Gretchen Miller (Kafoury)
retired Single 2
Gretchen Kafoury, who championed affordable housing and women's rights in an expansive political career that gave rise to a second generation, died Friday. She was 72.
Kafoury, whose career spanned from Portland City Council to the Oregon Legislature, had been politically active since the 1960s. She worked on Sen. Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign and Wayne Morse's U.S. Senate run in 1968.
She soon became a leading voice for women's rights and helped launch the Oregon chapter of the National Organization for Women in 1970. A year later, she was marching against the City Club of Portland, protesting its refusal to admit women, and co-founded the Oregon Women's Political Caucus.
She became a candidate herself in 1977, winning the seat in the Oregon House of Representatives vacated by her then-husband Stephen Kafoury.
As a state representative, she worked for legislation to expand the role of nurses and to improve the quality of care for hospital patients. She also worked on programs to help victims of domestic and sexual violence and to establish credit rights and job flexibility for women. She served in the Legislature until 1982.
Three years later she was elected to the Multnomah County, where she worked to increase county funding for prenatal care for low-income women, established Portland's first teen health clinic in Roosevelt High School and created primary prevention programs to help attack drug and alcohol abuse and teen pregnancy.
Her daughter Deborah Kafoury, who was elected to the county commission in 2008, is now its chairwoman.
In 1991, she was elected to Portland City Council where she served until 1998.
Colleagues remember her as someone who was drawn to serve the public and focused on building a city that worked for everybody.
"She was utterly full of life and energy and it was exciting to work with her because she was always focused on stuff that mattered," said Erik Sten, Kafoury's former chief of staff who later served alongside her on the City Council. "Despite being a very successful politician for a long time she didn't really care about the politics."
Instead, Sten said, Kafoury got excited when she saw families move into stable homes.
"There's been a lot of good people on the city council," he said. "But she's been one of the ones that Portland was really lucky to have."
Portland Mayor Charlier Hales said the city lost a leader and role model.
"She was tireless in her work with the National Organization for Women, the City of Portland, Multnomah County and the Oregon Legislature," he said in a statement. "She has been a colleague, an ally, a partner - and always the conscience of our community."
Other public officials turned to Twitter to express condolences and celebrate her life.
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland, wrote that Kafoury was champion of the poor and women's rights, and an outstanding public servant.
Gov. Kate Brown said Kafoury truly understood what leadership meant.
"We will miss her humanity and authenticity," she wrote.
After Kafoury retired from politics, she continued to push for affordable housing and served as a commissioner for the Housing Authority of Portland, which is now known as Home Forward. Just two weeks ago, Kafoury testified at a City Council meeting regarding Portland urban renewal areas.
She also taught at Portland State University's College of Urban and Public Affairs until her retirement in 2008.
In October of 1998, Kafoury was awarded the mayor's Human Rights Award. In 2001 she received the Spirit of Portland award in recognition of her service to the city.
Born in Walla Walla, Washington, Gretchen Kafoury graduated from Whitman College in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in music. In the mid-60s, she was a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Iran. She then taught English as a second language at Grant High School in Northeast Portland and at Portland State University.
Survivors included her daughters Deborah Kafoury and Katharine Kafoury.
-- Kasia Hall
Kafoury, Gretchen Miller 72 June 23, 1942 - Mar. 13, 2015
Gretchen Miller Kafoury was born June 23,1942 in Walla Walla, Washington, graduated in music from Whitman College in 1963 and received a Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University in 2008. Before moving to Portland she lived for two years in Iran as a Peace Corps volunteer. Gretchen served for 20 years in elective office as a State Representative, Multnomah County Commissioner, and Portland City Commissioner before retiring in 1998. In subsequent years she taught at the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University and served on the board of the Housing Authority of Portland, the Oregon Center for Public Policy, and founded the American-Iranian Friendship Committee. Gretchen was more than a leader and a public servant. She was a rabble-rouser, a mother, a grandmother, a teacher, an organizer, and a friend to the poor. Just two weeks before her death, Gretchen marched to City Hall to once again advocate for affordable housing, never wavering from the compass that guided her life's work. Gretchen leaves behind sister Deborah Bonds (Chris), brothers Webb Miller and Bill Brattain, daughters Deborah (Nik Blosser) and Katharine (Steve Miller), and beloved grandchildren, her "raisons d'etre" Alexander, Jacob and Anna Blosser. Services will be held at 2:00 pm Saturday, April 4 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1126 SW Park Avenue, Portland. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Street Roots, Human Solutions or Transition Projects. A full obituary is available at www.riverviewcemetaryfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Oregonian from Mar. 29 to Apr. 1, 2015
Children: 2 Daughters
Grandchildren: 2 Grandsons & 1 Granddaughter
Activities/Hobbies: Oregon Coast, Reading, Grandchildren
After graduation from Whitman College, I headed off to Iran for two years in the Peace Corps. When I returned to Portland, I had gotten the political bug, volunteered for Bobby Kennedy’s campaign, and spent the next thirty years in politics. I became a “politician” myself, eventually serving in the State Legislature, on the Multnomah County Commission, and the Portland City Council. When I wearied on the pressure, I taught for ten years at Portland State University, and retired for good last year.
Now life is focused on three wonderful grandchildren, volunteer work for low income housing on the Housing Authority of Portland Board, and plenty of time at the Oregon Coast.
