Oregon obituaries

W. Clark Gallagher

Joe Blaha

Margaret Ann "Peggy" Stickel

Molly R. Walker

Bob Van Leer

Philip N. Bladine

Bob Caldwell

Edwina Meitzen

Betty Van Leer

Dick Nafsinger

Mark H. Dickson

Betty Anderson

Pat Zimmerman

Brian T. Meehan



W. Clark Gallagher

Clark Gallagher, former general manager of the Democrat-Herald, past president of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and publisher of newspapers in Springfield, Newport and Hillsboro, died New Year’s Day after an accident at his home in Bend. He was 71.

Friends and former coworkers praised Gallagher as a “mentor,” someone who “always had a smile on his face,” and a person with “a heart for his community.”

Albany businessman Mark Thomas had been friends with Gallagher since the early 1970s, “when we both had long hair and he looked like Jesus.”

Thomas' family owned a foreign car dealership in Bend and Gallagher was an advertising representative for the Bulletin newspaper.

“I was in college and he worked with my dad at first and then with me when I went to work for the company” Thomas said. “He was a helluva newspaperman and was involved in everything in the community. He saw every facet of newspapering.”

Thomas called his friend a “truly good person” who was always upbeat and “a lot of fun.”

Former Democrat-Herald publisher John Buchner worked with Gallagher for many years and called him an outstanding newspaperman, family man and community member.

“Clark was a key sales executive for the Democrat-Herald and its sister publications,” he said. “I’m grateful for his expertise and dedication while I was general manager and publisher. He first worked for me as a retail advertising manager and after serving as publisher of the Springfield News, I brought him back to Albany as general manager in charge of all sales.”

Gallagher was later promoted to publisher of the Newport News-Times, another Democrat-Herald sister publication at that time.

“He was good with people and truly believed that the newspaper was a partner with local businesses in promotions and sales,” Buchner said. “He also was a leader within the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce. And on top of everything else, he was a great husband and father to his family.”

Buchner praised Gallagher as, “the kind of individual a company highly values in the workforce. He will be missed.”

Gallagher retired from the Hillsboro Argus — a sister publication to the Portland Oregonian — at the end of 2011.

He and his wife, Kimberly, a retired schoolteacher, moved from Albany to Bend in 2015.

Under Gallagher’s leadership, the Argus was an award-winning newspaper, and in 2009 it earned the prestigious General Excellence award for its circulation category in the annual Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association Better Newspaper Contest.

“I am terribly sad to hear about the loss of Clark. He was a great newspaperman,” said ONPA executive director Laurie Hieb. “Clark engaged himself in the community his newspaper served and was very well-liked. He was the president of ONPA when I was hired as executive director. Clark was a huge supporter of mine as well as the association. I will never forget all of the encouragement and guidance he gave me during that time. He will be greatly missed.”

Gallagher spent more than 40 years in the newspaper business, including stints as the advertising supervisor of The Bulletin in Bend; advertising director and then general manager of the Democrat-Herald; editor and publisher of the Springfield News and Newport News-Times, and publisher of the Hillsboro Argus.

Gallagher was actively involved in every community, and a lifelong Rotarian.

He was a past chairman of the board of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and was honored as an Albany First Citizen.

“During the late '90s Clark was a board member and served as chairman in 1997-‘98” said Janet Steele, president of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. “During his tenure, the chamber developed our first strategic long-term plan and did a complete remodel of the office. He was a people person and well respected in the community. I've been privileged to work with 30 different board chairs over the years and Clark was one of the best.”

He was also active with the Yaquina Bay Economic Development Foundation and the United Way of Linn County.

“Clark was a very positive guy. There was always a great vibe of goodwill and constructive energy coming off him. It sounds like a cliché’, but he really did always have a smile on his face, or most of the time anyway,” said Steve Lundeberg, who worked with Gallagher at the Springfield and Albany newspapers. “Clark was very approachable, very human. He made me feel at home when I was hired as sports editor of the Springfield News when I was basically just a kid.”

