Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Neal Keefer, 1947–2018

Longtime Mazama Neal Keefer passed away suddenly on December 5, 2018, while on a bike ride. He was 71 years old. Born in Portland, he attended Sunset High School, Portland State University, and earned an Engineering Degree from Portland Community College. He made a career in design and management working for area shipping and manufacturing companies.

Neal joined the Mazamas in 1982 after completing a Mazamas Basic School climb of Mount Hood. Over the next thirty years, Neal was active across the organization. In 1988 he joined the Lodge Committee, where he served until 1993. In 1991 Neal started leading hikes for the Mazamas, he led twenty-six hikes over the next twenty-one years. In 1995, Neal became a Mazama climb leader and over the next ten years he led, or assisted on, climbs up peaks across the Northwest.

In 1994 Neal joined the Conservation Committee. As chairman, he tackled a diverse array of issues ranging from testifying against the expansion of the urban growth boundary, protesting the Forest Services timber sale at Enola Hill, supporting the Oregon Clean Streams Initiative, and combatting the expansion of Mt. Hood Meadows ski area. Neal’s efforts on the Conservation Committee earned him great respect among the Mazamas and they showed their appreciation by awarding him the Montague Conservation Award in 1997. He later rejoined the Conservation Committee in 2004 and helped co-organize and run the Melting Mountains Conference in 2007, which first brought awareness of Global Warming issues on glaciers and mountains to the Mazamas.

In 2008 Neal joined the Outings Committee, served on the Mazama Mountaineering Center’s Solar Panel Task Force and was an instructor for the Nordic Ski School. Neal also served on the Bylaws Committee in 2011 and the Governing Documents Committee in 2012. He will be deeply missed by the Mazamas community.

There will be a memorial service for Neal on December 29th at 4:00 pm at the Milwaukie Community Club, 10666 SE 42nd, Milwaukie (SE 42nd and Jackson). His family asks that any remembrances be given in the form of funds or elbow grease to environmental preservation causes. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Jim Craig | 1921–Oct. 25, 2017

Longtime Mazama Jim Craig passed away at the age of 96 on October 25, 2017. Mountain climbing and downhill skiing were Jim's passions. Jim joined the Mazamas in 1954. He received many Mazama climbing and leadership awards including the Guardian Peaks in 1955, the Oregon Cascades in 1957, and the 16 Major Northwest Peaks in 1959. 

Jim was a lecturer and instructor for the Mazama Basic Climbing School between 1959 and 1972. With his good friends, Don Eastman, Clint and Dorothy Harrington, and his children, he climbed well over 150 peaks and skied at over 140 areas in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The First Baptist Church in McMinnville will hold a memorial service at 3 p.m. Friday, November 17, 2017. Memorial donations are suggested to the church or scholarships for kids through the McMinnville Kiwanis Club. To leave condolences, please visit   

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lonay “Lon” Nelson | Dec. 29, 1930–Oct. 11, 2017

Lonay “Lon” M. Nelson, age 86, of Redmond, Oregon, passed away on October 11, 2017, after an unexpected illness. Son of Arthur and Bernice (Weiler) Nelson, he was born and raised in Forreston, Illinois.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a BS in mechanical engineering, he served as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Engineering Corps, stationed in Germany. After discharge, he spent his working life as a mechanical engineer and manager of production facilities in Scotland, Belgium and the United States, ultimately retiring to his playground in Central Oregon.

He was a seeker of adventure, spending his free time in the mountains and on the rivers of the Northwest. Lon was a lifelong Mazama member, having joined the Mazamas in 1971. He was an active climb leader from 1977 to 1992. He earned the Guardian Peaks Award in 1976, the Oregon Peaks award in 1977, and the 16 Major NW Peaks award in 1977. He was awarded the 5-point leadership award in 1979, and the 15-point leadership award in 1989. He served on the Mazama Executive Council from 1983 to 1985, was Mazama Treasurer in 1984 and 1985. He also served one year on both the Whitewater (1987) and Financial Affairs (1987) Committees. He was the coordinator of the Intermediate Climbing School in 1977. 

In addition to climbing all 16 major NW peaks, he rafted most of the NW rivers, taking many along with him and regaling others with tales of his travels. He completed his bucket list by circumnavigating the globe, with a side trip to Antarctica. Other passions included music, wilderness conservation, snow skiing, canyons of the Southwest and his beloved 1966 Sunbeam Tiger.

He is survived by his children, Brent, Blair, Lauren, Sander, Miel; his wife, Susan; and her children, Shannon, Kelly, Heather, Erin; his first wife, Priscilla Nelson; brother, Canden Nelson; sisters, Darlene Demetrick and Caroline Kilgore. Brother, “Bud” Nelson, predeceases him. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Marty Crouch | July 1, 1947–Sept. 11, 2017

Marty Crouch was an electrical engineer, a manager, a life coach, an entrepreneur, a husband, a father, a friend, and a life-long learner. He died in his home on September 11, 2017 at age 70.

Marty grew up on a farm near Roseburg, Oregon, completed a degree in electrical engineering at OSU and was employed for many years at the Bonneville Power Administration.

