Joseph Gardner Chamberlain
Joseph Gardner Chamberlain passed away on March 4, 2020, at the age of 94 in Beaverton, Oregon.
Joe was born on April 6, 1925 to Vyrett and Mabel Chamberlain in Vancouver, Washington. He was the youngest of seven, with one brother and five sisters. After graduating high school in 1942 at the age of 17, he joined the United States Navy during World War II. He was stationed in Hawaii aboard an aircraft carrier where he served as an Aviation Radioman Second Class, operating and eventually training others in new radar technology. Radar was the cutting-edge, top-secret technology which aided in winning the war.
When World War II ended, Joe returned to Payette, Idaho to marry his high school sweetheart, Arlene Motley (of Halfway, Oregon). He and Arlene moved to Vancouver, Washington to start their family. Later they moved to Bremerton, Washington where he worked in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and he completed a four-year apprenticeship as a Journeyman Sheetmetal Worker in 1952.
The family's next move was to Nyssa, Oregon, where Joe was the manager of Elder Hardware and an active member of the Lutheran Church. In 1960, he moved his family to Tigard, Oregon and soon after that he began Arrow Heating, his sheet metal business. In 1978 he started Arrow Woodstoves and began designing, manufacturing and selling woodstoves in the United States and Australia.
Joe enjoyed traveling around the world with his "bride" Arlene. The two of them loved family gatherings at their home, hosting several large family reunions. Throughout the years, he especially enjoyed a lively game of "tag" with the grandkids. Just as they were leaving to go home, he would call out "Tag, you're it!" This was his way of keeping them with him a little bit longer. "Tag, you're it" to all of us; means treasure family, enjoy life and always remember a little bit of horseplay is good at any age.
Besides his family, Joe's greatest joy was driving race cars. He drove a Mustang, Camaro and a Corvette on the racing circuit, racing all over the United States, Canada and New Zealand. It was an activity he had a great passion for and many of his family and friends were a huge part of his racing career. He was known as "Smokin Joe" on the racetrack. Race car driving was the most enjoyable and rewarding leisure activity in his life.
Growing up, Joe was fond of the Fourth of July celebrations which helped to foster his profound sense of patriotism. In 1970 he started his own fireworks show which was held at his home in Tigard. The fireworks show continues to this day as Tigard's old fashioned 4th of July. Joe's son, John and other family members, friends and local volunteers keep Joe's pyrotechnic tradition alive each year for the community to enjoy.
Joe was an avid reader and life-long learner, and he was always happy to share his knowledge with others. He supported and advised many individuals, businesses and start-up companies, well into his 90's from his living room chair.
Joe will always be remembered for his inquisitive mind, entrepreneurial spirit and love of family and friends. He lived life to the fullest and encouraged others to do the same.
Joe was preceded in death by his "bride" Arlene and his six siblings. He is survived by his six children: Gary Chamberlain (Karen), Bill Chamberlain, JoAnn Prosser (Fred), Mary Schultz (Ken), John Chamberlain (Debbie) and Jean Oglesbee (Jorgen); one daughter-in-law, Danice Tombleson (Bruce); 16 grandchildren; and 18 greatgrandchildren.
A Celebration of Life is being planned sometime in the future due to the coronavirus restrictions.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Oregon Public Broadcasting in Joe's memory.