My Grandfather’s Obituary

James Patrick Tolan
James Patrick ‘Jim’ Tolan
March 26, 1934-Dec. 12, 2007
James Patrick “Jim” Tolan, 73, died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 at his home in Hermiston. Recitation of the rosary will be held on Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at Burns Mortuary Chapel in Hermiston. A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Hermiston. Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Tolan was born March 26, 1934 in Long Beach, Calif. to Harry and Helen (Bertleson) Tolan. He lived in Long Beach, Ellensburg and Wallula, Wash., and in Echo, where he graduated in 1954. He played basketball on Echo’s 1953 state championship team and played in the East/West Shrine game as a senior in 1954.

He married Dorothy Jean Shockman in 1954. She died in 1973.

He worked for U.S. Gypsum in Pilot Rock, at the Creamery in Hermiston, as a self-employed meat cutter in Stanfield, as a meat cutter at a grocery store in Milton-Freewater, for Hill Meat in Stanfield, at a grocery store in Pilot Rock, and then back to Hermiston as a bookkeeper for Shockman Brothers and at the Hermiston Herald before health problems forced retirement. After retiring, he worked for Eastern Oregon Mobile Slaughter part-time.

He married Sue (Ammons) Owens in Hermiston in 1981. In 1989 he received a heart transplant. Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, and wood cutting.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Tolan of Hermiston; sons John Tolan of La Grande, Casey Tolan of Hermiston, and Scott Owens of Riggins, Idaho; daughters Colleen LaFrance of Colorado Springs, Colo., Lori Shaw of Lake Stevens, Wash., Deb Harris of Bend, Lisa Lilly of St. Joseph, Mo., and Karla Wenning of Keizer; brother Bill Tolan of San Francisco; sisters Myrna Garvey of Ellensburg, Wash., Marjorie Galloway of Kennewick, Wash., Sonja Gulliver of Saginaw, Mich., and Pat Tolan of Kennewick, Wash.; 21 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife Dorothy; and sister Maureen Duncan.

Memorial contributions may be made to Vange John Memorial Hospice, 1050 W. Elm Ave. Ste. 220, Hermiston, OR 97838 or to the Echo Quarterback Club, P.O. Box 54, Echo, OR 97826.


  1. Thank you for posting your grandfather’s orbit. I didn’t get to see his orbit, my husband was recovering from having a lung removed and we just got home from the hospital the day my uncle Jim died.

    Margaret Steffen


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