Edgar Floyd Ross passed away on Sunday, February 22, 2015 at the age of 90 in Sacramento, CA surrounded by his family. Born in Central Point, Oregon on October 4, 1924. Edgar was the son of the late Floyd Angus Ross and Mildred Lura Slayton Ross. The Ross and Slayton families were Oregon pioneers, having traveled west on the Oregon Trail in the mid 1860’s. They staked homesteads in Prineville and Southern Oregon. In 1936 Edgar moved from Central Point with his family to Prineville. They settled on the Slayton family farm. Edgar graduated from Crook County High School in Prineville. He was drafted into Army service in 1943 and was off to Europe to serve in WWII. He landed on the beaches of Normandy shortly after D-Day and was later promoted to Sergeant, 514th Field Artillery Battalion. Edgar fought under General Patton, helping liberate Nazi concentration camps and fought in The Battle of the Bulge. Edgar graduated from Oregon State College (University) in 1949, thirty years after his mother graduated in 1919 and then his son thirty years after Edgar in 1979. Edgar had a long career with the Oregon Department of Agriculture in Salem. He worked with farmers through the division of commodity commissions promoting agriculture to the world. He was named to the Oregon State Agriculture Hall of Fame. His honor resides at the Oregon State University Alumni Center in Corvallis. Edgar and his wife of 62 years, Janet, loved to travel. Janet was Edgar’s constant companion to the Agriculture Events throughout the United States. Edgar was an active member of Rotary. His love for floral design and decorating was an added addition to many Rotary functions. Janet was with Edgar at every Rotary Event supporting the many charitable activities Rotary contributed to. Edgar had a lifelong love of horses, particularly hackney ponies. Edgar was a legacy member of the Northwest Saddlebred Association Hall of Fame. Edgar’s family would like to thank Sunrise Assisted Living of Fair Oaks, CA for their faithful loving and compassionate care that allowed Edgar dignity the last seven months of his life. Edgar is survived by his wife of 62 years, Janet, daughter Elizabeth Simmons of Fair Oaks, CA (Bob), son David of Spokane, WA, granddaughter Megan Seattle, WA, grandson Brian Fair Oaks, CA, Brother John (Beth), Cousin Jean (Jim), a nephew and nieces. Services will be Tuesday, March 3rd at 3pm at City View Cemetery Chapel, Salem OR Donations in Edgar’s name may be made to the Northwest Saddlebred Association Youth Program, NWSA, Heidi Cuddeford, 23065 NE Hyland Drive Newberg, OR 97132
In Memory of Willard Deardorff
From the Dust Bowl wheat fields of Dakota to the Big Timber Country of Oregon, Willard G. Deardorff spent his 102 years pursuing various interests and projects involving timberland, rock quarries, land development, road building, lakes and ponds, commercial properties, livestock and American Saddlebred horses.
He was a founding member of the Northwest Saddlebred Association as well as the Clackamas Tree Farm Association. He served on the board of the local Federal Land Bank and the Clackamas County Fair Board where he was the President of both. He rode with the Clackamas Country Mounted Posse drill team and was famous for his enormous flock or peacocks and various exotic birds. Willard loved animals and nature and was enhancing wildlife habitat before the age of environmentalism and was rocks before landscapers discovered them.
A Saddlebred enthusiast since the 1940's, his affinity for the breed started as he cruised his tree farms in Molalla, Oregon on horseback. He acquired a mare named Lady Whirlaway and eventually bought his first stallion, Victor Stonewall and his breeding program began under the Doubletrees Farm name (named after the two large double-trunked trees that he lived on until his death). Willard Deardorff eventually had one of the largest breeding programs in the country from the 1970's to the late 1990's. He is responsible breeding the multi-time World Champion CH Doubletrees Steel The Show; others include, CH Doubletrees Firecracker, RWC Doubletrees Quixotic, RWC CH My Dakota, RWC Doubletrees Whispered Wishes and many more.
Willard was the second of four sons born in Wildrose, North Dakota to Avery and Charlotte Jane Deardorff. He graduated from Wildrose High School in 1930 before moving with his family to Silverton, Oregon during the Great Depression. He received a homestead grant in the Molalla, Oregon area from President Roosevelt where cut firewood for money and hunted deer for food. The timbered homestead was the beginning of his ever-growing tree farm business, which he managed throughout his lifetime. In 1945 he met and married Betty Van Jane Fleet. they lived in the Hollywood area of Portland until moving with their three children--Gary, Don and Jane--to a farm in Molalla in 1951, where Willard resided until his death.
Willard is survived by two sons and their wives, Gary and Joan Deardorff and Don and Brooke Deardorff and son-in-law Garry Wynn. He leaves grandsons Eric (Alyssa) andKevin (Tricia) Deardorff, Brent (Lisa) and Darren (Bridgett) Wynn; granddaughters Julie (Dan) Gilkison and Allison Deardorff (Marc Hevern), and nine great grandchildren--Anna Rose and Evan Deardorff, Kyle, Ryan and Lauren Gilkison, Avery Deardorff, Cade Wynn, and Carson and Charlotte Wynn. His daughter, Jane, predeceased him in Januaryof 2011 as did his wife, Betty in 2013.
The family will hold a private interment at Russellville Cemetery. Willard’s memorial service at the Molalla Nazarene Church is being planned for February 24, 2015 at 1 p.m. Contributions in Willard’s name may be made to the Willard Deardorff Memorial Fund at Grace Church in Molalla (901 N. Molalla Avenue), or to The Salvation Army.
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