Joseph Paul 'Oscar' Niehuser, Sr.
Nov. 14, 1928 - June 20, 2020
Joseph Paul "Oscar" Niehuser was born to Arthur and Hilda (Kunz) Niehuser in Portland Nov. 14, 1928, the fourth of five children. A fourth generation Oregonian, Joe lived in three houses his entire life. He attended Holy Redeemer grade school, Benson High School, and as the first college graduate in his family, he received a degree in engineering from the University of Portland in 1950, and became a Professional Engineer.
Joe met the love of his life, Joann Scoggins, and they were married in 1951. They were inseparable. The friendships they made in the North Portland community were strong and endured throughout their lives. On June 20, 2020 two of the last male "Northenders" passed within hours of each other, Joe and his dear friend Ron Ochs.
Joe worked for the City of Portland starting as a draftsman, bringing his drawings home for Joann to stipple to perfection. He had a sharp wit and twinkle in his eye. He was respected for his leadership, honesty, integrity, and strong work ethic. He retired in 1984 as Chief Civil Engineer of the Bureau of Environmental Services, receiving a proclamation from the Portland City Council for his 34 years of service, signed by Mayor Francis Ivancie.
God and family were his passions. Joe loved his time with Joann and his children and their families, plus beer, chocolate, church, crabbing, teaching the fine art of roasting a marshmallow and the nickel slots in Reno. He enjoyed Lucia Falls, Rockaway Beach, Virginia City, searching junk stores (to set up his grandchildren with tools for life), and traveling with Joann to 49 of 50 states. With a precise mind, he enjoyed working on old clocks and was relied on to fix anything. Devoted to his family, he provided caregiving to his mother and Joann's elderly parents and aunt as well as his older brother Jim.
He opened his home every Christmas to his entire family until his 89th year, wrapping every present himself. He traveled to Europe eight times after Joann passed, rating each country by how good the beer tasted. He valued education and lifelong learning believing "knowledge can never be taken away," and was proud that all four of his children graduated college. He continued his passion for education and helped nine grandchildren in completing college degrees. If you were his friend, you were family.
He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; brothers, James, John (Luke) and William; twin-sister, Margaret Meyer; and grand-daughter, Megan (Niehuser) Baranowski. He is survived by his children, Joe Jr. of Reno, Nev., Nancy (Kevin) Currans of Philomath, Michael (Lesa) and Thomas (Cheryl) Niehuser of Portland. He has eight surviving grandchildren of whom he could not have been prouder, Katelyn (fiancee Andy), Kristina (Cody McCullar), Patrick (fiancee Katherine), Kelly (fiancee Dustin) Currans and Aaron (Shaekira), Kelsey, Anthony and Joseph Niehuser. He also leaves behind two precious great grandchildren, Oscar (his fifth namesake) and Arnold Niehuser.
Due to COVID 19 there will be a private Rite of Christian Burial and Funeral Mass. Joe will be interned at Mt. Calvary Cemetery next to Joann, his wife of almost 50 years. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The Colonel John Boyd Memorial Scholarship, 5956 N.W. 213th Pl., Portland, OR 97229, a scholarship founded by his son Michael, or to Lumina Hospice, 720 S.W. 4th St., Corvallis, OR 97333 for the support they provided Joe's family to allow him to pass peacefully in his daughter's home surrounded by family.
He will be dearly missed. He was a blessing to this world.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits