley Funeral Home and Cremation Services, PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon
97834. Online condolences can be shared at