Lundeberg, now a writer at Oregon State, said Gallagher, “… had a fun-loving nature and a presence that exuded leadership. I really liked him; the last great age of newspapering has lost another of its bright lights.”

Oweta Smith worked in the Democrat-Herald’s advertising department for more than 20 years.

“When I think of Clark, I think of what a wonderful, nice man, so generous with his talents, a mentor to myself and many of the advertising people on the staff,” she said. “I really enjoyed working with him. He was even-tempered, approachable, and a hands-on leader. He saw himself as a mentor and not someone who just ordered people around.”

Gallagher is survived by Kimberly, his wife of 44 years, a son, Matthew Brett Gallagher and his wife, Alysia, of Ogden, Utah; and a daughter, Tiffany Suzanne LeClair and her husband Eric, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. His first grandchild is due in May.

Arrangements are by Niswonger-Reynolds Funeral Home, Bend, at www.niswonger-reynolds.com/.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, 61170 SE 27th St., Bend, OR 97702 or at www.hsco.org.

Private family services at the Oregon coast are planned.


Molly R. Walker

Molly Rebecca Walker of Salem, beloved wife of James Rockwell Walker, lost her life to mental illness on March 30, 2015. Molly was born in Gold Beach on October 31, 1958 to Robert and Betty Templeman Van Leer, and attended local public schools, graduating from Gold Beach High in 1976.

Molly briefly attended Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay, then joined her family at the Curry County Reporter where she continued to work as an owner and editor until 2008. Most recently Molly worked for the Yamhill News-Register from 2008 to 2014 where she wrote features, business columns and covered religious topics in the local community until the end of October 2014 when she took a hiatus from work to assist Jim with his Rotary preparation for becoming District Governor in 2015-16.

Molly and Jim were married in 1983, blending four boys into a family unit including Dale, Jim, Rob and Chris. Theirs was a very happy marriage as the two joined their souls and began their journey through life. They were almost inseparable, and enjoyed life's little pleasures, like spending time with family and friends.

Molly's upbringing led her to have a passion for gardening and the outdoors although she will be remembered by most for her passion and dedication to community journalism. She dedicated herself to providing a medium to her communities for gathering local information as well as being a supporter of local causes. Her tireless efforts and practical advice were never un-noticed by those around her as she assisted breaking down the gender barrier in Rotary by joining the organization in 1988 and was recognized as the Gold Beach Citizen of the Year in 1995. She also served as the Gold Beach Rotary club president in 1997-98 and helped in making Rotary a family legacy by including husband Jim on many of her initiatives and helping him become a leader in District 5110.

Molly and Jim enjoyed most of their hobbies together, which included sports car racing, hiking local trails and roads, attending family sporting events, spoiling their grandkids and visiting family. They also enjoyed traveling having visited much of the United States, Canada, the Cooke Islands, Africa, Europe and Australia. While traveling Molly, being the big hugger type, often sidestepped the offered handshake for a warm embrace and enjoyed exploring new cultures and making new friends.

She is missed terribly by her husband; two sons and families: Rob and Becca of Toronto, Canada, Chris and Emily of Medford; two stepsons: Dale Walker of South Beach, and Jim and Kathi Walker of Salem; her sisters: Sherry and Scott Wills of Portland, Amy and Doug Bornemeier of Milwaukee, and Sally and Dave Shuey of Portland; plus her seven grandchildren: Alex and Greyson Walker (parents: Jim and Kathi), Travis, Caleb and Olivia (Chris and Emily), and Sadie and Charlie (Rob and Becca).

Molly is also survived by nieces and nephews Jordan and Maya Shuey and Jon and Anna Bornemeier.

Everyone who met Molly loved her for her genuine interest in them and her infectious smile and bubbly personality. She loved her community, her family and sharing almost 32 years with husband Jim, her children, grandchildren and sisters and families.

Rest in peace, my wonderful, beautiful wife and best friend, Molly. You'll live forever in our hearts.

Cremation services were provided by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service of Salem, and a memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, April 11 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Gold Beach.

Published in Statesman-Journal on April  5, 2015.


