Benjamin Franklin Eckley
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April 26, 1925 - March 9, 2013
WOODBURN - Benjamin Franklin Eckley, Jr. of Woodburn, died March 9, 2013 in Silverton at the age of 87. He was born April 26, 1925 in Joseph, Oregon to Benjamin and Alma (Rudger) Eckley. Ben joined the Navy from 1943 to 1946 at age 17 during WWII in Naval Intelligence as a Radioman. On June 22, 1947 in Beavercreek, OR he married the love of his life Gloria Mary Corless. They would spend the next 66 years together. After the Navy, he joined the Oregon Army National Guard and served forty one years before retiring as Colonel. Mr. Eckley had a very prestigious military career, but was also very educated. He attended Enterprise H.S. and then Oregon State College where he received his Bachelor's degree in animal and military science. He also attended many additional educational courses relating to agriculture and the military. Ben was able to utilize the schooling and training he acquired in such positions as Vocational Agriculture Teacher, Farm Credit Officer, Public Utility Supervisor and Farmer. He spent his entire career and life in Oregon, living 23 years in Silverton on the family farm where they raised sheep and other livestock and tended to a commercial cherry orchard; and 20 years in The Dalles where he established a career with PCA and Federal Land Bank in office management, before settling down in the Woodburn area. Although Ben was a hard working man, he was a family man who enjoyed outings with his wife and kids, traveling, camping and hunting. He was also very involved with his community and a member of several fraternal organizations such as the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shriners, Farm Bureau, Grange, Kiwanis, and a member of the Woodburn United Methodist Church. When he wasn't involved with these activities, you could find him volunteering for RVICS, NOMADS, CHIEF, and the Boy Scouts. He was a generous man and loved helping others but enjoyed a few hobbies like photography, gardening, and shop work, on his own. He has left behind many loving friends and family that will miss him very much.
He is survived by his wife Gloria; children, Stanley B. Eckley (Mary Pat), Keith W. Eckley (Corinne), Joseph R. Eckley (Lois), and Diana J. Kelley (Kingsley); sisters, LaValle Roberts, Mary Howerton, and Georgia Mae Waits; 11 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by sister Maxine E. Daggett, brother Francis M. Eckley, son James R. Eckley, and granddaughter Jacqueline M. Smith. A memorial service will be held 11:00AM; Saturday March 23, 2013 at the United Methodist Church in Woodburn. Contributions can be made to any one of these organizations in his memory: Shriners Hospital Portland, Woodburn United Methodist Church, C.H.I.E.F. 1644 E. Campo Bello Dr. Phoenix, AZ 85022 or Regeneration Reservation PO Box 219, Fort Thomas, AZ 85536.
Cornwell Colonial Chapel
390 N 2nd St Woodburn, OR 97071
Published in StatesmanJournal on Mar. 16, 2013