The Illinois Valley lost a treasured man, community elder and resident here of 45 years, John Benjamine LaRue, AKA “Zorro,” AKA Mayor of O’Brien, born March 27, 1934, passed peacefully at his home on April 22, 2023, and there is no better way to leave this earth. He was a man of great kindness, wisdom, humor, integrity and TRUE GRIT. And he didn’t put up with any SH**! He was cherished and loved by many. He is survived by his brother Casey R. Caster and his son Casey R. Caster Jr.; daughter Johshar “Tina” LaRue and her son; three great-grandchildren; daughter Johnna Lynn La Rue, her four children, 10 great-grandchildren; daughter, Joy B. LaRue-Taylor, her three children, six great-grandchildren; son John B. LaRue III, his four children, eight great-grandchildren; a cousin Michael Samson; and various other family that live out of state. He retired as a truck driver of all kinds; tankers, pallet loads, logging, etc. Then, he hauled big equipment high up in the mountains to build roads and he drove the water truck on the Biscuit fire. He raced motorcycles in his earlier days and was a member of the California Gophers Club. When he “really” retired he became active in the Illinois Valley Lions Club and he and his buddy, Gary Bell, did the Sight and Hearing Program for our community and he helped with organizing the Lion’s Labor Day festival for many years. He enjoyed going out to breakfast and lunch with the “Coffee Clutch.” He was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and also Oregon Hunters Association. He was an amazing father, grandpa, papa and friend. He loved his people, his community, his family and his “familia.” He will be missed by all who knew him. May he rest in beautiful, eternal peace. He is now reunited with his loved ones that have gone before him. A TRUE LEGEND is forever free, driving, riding and racing motorcycles in the sky. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023, 1 p.m. at the Illinois Valley Airport, a main dish will be provided but please bring potluck sides and desserts. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Joy Taylor to help with bills and expenses. Thank you for all of the community support and love.


Michael Douglas Putnam, 61, of Selma died April 29, 2023 at his home.
Arrangements with Illinois Valley Funeral Directors.