Bob Boring remembered for being 'a very giving and talented craftsman'
Robert "Bob" Boring, a fourth-generation member of the Boring family for which the village is named, epitomized what it means to be from Boring. Many knew him to be a hard-working, giving man who never turned down a chance to help his community.
Bob was born in Portland on Jan. 27, 1940, to Willard and Frances (Adair) Boring and grew up on the family farm in Boring. On Saturday, April 28, Bob passed away after two years of fighting pancreatic cancer. He was 78 years old.
"I would call him an active community volunteer," said Ann Marie Amsted of the Sandy Historical Museum. "He was just all over the place."
Being a piece of local history himself as the great-grandson of William H. Boring, Bob loved the history of the Boring-Sandy area. As such, he dedicated a great deal of his time to volunteering at the Sandy Historical Museum, serving as the president of the museum's board for three years.
"The museum was really his favorite I'd say," Amsted noted. "He built four of our exhibits. He was not just a volunteer but he was a very giving and talented craftsman."
If you visit the museum at 39345 Pioneer Blvd. in Sandy, you can still find exhibits handcrafted by Bob, and a few might even incorporate his voice in the sound effects.
Besides the museum, Boring also served his country on a six-month tour with the U.S. Army Reserves after graduating from Sandy Union High School in 1958 and also volunteered with several community organizations.
After coming home to Oregon, he married his high school sweetheart, Glenda A. Lockling, on Aug. 21, 1959, and the couple lived in Gresham until buying a home in Boring in 1973. Bob and Glenda have two sons, Mike and Darrell.
"Looking back, we didn't have a lot of money, but we were a great family," Bob's younger son Mike Boring noted. "Mom and dad made sure we had what we needed. We're very proud of our parents. They were high school sweethearts. They taught us what's important and what's not, and both of them taught us how to serve."
Bob worked for many years as a truck driver, driving for Standard Oil and Chevron for 18 years, then for Vanport Manufacturing for 19 years, while at the same time working with his father to maintain the farm in Boring.
For many years, Bob was a member if the Kiwanis Club of Boring, the Sandy High School Board of Directors, the Boring Water District Board and the Sandy Historical Society board.
He was also a big proponent of the pairing of Boring with Dull, Scotland, and the eventual creation of the League of Extraordinary Cities. He only ever missed a Boring and Dull Day last year — because of his health.
"He just had a generous heart for volunteering in the area," Amsted said.
"I think what stands out for me is that as important as he was to the community, the community was much more important to him," Mike noted of his father. "He was very proud of that. He was a big champion of what was right with the area."
When he wasn't busy volunteering, Bob liked woodworking and working on model railroads.
"He was very bright and brilliant," Mike said. "He basically had the mind of an engineer. I was always very proud of that ability. I always thought he was born a generation or two too late. He was so appreciative of how hard people worked to get things done. He was the kid who when he was even young he would want a toolbox or to take something apart and put it back together."
Bob was known by several Boring people for not only his dedication to the community, but his sense of humor.
"Bob's always had a sense of humor," said Steve Bates, organizer of the Boring and Dull festivities and several other organizations. "He had a laugh of his own and a way of laughing that made everybody else laugh."
"Most of the time when there was tension," Bates added, "Bob approached it with humor."
Bates recalled one meeting of the Boring Community Planning Organization where they were discussing Metro regional government's involvement in Boring. To break the tension, Bob quipped, "I pay taxes on those buses, but they won't let my cows ride from field to field."
Bob is survived by his wife, Glenda, of 58 years; son Darrell Boring (Teresa) of Gresham, and son Michael Boring (Tracie) of Eugene; three grandchildren, Emily Boring, of Troutdale, Nicholas Boring (Michelle) of Gresham, Natalie Boring (Matt) of Portland; and one great-grandson, Gage Boring of Gresham. He is also survived by his sister, Shirley Crow of Gresham, and brother Jim Boring (Janet) of Bend.
"We're going to miss the hell out of him," Mike said. "But we're also glad his battle with cancer is over."
A memorial service will be held at Sandy Funeral Home on Saturday, May 12, at 1 p.m. with a reception to follow at the Sandy Historical Society.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made in Bob's name to the Sandy Historical Society, PO Box 652, Sandy, OR 97055.