Bob Caldwell

Robert J. Caldwell, editorial page editor of The Oregonian since November 1995, died March 10, 2012 of a heart attack. He was 63.

Caldwell — simply "Bob" to everyone at The Oregonian — was known all over the building for his big smile and a bigger laugh. But those close to him also knew him to have a keen mind, excellent news judgment, and a heart full of compassion.

Bob grew up in the northeastern Oregon town of La Grande, where he excelled in both the classroom and in athletics at La Grande High School.

It was also while in high school that Caldwell started an interest in journalism and began writing sports stories for the La Grande Observer.

After high school, Caldwell enrolled at what is now Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. He spent two years there, then transferred to the University of Oregon where he majored in journalism and graduated in 1972.

After graduation from the UO, he worked as a reporter, editor and publisher at several newspapers in the Northwest. While he spent most of his life in Oregon, Caldwell served briefly as the managing editor of the Valley Newspapers in Kent, Wash., in 1979, but returned to Oregon as editor of the Springfield News.

After that, he was publisher of The Outlook in Gresham and then came to The Oregonian as a copy editor in 1983. From there, he became regional editor, then advanced to the position of Metro editor, directing the paper's assistant metro editors, suburban editors and reporting staff. He held that job for eight years before being named the paper's first public editor in 1993.

Two years later, Bob was named editorial page editor, where he also directed the newspaper's daily commentary pages and Sunday Opinion section.

"Bob Caldwell was an outstanding journalist and editor who cared deeply about Oregon and Oregonians," said N. Christian Anderson III, president and publisher of The Oregonian. "His leadership of our editorial pages fostered growing conversation among readers of The Oregonian and users of OregonLive.com."

"He was thoughtful and considerate of his colleagues and their views. And having worked with Bob nearly 40 years ago in our first jobs out of college, I was enjoying our reunion at The Oregonian."

"He will be missed by so many people. We share this sadness with Lora, his family and his friends."

Under Caldwell's direction, The Oregonian won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2006 for editorials by Doug Bates and Rick Attig about the abuses inside "a forgotten Oregon mental hospital."

Caldwell was active in professional organizations and is a past president of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, the Oregon Newspaper Foundation and the Western Oregon chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2009, ONPA presented him with the Amos Voorhies award, which honors outstanding journalistic achievement in the public interest. He was also a member of the Oregon Press-Bar-Bench-Broadcasters Committee.

In 1993, he served as editor-in-residence for two new daily newspapers in Romania,Cotidianul in Bucharest and Monitorul de Iasi in Iasi. He has been a consultant to other publications in the Balkans as well.

Caldwell is survived by his wife, Lora Cuykendall; daughters Beth, Kate and Ellie Caldwell; his mother, Barbara of La Grande; and brothers Mike and Kevin of Salem, Pete of La Grande, and Pat of Fruitland, Idaho. His father Donald J. Caldwell died in 1986.

From an Oregonian article by John Killen.


Dick Nafsinger

Richard A. "Dick" Nafsinger passed away Saturday, July 23, 2011, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis. He was at home, surrounded by family members. He was 77.

Dick was born Dec. 6, 1933, in Nampa, Idaho, the youngest of 4 children of Harry O. and Grace Nafsinger.

Dick's dad died when Dick was a youngster and he grew up quickly, helping his older brothers tend to the family farm. He was drawn to journalism at Caldwell High School, where he was sports editor of the student newspaper, the Canyon Cougar. He was also custodian of the Ida White Chapter of Quill and Scroll, an international honor society for journalism students.

Dick started dating Phyllis Myers during their senior year at Caldwell High. They graduated together in 1952, married in 1953, and celebrated 60 years together "as a couple" early in 2011.

Dick attended College of Idaho and while there was drawn to radio. He served as a disc jockey for station KCID and also did play-by-play at sporting events.

He began his professional newspaper career in 1957 when he was hired as sports editor of the Albany Democrat-Herald. His professional demeanor quickly gained him respect among the coaches and teams he covered, and the newspaper appointed him managing editor a short time later.