His love of the outdoors was an overarching theme in his life. In 1969 he took the Mazamas Basic Course, and in 1970 he completed Mazama climbs of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Washington. He revived his interest in mountaineering in the early 1990s as part of a multi-year process of self exploration and renewal. This led to another series of Mazama climbs in the summer of 1994 when he climbed Mt. Daniel, Three Fingered Jack, and Mt. Washington; the latter two led by Richard Caldwell. He also completed several other independent and solo climbs in Oregon and the Northwest. He remained a Mazama member throughout his life.

Marty had a deep commitment to the environment and expressed that through how he lived his own life; always seeking to leave his corner of the world better than he found it. This commitment and his attraction to nature were part of his lifelong spiritual seeking and his desire to understand the mysteries of life. This led him to explore several different spiritual and religious traditions and to pursue programs of personal transformation. Shortly after marriage to his second wife, Eddy, in 1996 they together became interested in Quakerism, and found a lasting home at Multnomah Friends Meeting, where they became members. There Marty served an important role in managing the renovation and addition project of 2007. During this period his connection with Mazamas served an important role, as the Multnomah Friends temporarily met on Sundays in the Mazama Mountaineering Center.

Marty is survived by his wife Eddy Marie Crouch, his daughter Corina Kaul, son Chad Crouch, sister Kathleen Pedersen, brother Glen Crouch, sister Annette Harper, first wife Linda Pickett, and five grandchildren.

The memorial service for Marty will take place on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 4 p.m. at The Multnomah Friends Meeting House at 4312 SE Stark Street in Portland. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Solar Oregon would be appreciated.

James McCobb | Jan. 25, 1928–April 26, 2017

James E. McCobb, 89, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Marilyn (Mack) McCobb; 6 children; 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, colleagues, and many dear friends. He is pre-deceased by his son Thomas McCobb and sister Elizabeth Lazzaro.

A former methodist minister James went on to 50-year career as an attorney. He was a Mazama, an avid hiker and outdoorsman, and also wrote and self-published several books of poetry. He was an active member of Rotary International.

His wife recently sent the Mazamas a letter notifying us of Jim's death and enclosed a poem he wrote about climbing the South Sister, printed here.

Shake the Dust

You will remember the songs of waterfalls
as the trail switchbacks into the forest.
The twists and turns will seem familiar,
as you listen to the river.

The roots and stones beneath your feet
will remind you I cherished waterfalls,
the splendid tress, the paintrush
in the clearing across the bridge —
the rough log that troubled balance.

When at day's end you remove your boots,
from aching feet, you will remember
how one autumn day I made the rough ascent,
sat beside the pool at altitude,
then reached the rugged summit.

You will remember I was there before you,
how I loved the roar of waterfalls,
the distant view along the ridges
scanning westard to the Pacific.
—Jim McCobb

Deryl Gene Richter | June 27, 1924–July 22, 2017

Deryl Gene Richter, 93, of Portland, died peacefully July 22, 2017.

He was born to Henry and Lois Richter in June of 1924 in Portland. He graduated from Grant High School in 1943. Deryl served in World War II in the Pacific Theatre earning two bronze stars for his action in Bougainville, Solomon Islands and the liberation of Manilla. Following the war, he earned a Bachelors of Science from Oregon State College in Industrial Engineering. His career in engineering spanned 30 years at Hyster Company where he retired in 1983.

In 1960, he married Beatriz Jean Rey of Bloomington, Ind., whom he met water skiing on Spirit Lake, Wash., with a group of friends that remain close to this day. Deryl held a passion for photography his entire life and leaves behind a legacy of photographs and movies documenting a life well lived; family, snow skiing, water skiing, hiking, backpacking, and traveling the world.

Deryl is survived by his wife, Beatriz; and daughter, Tamara. A celebration of his life was held on Aug. 10, 2017, at the Hillsboro Elks Lodge.

Glenn Alan Eaton Jr. | Sept. 24, 1948–Aug. 27, 2017

Glenn Alan Eaton Jr., 68, of Portland passed away Aug. 27, 2017 from coronary heart disease. Glenn was a lifetime member of the Mazamas, joining when he was 16.

He attended St. Helen's Hall grade school (OES) graduating from Parkrose High School (1966). He received his BS/MS civil engineering degrees from Oregon State where he joined Acacia Fraternity. Starting in college he worked as an engineer for the Oregon State Highway Department. He served in the Army after ROTC.

Glenn's activities included Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow leader, church acolyte, square dancer, skier, past president of Winnemucca Society, Children of the American Revolution, Mazama Climbing, Sons of the American Revolution, Blind Commission, and trolleys.
He is survived by wife, Rosemary J. Eaton; sister, Lillian Stewart of Jacksonville, Ore.; nephew, Benjamin Ward (Leticia Durham) of Colorado; niece, Sara Ward of Washington; great-nephews, Tacitus, Caius, Trajan, Deacon. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Canon (Col) Glenn Eaton, Sr. and Jeannette Christensen Eaton.

Services were on Sept. 2, 2017. In lieu of flowers, donations were made to the Mazamas or St. Michaels and All Angels Church.