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One of Clackamas Community College's original board members served four years in the Oregon Legislature from 1973-76

Ralph Groener as a state legislator in the 1970s.Ralph Groener, who served in the Oregon Legislature and on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, died in his Oregon City home on Wednesday, June 1, at the age of 80.

Born Dec. 25, 1941, in Oregon City, Groener graduated from West Linn High School in 1960, when he would enter the U.S. Air Force and serve four years stationed in Denver. He then graduated from the University of Oregon in 1969, and later attended graduate school at Portland State University.

After spending several years as a community organizer for the Office of Economic Opportunity, Groener campaigned for and won a seat on the Oregon Legislature in 1972, where he served for four years after being reelected in 1974. The Democrat served as chairman of the House Committee on Aging and as a member of the Committees on Education and Human Resources.

Following his tenure as a state legislator, Groener was elected as a Clackamas County commissioner, serving on the board for eight years. He additionally served for 14 years on Clackamas Community College's original board of directors.

Groener then spent over two decades as a political coordinator for the Oregon chapter of the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees. While still an AFSCME employee in 2010, he wrote: "I am one of those fortunate individuals who loves their work, and see no reason to retire."

Groener is survived by his wife, Sharon; son Chris, who serves on the Clackamas Community College board; daughter and granddaughter.

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