In 1962, at age 28, Dick was hired as editor and publisher of the Hood River News.For the next 29 years, Dick built the News into a nationally recognized newspaper and parlayed his own career into national prominence, as well.

Dick was selected as president of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association in 1972, and in 1986-87 he served as president of the National Newspaper Association. He was also a past chairman of American Newspaper Representatives.

Dick was president and chief operating officer of Eagle Newspapers Inc. (ENI) from 1978 until his retirement in 2001, and he remained on the board of directors until his death. ENI is a family-owned corporation that operates 26 publishing, printing and related businesses in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

In 1986, Dick received the ONPA Amos E. Voorhies Award, which honors outstanding journalistic achievement in the public interest, service in the interest of the welfare and honor of the journalistic profession or long, useful and honorable careers in the field of journalism.

Dick received the ONPA's president's award in 1996, was voted an honorary life member in 2001, and was inducted into the Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2002.

Last fall, Dick was the recipient of the National Newspaper Association's highest award for distinguished service and leadership to the community press and their community, the James O. Amos Award. He remained active in national newspaper affairs long after he retired as News publisher, and often was sought out by his peers for advice on journalism issues.

Dick was preceded in death by brothers Bill and Jim and sister Eleanor. Survivors include Phyllis and their children: Janie Nafsinger and her husband, Jim Clark, of Portland; Nancy Clarke and her husband, Keith Clarke, of Hood River; John Nafsinger, of Santa Monica, Calif.; and Pam Nafsinger and her husband, Michael Bernas, of Portland. Other survivors are grandchildren Angela Wallis, Greg Clarke, Alexander Walentin and Lydia Sandys-Winsch.


Pat Zimmerman

Patricia Scott Zimmerman of Bend, wife of 1977 ONPA president Leroy Zimmerman, passed away Dec. 31, 2010, from complications of Parkinson's disease.

She was born in Eugene, Oregon, June 16, 1931, to Vuelta and Damon Scott. She graduated from Cottage Grove High School in 1949, and attended Washington State University.

Pat owned The 88-Cent Store and later operated Perry's Variety, both in Cottage Grove, Oregon, where her husband, Leroy (Zimm) Zimmerman, was publisher of theCottage Grove Sentinel. From 1983 to 2005, Pat and Zimm owned and operated Zimm's Hallmark, first in the Mountain View Mall and later in the Bend River Mall.

While in Cottage Grove, Pat was active in community and civic activities, and involved in her daughters' activities, often sewing for their projects. While Zimm was publisher of the Cottage Grove Sentinel, she developed special friendships with people in the newspaper business. Pat loved the Oregon coast and for 40 years enjoyed getaways to their beach cabin near Waldport. She was also a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove and Trinity Lutheran in Bend.

Survivors include Leroy (Zimm), her husband of 45 years, and four daughters, Berta Flora, Appleton, WI; Nancy Shoptaw (Ray), Eugene; Karen Soine (Mark), Everett, WA; Marsha New (Willis), Roseburg; as well as eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother, Malcolm (Jackie) Scott, and family, Eugene, OR.

Pat's family would like to express gratitude to long-time friend and caregiver, Tami Neil, Drs. Richard Kohler and Paul Johnson, Partners In Care Hospice House, and Pastors Robert Luinstra and David Carnahan.

A homegoing service for Pat will be at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 8, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2550 NE Butler Market Road, Bend. Private interment will be held later. Remembrances in honor of Pat may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Bend.


Joe Blaha

Joseph W. Blaha, longtime Oregon newspaper publisher and past president of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, died Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at his Oregon City home following a long illness. He was 70.

Mr. Blaha was born Sept. 17, 1938, in Omaha, Neb., to Joseph Mathew Blaha and Margaret Taney Blaha. The family moved to San Francisco, where he spent most of his formative years. He was a graduate of Mont La Salle Academy in Napa, Calif., and St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. He attended graduate school at San Francisco State, where he studied under S.I. Hayakawa.

