April 16, 2014
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1119 Meade Ave.
Leota Olney
March 4, 1928 April 8, 2014
Leota Olney, age 86, of Prosser, entered into rest on April 8, at Hospice at The Chaplaincy in Kennewick. 
Leota was born in Jessup, Iowa March 4, 1928 to Edward and Julia (Ford) Olney.  The family later moved to Fortworth, Texas.  In 1940, when Leota was in the 9th grade, the family decided to move to Prosser to be closer to her mother's relatives.  They settled on 40 acres of land, on Old Inland Empire where Chardonnay Avenue is today, and the family worked the farm together. 
After graduating from Prosser High School, Leota attended Central Washington College where she earned her teaching degree in 1949.  She taught 3rd and 4th grade in Yakima for two years.  In 1951 she joined the family's business at Olney's Furniture and Carpeting.     
Leota became the first female Prosser Chamber President in 1973. Leota served on countless committees, clubs and boards and was proud to have been a member and past president of the Business and Professional Women's Club.  She donated her time volunteering on the float committee, at the Benton County Historical Museum and remained involved in her Family's Scholarship fund for graduating high school students. Over the years she also served as United Good Neighbors Chairman, on the United Methodist Church board and with Friends of the Library. 
A strong advocate of school activities and youth, she gave volunteer service as a Camp Fire Leader for a number of years and was an avid school supporter and sports fan.  In 1975, she was the recipient of the Prosser Outstanding Lady the Year award.  Leota was a faithful advocate of Prosser and her strength of character, humor and optimism in this community will be truly missed.
Leota enjoyed the performing arts, opera, plays, classical music, reading and continuing her education.  She also enjoyed her morning coffee meetings at Café Villa with her good friends.
Leota believed that the extended family is what made life meaningful to her.  She was beloved and admired by her nieces and nephews, Patricia Helton and husband, Tom of Kennewick, Diana Martin and husband, Russell of Portland, OR and Kitty Kay Olney of Houston, AK; and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews.  She served as their matriarch and had a profound influence on all their lives.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Julia Olney, her brother, Forrest Olney and his wife, Cathryn.
A Graveside service was held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 15 at the Prosser Cemetery. Visitation was scheduled for Monday, April 14, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Prosser Funeral Home.
Donations may be made to the Prosser United Methodist Church or Hospice at the Chaplaincy.  You may leave an online message of condolence for the family at
Wayne Ellsworth Ferson
July 8, 1923 April 4, 2014
Wayne Ellsworth Ferson, age 90, passed away April 4, in Sunnyside, Wash. 
Wayne was born July 8, 1923 in this family's home in Sunnyside, to Chester E. Ferson and Mary E. Williams.  On March 20, 1942 he married the love of his life Miss Ruth Lee Noble in Prosser.  In January of 1944, he joined the U.S. Navy and became a Shipfitter in the Pacific fleet during World War II and served his country honorably until December 1945.
After serving his country, Wayne returned to Sunnyside and became the owner and operator of Ferson Welding and Repair.  Later he worked at Grandview Grange Supply as a Mechanic and eventually retired from the Libby's Plant as the Chief Refrigeration Engineer. 
Wayne loved farming his cherry and apple orchard, flying, woodworking, metalworking, and any type of construction, especially working on cars.  He was a member in the American Legion, Grandview Masonic Lodge, and the Yakima Scottish Rite.
Wayne is survived by his loving wife Ruth of Sunnyside and two sons, Lawrence Ferson and wife Betty of Grandview, and Jerry Ferson and wife Linda of Sunnyside.  Grandchildren include: Jerry Ferson Jr. of Thurmont, Md; Lynn Ferson of Orlando, Fla; Lee Ann Ferson of Wasilla, Ala; Lieutenant Colonel Victor Ferson of Manassas, Va; and Vicki Nadeau of Phoenix, Ariz.  He also has 15 great grandchildren and five great, great grandchildren.  His mother and father preceded him in death, along with his four sisters, a brother, and three grandchildren.
A Memorial Service of Inurnment will be held on Friday, April 18, at 11:00 a.m. at Lower Valley Memorial gardens, followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 1:00 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home Chapel in Sunnyside, Wash.
Those wishing to sign Wayne's on line memorial book may do so at In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Shrines Hospitals for Children. Smith Funeral Home Ltd. and Cremat
Car abandoned on tracks

By Victoria Walker
In the early morning hours on Thursday a Ford Explorer was struck by a train near Prosser.
The vehicle was hit by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train around 4:50 a.m. "It was near milepost 85 off Interstate 82," according to the Benton County Sheriff's Office, Lieutenant Charles Jones, and "no one was in the vehicle when it was struck."