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Newspaper and business communities have fond memories of former OC Chamber member

Former Clackamas Review/Oregon City News advertising representative John Wilson died Feb. 15. He was 62.

FILE PHOTO  - Former Troutdale City Councilor John Wilson was often seen driving his 1936 Corvette to the city's annual cruise-in. Angela Fox, the publisher of Clackamas Review/Oregon City News with Pamplin Media Group, hired John in 2011 as the Oregon City News sales representative. In September 2016 he transferred to a sister paper, the Gresham Outlook. Fox said John was a great asset to the team at the Clackamas Review/Oregon City News.

"He added humor and laughter to our team even at the busiest times," Fox said. "John was a kind and happy soul who made a difference in the lives of the businesses he worked with. He built many business relationships as a professional, passionate and trustworthy sales representative for Pamplin Media group. He will be greatly missed by all."

John was a member of the Oregon City Chamber, where he served as Pamplin Media's representative, in addition to being involved in the Gladstone business community. He brought a "jocular and energetic presence" to all chamber gatherings, noted Chamber Executive Director Michael Brand.

"His good nature was infectious, his laugh contagious," Brand said. "Our condolences to his family and to the many OC Chamber members who are feeling the loss."

Brand noted that John's love of the advertising business was only exceeded by his passion for classic cars. He was easy to spot at summer car shows, decked out in brightly-colored Hawaiian shirts.

John was a regular volunteer and participant in the annual Trick 'n Racy car show produced in cooperation with the Downtown Oregon City Association. He was proud of the Corvette that he and his dad rebuilt.

John ran the annual Troutdale Cruise-In for the last 15 years with Troutdale General Store Owner Terry Smoke. The pair became good friends when John's daughter started working at the gift shop and restaurant 15 years ago. His involvement in the community led him to seek a seat on the Troutdale City Council, which he won in 2012.

John is survived by his wife, two children and two great-grandchildren.

He married Paula Cleary on July 3, 1982. They were living in Jacksonville, Florida, at the time.

John was working for Minolta Corp., a camera manufacturer, and the company transferred him to Oklahoma in 1983 and to the Pacific Northwest in 1991, when he and Paula bought their Troutdale home.

"He was a wonderful person," his wife said. "And a wonderful parent and grandparent."

"John kept us laughing with his sharp sense of humor," said Steve Brown, publisher of the The Outlook. "But John was more than a funny guy. He was a professional who was damn good at his job. And I was impressed by his commitment to his community — whether as a volunteer or as a local elected politician in city government. Things were never boring when John was involved."

John was a member of the Kiwanis Club of the Columbia Gorge; he served as a Boy Scouts Troop Leader and volunteered on the West Columbia Gorge's Chamber of Commerce's Government Affairs Committee.

Clackamas Review Editor Raymond Rendleman contributed reporting to this story.

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