Early in his newspaper career he worked for the San Francisco Examiner in circulation and then advertising. In 1966 he came to theItemizer-Observer in Dallas, Ore., where he became publisher. He moved to the Daily Journal in Ukiah, Calif., converting the publication to offset press in a new building. He then returned to Dallas in 1971, helping to establish Eagle Newspapers' new central printing plant in Salem and to assist with newspaper acquisitions. In 1978, when Eagle Newspapers bought the Lake Oswego Review, Blaha became its publisher and founded the West Linn Tidings.

In 1985, under a management agreement between the (Eugene) Guard Publishing Co. and Eagle Newspapers, Inc., he oversaw the merger of the Times Publications with theLake Oswego Review, becoming vice president and chief operating officer of that new newspaper company. He served on the board of directors of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, becoming its president in 1988.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s he was president and chief executive officer of the Seattle-area Community Newspapers, Inc. group. He later rejoined Eagle Newspapers, serving in management capacities for the Canby Herald and Wilsonville Spokesman until his retirement last year. He was fond of saying that helping people to develop their potential was his most pleasurable achievement.

Mr. Blaha is survived by his wife, Karen; two children, Steven, and his wife, Tanya, and Jennifer; two stepchildren, Chris Sweet, and her husband, Rick, and Mark Lytle; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a sister, Jane of San Francisco.


Bob Van Leer

Robert R. "Bob" Van Leer died Friday, March 6, 2009, at Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach of complications from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He was 81.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Gold Beach. The Rev. Tim Brueckner will officiate.

Bob was a 52-year resident of Gold Beach. He moved to Gold Beach in 1956 when he and his wife, the late Betty Van Leer, purchased the Curry County Reporter.

The Van Leers published the Reporter for 41 years before passing it on to daughter and son-in-law Molly and Jim Walker, now of Salem.

Bob was born in St. Louis MO on Aug. 28, 1927. Because of a lack of work during the Depression years, his family moved to an unoccupied farm house on property owned by an uncle, and Bob started school in a one-room schoolhouse without the benefit of electricity or indoor plumbing at school or home. When he was in the second grade, the family moved back to St. Louis.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945 at the age of 17. Bob was shipped to the Philippines and assigned to a landing ship, LSM 11. He was then reassigned to a troop transport, U.S. Gilliam, APA 57, which ultimately was to be a target ship in atom bomb tests held at Bikini Atoll in the central Pacific in 1946.

After earning a bachelor of arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Bob entered the University of Missouri Journalism School at Columbia MO. There he met Betty Lee Templeman of Cecilia KY. They were married February 16, 1952, in Elizabethtown KY.

Bob was a specialist in newspaper ad sales and worked for dailies in Evansville IN, Sterling IL, and Eureka CA before buying the Reporter.

He was long active in professional and civic activities. Bob was president of the statewide Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association (ONPA) in 1969-70 and received the association's highest honor for a working journalist, the Amos E. Voorhies award, in 1992. In July, 2008, Bob was inducted into the Oregon Newspapers Hall of Fame, joining the others who are honored at Allen Hall at the University of Oregon. The award was presented by his son-in-law, Jim Walker, 2007-08 president of ONPA representing the Yamhill County News-Register in McMinnville.

Bob served on both elective and appointive civic boards over many years, including Curry Health District, Gold Beach Port Commission, Curry County Fair Board, Port of Gold Beach Budget Committee, Gold Beach Rotary Club, and Gold Beach Chamber of Commerce (where he served as president).

Bob and Betty traveled extensively, visiting every continent except Antarctica. Some of Bob's travel writings can be viewed at www.bobvanleer.com.

The couple celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in February of 2007. Betty preceded Bob in death on January 23, 2008.

Bob is survived by four daughters and sons-in-law: Sherry and Scott Wills, Amy and Doug Bornemeier, Sally and Dave Shuey (all of Portland), and Molly and Jim Walker of Salem. He is also survived by six grandchildren and two granddaughters-in-law: Rob and Rebecca Johnson of Caledon, Ontario, Canada and Chris and Emily Johnson of Medford OR, sons of Molly Walker; Jordan and Maya Shuey and Jon and Anna Bornemeier; three great-grandchildren, Travis and Caleb Johnson, sons of Chris Johnson, and Sadie Johnson, daughter of Rob Johnson; and two sisters, June Pallardy and Ruth Chiodini, both of St. Louis MO.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Curry Health Foundation, P.O. Box 1274, Gold Beach, OR 97444.


