Elery Gene McKern
Elery's early years were spent in Newberg, Oregon where he attended the two-room schoolhouse in the Fernwood District. His mother Janey passed away when he was 11 years old and he and his father were left to fend for themselves. They worked together in the filbert orchards and on their small farm. They sometimes made the journey to Portland to sell eggs, produce, filberts or whatever was in season to local grocers or any willing customers.
Before high school he moved to Sheridan, Oregon to live with his sister Wilma. He attended Sheridan High School and excelled at basketball and baseball. It was in Sheridan where he met his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, LoDell Lamson. She also came from a farming family and was an usherette at the local movie theater.
After high school graduation in 1941, LoDell went off to college at the University of Oregon and Elery went to work. He worked in the wheat fields of Eastern Oregon for a while and then moved back to Portland to work for Montgomery Ward and Company. In January of 1943 he was inducted into the US Army Air Corp which later became the Air Force. He was in the 23rd Reconnaissance Squadron. His World War II duty took him to Europe, Africa, and the Middle Eastern Theater. He earned the Bronze Star and Good Conduct medals during his service. He was discharged on October 9th, 1945. After his discharge, Elery returned to Portland and went back to work for Montgomery Ward.
On October 4th, 1947 he married LoDell and they bought a home in North Portland. LoDell went to work for the Meier and Frank Co. and Elery continued to work for Mongtomery Wards. Their only son, Scott, was born in 1955. In 1958, Elery and LoDell moved to Parkrose. Elery went to work for Oregon Brass Works which made metal castings, bronze plaques, burial urns, and grave markers. In 1978 they got tired of the cold east wind and moved to Tigard. That year, they also built a beach cabin in Depoe Bay, where they loved to spend time watching the fishing boats and the Pacific Ocean Storms. Elery had a quiet but strong faith in God. He and LoDell attended the Tigard Christian Church where they made many friends. Elery and LoDell both retired in 1986 and enjoyed many wonderful years relaxing and travelling.
Elery enjoyed fishing, bowling and especially playing golf. He never made a hole in one, but kept trying, and loved to compete and play with friends and family. He did not have many hobbies, but he loved spending time and travelling with LoDell. They rarely were apart in their 62 years of marriage-quite a "love affair". On their 25th wedding anniversary they made their first trip to Hawaii. They were so taken with Hawaii that they went back almost every year for the next 30 years. It was their special place. After LoDell passed away in 2009, Elery continued to live in Tigard. He still loved to play golf, visit Depoe Bay, and watch the Portland Trailblazers. He and Scott loved to second guess the coaches. Elery also found great comfort in reading the Bible and attending his church small group meetings.
Elery passed away peacefully on October 28, 2019 at the Bonaventure Senior Community in Tigard. Elery is survived by son Scott, daughter-in-law Teri Arthur, multiple nieces and nephews, and many great friends. Elery was a gentle and patient man. His great smile and sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him.
A graveside service with military honors was held at the Fernwood Pioneer Cemetery in Newberg on November 1st. Remembrances in Elery G. McKern's name may be placed with the Alzheimer's Association, ALZ.org or 800-272-3900. Arrangements entrusted to Attrell's Funeral Chapels, Newberg/Sherwood. Please go to Attrells.com to share a fond memory with Elery's family.