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Edward H. 'Ed' MacGregor, October 24, 1931 - May 11, 2018 -- former owner of Kay's Bar

Ed MacGregor, onetime owner of Kays Bar in Westmoreland; Oct. 24, 1931 - May 11, 2018. Edward "Ed" H. MacGregor passed away on May 11, 2018, after what his family describes as a difficult and courageous battle with dementia. Family and friends were by his side.

 

Ed was born on October 24, 1931, to Thelma and Willard MacGregor, Sr., in La Grande, Oregon. Ed was one of six children; the others were Willard Jr., David, and Vivian, plus two half-sisters, Jackie and Dixie.

Ed grew up during the Great Depression. When not attending school he worked, to help support the family, for various farmers, his uncle's garbage company, and the local Safeway, where he was a stock boy. He even found time to work for a local church, maintaining their boilers for heat during church services. Ed grew up to be a man with a strong work ethic; responsible, independent, and with a can-do attitude, valuing most honesty and integrity.

Near the end end of WWII, at the age of sixteen, Ed lied about his age to join the National Guard. After graduation from La Grande High School, Ed enlisted in the US Navy in 1951 during the Korean War, and served honorably for four years. All the while, Ed continued to send money home to help support the family.

 

Ed was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1955 in Long Beach, California, and moved to the Northwest in the spring of '56, riding his Harley the entire trip. Once home, his brother David and sister Vivian introduced him to Sharon Ruzicka; Ed knew that he had met the girl of his dreams. So, with nothing but a job, a motorcycle, and their love for each other, Ed and Sharon were married in July of 1957.  

Lionel "Evard" Chadwick, by then Ed's stepfather, changed Ed's direction in life with the sage advice to learn to tend bar. "Learn the bar business Ed, and you'll always be able to find work." Ed offered to work only for tips at Amato's Supper Club – a bold move, considering he was expecting his second child Denice any day. In the months that followed, he worked other bars such as Carmen's and the Peppermill (now called the Limelight). Ed also graduated from Portland's Engineering Institute. 

 

In 1963, Ed and Sharon had an opportunity to go into a partnership and buy Kay's Bar in Westmoreland. On November 22, 1963, Kay's Bar became "their fourth child". Ed became a recognized and respected figure in the Sellwood-Westmoreland community. He loved people, especially children. He rode a horse as the Grand Marshall for a Sellwood Days parade, and donated his time to play Santa Claus. He served for two years as Vice President for the Oregon Restaurant and Beverage Association, and was the regional representative for the National Licensed Beverage Association. Ed took up an activity inspired by his grandson, Hayden. He began Tae Kwon Do at the unheard-of age of 69. At the age of eighty-three, in 2014, he tested and achieved his fourth degree black belt, which earned him the title of Master. In April of 2014 Ed received a letter of commendation from the KUKKIWON in Korea, probably one of the proudest moments in his life. 

Meantime, in business, Ed went on to acquire four restaurants, two retirement homes, two trailer parks, a catering business, and a very successful collection of Christmas tree farms. The Christmas Tree business was among his favorite ventures.

Eventually, realizing that with age he now needed to slow down and spend more time with his family, Ed sold Kay's Bar, though he retained the property, in 2006. Ed and Sharon were able to enjoy retirement for just three years before Sharon lost her battle with cancer in 2009; he himself lived nine more years.

 

Ed is survived by his sister, Vivian Schell, and his three children, Steven, Denice, and Edward Jr. Also, he is survived by seventeen grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Ed's life was held on June 5, 2018 at 11:30 am at the Turning Point Church, 13333 S.E. Rusk Road, in Milwaukie. A committal with Military Honors followed the service at the church at 1:30 pm at Willamette National Cemetery. Following the cemetery service, everyone was invited to a reception at the American Legion Post 180, 2146 S.E. Monroe Street, in Milwaukie. Contributions in Ed's memory would be appreciated to the Alzheimer's Association, or the Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland.

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