Edwina Meitzen

Edwina Meitzen of Lafayette, longtime owner of the Dayton Tribune along with her surviving husband George, died February 25, 2009 at the Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville, a victim of cancer at the age of 77.

Edwina was born December 19, 1931 in Dallas TX. She learned typesetting in her parents' printing shop and earned certification as a journeyman linotype operator at the age of 18.

The Meitzens settled in Lafayette in 1962 and took jobs withThe Oregonian in Portland. Two years later, they bought theTribune and its affiliated printing shop.

The weekly newspaper had been launched in 1912 by local bankers, who saw it as a way to help the city prosper. Not being newspaper people themselves, the bankers hired a series of publishers to run the paper over the years before finally selling the enterprise to the Meitzens in 1964.

Edwina, widely known as "Eddie," served as editor of the Tribune until June 2006, when she and her husband ceased publication. The following year, they shuttered the print shop as well and went into retirement.

In addition to her lifelong career in publishing and printing, Edwina also had a long career in public service. She was appointed to the Lafayette Planning commission in 1969, then joined the city council. She became Lafayette's first woman mayor in 1973, serving until 1976. She renewed her government service in Lafayette in 1979, serving another stint on the city council in 2003-4. Most recently, she served on the city's budget committee from 2006 through 2008.

Edwina was active in the Dayon Jaycee-ettes and Dayton Chamber of Commerce. She was one of the founders of Lafayette Heritage Days and served as festival queen in 1999. And she was a SMART reading volunteer at Dayton Elementary School.

In addition to George, her husband of 49 years, she is survived by two sons, Charles and Edwin Kratzer of Lafayette; a daughter, Colleen Steckel of Ohio; a sister, Alicia Anderson of Chesterfield MO; two brothers, Robert Fitzgerald of Irving TX and Howard Fitzgerald of Garland TX; and five grandchildren.


Mark H. Dickson

Mark H. Dickson of Tillamook, an Oregon newspaperman for 18 years, died December 28, 2008, from complications following emergency surgery. He was 62.

Mark was born and raised in the Mt. Tabor area of southeast Portland, and his childhood was notable for unusual pets: at various times, a monkey, a skunk, and a crow. His parents ran Dickson Drug Company on SE Stark, a business his grandfather started in the early 1900s.

After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1968 with a bachelors degree in political science, Mark married Barbara Lynn Winters, and the couple moved to British Columbia shortly thereafter. While in Canada, they had two sons, Maris and Matt. Mark supported his family by working in management, first for the Simpson-Sears Company in Victoria, and later for Wilson Stationers, Ltd. in Vancouver. At the height of his management career, he was in charge of eight Wilson Stationers stores.

Barbara died in the early 1970s, and in 1975 Mark left Canada and spent a few months traveling with his two sons. They settled in Seaside OR, and Mark took a job as a reporter for the Seaside Signal. He quickly worked his way up to general manager and held that position for several years. He resigned in 1981 to become the north Oregon coast corerspondent for The Oregonian, and he also wrote freelance articles for other publications.

Mark married Betty Duncan of Seaside in 1983. That same year, Swift Newspapers created a new publishing company called Pacific Coast Newspapers, which was the parent company for the Tillamook Headlight-Herald, the Seaside Signal, and the Lincoln City News Guard. Mark was named publisher of this newspaper group, and he and Betty moved to Tillamook. There they had a daughter (Holly) at the end of 1983 and a son (McKinley) in the fall of 1990.

Mark remained as publisher of the three newspapers for nine years, during three of which (1989-1991) he served on the ONPA Board of Directors. He left the newspaper business for good in 1992 and became involved in politics and public enterprises.

Around 2002, Mark began assisting his mother and stepfather (Edward Venini) operating Dickson Drug, and he helped them convert it from a pharmacy to an over-the-counter drug, convenience, and gift store. After his mother died in 2006, Mark helped with the sale and clearing of the store property. His stepfather died in early 2008.


Brian T. Meehan

Brian Meehan, reporter, sportswriter, and columnist for The Oregonian for nearly 20 years, died Tuesday in Tacoma WA of complications following heart surgery. He was 57.

Meehan's early journalism career included the Morristown (NJ) Daily Record, the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot News, and then the Hartford (CT) Courant, where he rose to the rank of assistant managing editor.

He moved his family west in 1989 to join The Oregonian as a reporter, covering the environment and natural resource issues. In the early '90s, he began coaching youth sports in his off hours. In 1999, after winning numerous reporting and writing awards, he moved to the Oregonian sports department as a columnist. Not long after that, he also moved to a houseboat on the Columbia near Scappoose.

Although primarily a sportswriter, Meehan was selected in 2003 to be one of the Oregonian reporters embedded with U.S. troops early in the invasion of Iraq. According to executive editor Peter Bhatia, "His maturity, clear-headed thinking and ability to tell stories is why we chose him to go to Iraq. ... It is indicative of the extraordinary journalist he was."

Meehan played college basketball at Hofstra, but his most beloved sport was baseball. Oregonian columnist Steve Duin writes, "Brian Meehan was a brilliant, expressive writer, but he was more suited, I always thought, to being a coach than a columnist in this troubled age because he was so determined to put the players and their games in the best possible light."

Meehan is survived by his wife Elissa, a daughter and two sons, his mother, two brothers and a sister.


Margaret Ann "Peggy" Stickel

Peggy, as she was known to family and friends, died peacefully in her home, surrounded by loved ones, on Saturday, May 31, at 3:40pm.

Born Margaret Ann Dunne August 13, 1922, in Weehawken NJ, Peggy was one of seven daughters and two sons born to Jane and Patrick Dunne. She attended Weehawken High School, where she was voted most popular, best looking, and best dancer. She graduated in 1940, attended John Robert Powers Modeling School, and worked for a couple of years as a fashion model in New York City's garment district. She later worked as an executive secretary in the New York office of the Erie Railroad.

In December 1941, Peggy and a couple of classmates were walking home after a high school reunion dance in Weehawken when a car pulled alongside. It was a frigid night, and the driver of the car asked if anyone wanted a ride. Peggy and her girlfriend said yes.

That brief encounter was the beginning of Peggy's lifelong love affair with the car's driver, Fred Stickel. They were engaged in May 1943 and married in December of that year. Three weeks later, Fred shipped out with the Marines to the Pacific Theater, and Peggy lived at home with her family in Weehawken.

After the war, the young couple settled in Hoboken NJ. Fred Jr. was born in 1946, followed by Patrick in 1950 and Daisy in 1952. The family moved to Wood-Ridge NJ in 1954, where Geoffrey was born in 1957, James in 1958, and Bridget in 1960. That year, the family moved to West Orange NJ. Seven years later, Fred was transferred to Portland, where he subsequently became publisher of The Oregonian.

Peggy devoted her every minute to her children and husband. She became very active at St. Cecilia Parish and kept physicaly fit through exercise at the Multnomah Athletic Club. She was a member of Waverley Country Club and a past member of the Town Club.

She is survived by her husband Fred; daughters Daisy Medici and Bridget Otto; sons Fred Jr., Patrick, Geoffrey, and James; sister Rosemay McGinty; brother Donald Dunne; ten grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

 A funeral Mass was held Wednesday, June 4, in St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Beaverton. Remembrances may be sent to the St. Cecilia Catholic Church Campaign Fund.


Philip N. Bladine

Philip N. "Phil" Bladine, a lifelong Oregon newspaperman, died peacefully April 16, 2008, at Hillside Retirement Communities in McMinnville. He was 89.

Phil was born Nov. 19, 1918, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the younger of two sons of Lars and Inez Waterman Bladine. In 1928, Lars purchased the Telephone-Register in McMinnville, and his elder son Jack went there to begin family operation of the paper. Lars moved the rest of the family to McMinnville in 1932.

Phil graduated from McMinnville High School in 1936 and, after a year at Linfield College, attended the University of Oregon School of Journalism, earning a bachelor's degree in 1940. He joined the Navy immediately, but resigned and returned home to help with the family newspaper after Lars died in 1941. He re-enlisted following the Pearl Harbor attack and, except for his 1943 marriage to Margaret "Meg" Greene of San Angelo TX, remained on active duty throughout World War II, serving as the executive officer on a "landing ship tank" (LST) that carried beach landing craft.

In 1945, Phil returned to McMinnville and became editor of the Telephone-Register.In 1948, he and Jack built radio station KMCM (now KLYC), and in 1953 they purchased the News-Reporter and merged it with the Telephone-Register to form the News-Register. After Jack died in 1957, Phil became News-Register publisher and co-owner with Jack's widow, the late Gayle Hunter Bladine, and later with their children.

During the 1950s, Phil briefly owned the Headlight-Herald in Tillamook and the North Lincoln News Guard (now the News Guard) in Lincoln City, and during the late 1960s and early 1970s he owned the Milwaukie Review (now the Clackamas Review) and theSellwood Bee. In 1960, he joined with the Hillsboro Argus and Times Publications of Forest Grove to build Tualatin-Yamhill Press, one of the earliest web printing plants.

Phil served as editor of the News-Register until 1974, president until 1983, and publisher until 1991, turning each title over to his son Jeb as he stepped back. While he was editor and publisher, as well as in the years since, Phil's newspapers won a great many state and national awards. And together, father and son turned the company's print division, Oregon Lithoprint, into a regional provider of high-quality web printing.

Phil served the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association for decades, including 20-plus years as its legislative chair. He was ONPA president in 1959-60, and he received the ONPA President's Award for service to journalism in 1971 and 1973 and the Roger Williams Freedom of Information Award in 1987.

In 1974 he received ONPA's highest honor, the Amos E. Voorhies Award, and in 2001 was inducted into the Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame.


Betty Van Leer

Betty Van Leer, for 41 years owner and co-publisher of the Curry County Reporter in Gold Beach, died of pulmonary disease January 23, 2008, at Providence Hospital in Medford.

Betty was born in Louisville KY in 1930 and lived her early life in Cecilia KY. After graduating from Stephens College (a two-year women's college in Columbia MO), she attended the University of Missouri, where she earned her BA in journalism and met Bob Van Leer. She and Bob were married in 1952, the year Betty graduated.

Betty worked as an editor at The Daily Gazette in Sterling IL for a short time before she and Bob moved to Eureka CA. In 1956, the couple purchased the Curry County Reporter in Gold Beach and moved there from Eureka. Betty and her husband worked as a team publishing the paper.

In 1997, after 41 years publishing the Curry County Reporter, Betty and Bob handed the newspaper over to their daughter Molly and son-in-law Jim Walker. The Walkers published the paper for 10 years before selling it to Joel Summer in 2007.

Besides the newspaper business, Betty was a state and national expert on button collecting and had an extensive collection. She was a member and judge of the Oregon State Button Society and the National Button Society and attended and judged at the annual meetings of both.


Betty Anderson

Betty Anderson, a co-owner of the Drain Enterprise since 1950 and its publisher since 1992, died November 19, 2007, at the age of 80.

She was born Betty Gregg in Lincoln NB on November 6, 1927. Her parents moved to Salem OR when Betty was a child. After graduating from Salem High School in 1946, Betty went to work for the Oregon Statesman,where she met Lowell Anderson. When Betty and Lowell were married in May 1950, Lowell and his father bought the Drain Enterprise. The whole family moved to Drain, and the newspaper became the family business.

Lowell Anderson served as editor and publisher of the paper until his death in 1992, when Betty took over as publisher. Her daughter, Sue Anderson, took on the editorial tasks, and the two shared advertising duties.

Sue Anderson is now owner and publisher of the Drain Enterprise. Betty is survived by three children: Sue and Mark of Drain, and Jo of Dallas OR.

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