As for the nitty-gritty – I’ve had three husbands, a decade each but none since 1998, and two lovely daughters who live in Portland and are very much a part of my life. Wa-Hi seems many lifetimes ago, but I am thinking of many of you during the reunion festivities, and am sorry I can’t be there too.
Penny Miller (Hendrix)
Retired Married 1
Raymond L Miller
Retired Married 3
Since graduation 50 years ago I attended Columbia Basin Community College for two years and I have worked as a retail manager for 47 years. I retired last year and I have been married for 48 years. We have lived in Walla Walla, Tri Cities, Longview, Ogden, Idaho Falls, Eugene, Springfield and Gresham. My hobbies are grandkids, photography and gardening.
My wife, Marilyn and I have three daughters, Michelle, Nicole and Kimberly. All three are married, and are college graduates. Michelle has two boys Dillon 15 and Taylor 5. She works for the City of Vancouver as a Chief of Finance. Nicole is an Associate Professor at Portland State University has two daughters, Isabella 12 and Gabrielle 9. Kimberly is a 2nd grade teacher and has a daughter Rebekah 12 and two boys, Caleb 10 and Nathan 8.
Lou Ann Mindemann
Lou Ann Mindemann, 11-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Mindemann of Walla Walla died Wednesday at her home after an illness of several weeks.
She was born Jan. 8, 1941 in Seattle and had spent most of her life in this area, having attended Pioneer Junior High School here. Miss Mindemann was a talented pianist and had been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
The Rev. R. Langbecker officiated at last rites in the Trinity Lutheran Church, for which E.R. Krohn was organist. Singing "Abide With Me," and "I'm But a Stranger Here" was a quartet, members of which were Mrs. Helen Schramm, Mrs. Betty Moore, Miss Evelyn Langbecker, and Miss Shirley Beck. Pallbearers were Herbert Friese, Carl Krohn, Albert Beck, Donald Schramm, Leo Bartlet and Adolph Beck. Interment was in the Mountain View cemetery.
(from obit dated 11 Dec. 1953)
Shirley Moeller (Good)
Anne Moffitt (Engen)
Professor of Anthropoloogy Married 3After graduation from highschool, I married Bill Brunton and went to WSU to obtain a PHD in anthropology. This I completed in 1971 while teaching at Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota.
We had three children, Kris, Erik and Heather who are all still living in this area with my beautiful grandchildren--3 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. These blessed grandchildren are now in the process of graduation from highschool and beginning college themselves. How time flies.
I taught at Moorhead State for 30 years and had a wonderful career with students and research. Upon retirement, I spent a year reading and then boredom set in. I decided I needed a project and that I would like to build a house. My husband, Vernon Engen was sweet enough to say, "go ahead." It was a great learning experience to do a whole house from scratch. It took 3 years and ended far bigger than the wee picture on the blueprint, but it is done and we are living in it. Despite a winter in the camper, and a summer in the garage, Vernon gets a lot of compliments from friends and neighbors so I guess it was worth it.
Again boredom got to me though, so the next project was a trip to Europe. We bought a camper there and I stayed 6 months traveling around. It was wonderful and hard to come back. The children and grandchildren were the real impetus to return.
Now as boredom is creeping up again, I think we will consider buying land in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan and build a small home there for part of the year. But first, I have to wait for Obama to get my lost retirement back up to where it was!!!
Retired Police Captain Married 3Spouse: Sherri
Children: 3 Sons
Grandchildren: 1 Grandson and 3 Granddaughters
Activities/Hobbies: Golf, Woodworking
Born in Walla Walla March 12th, 1941
1962 to 1969: Owned a garden supply store on the corner of 4th & Rose in Walla Walla, “Moore’s Lawn & Garden Supply”. Sold and closed business June 1969.
1969 to 1998: Worked for the Walla Walla Police Dept. Attained the rank of Captain in 1980 and retired March 1, 1998.
1991 to 2008: Owned and operated “Wood-Saver Milling Co.” a portable sawmill business. Sold business in April 2008 and retired.
I have a BA degree form Eastern WA. Univ.
Married to Sherri and we will have our 40th anniversary Jan. 4th, 2010. We have three sons: Fred Jr. is a baker for Costco in the tri-cities, he is married to a Deputy Sherriff and she works for the officer Benton Co. Sherriff, they have two daughters; Greg is a police Officer for the Coeur d’ Alene Police Dept. - he is divorced and shares custody of his son with his ex-wife, an attorney; and Christopher works for the Ice Chalet and will attend WWCC this fall, he lives with his girlfriend and they have a daughter who, unfortunately, was born blind but is coping very well. She is 2 ½ years old.
I have been active in Rotary for the last 28 years and will be president of the Walla Walla Sunrise Rotary club as of June 1, 2009. I am a Past President of the Walla Walla Noon club and served as an Assistant Governor for Rotary International in 2002-2003.
My hobbies are woodworking and golf. Sherri and I do enjoy traveling.
After graduation I spent eight years in the Navy, pre and during Vet Nam. I classify this as a high light because of the education that I received and I learned to live with many different types of people.
After the service my career took me in to the electronic field. The last 30 years of that time was in medical electronics. I work in service, design, project management and international sales, service and marketing. I lived in Tokyo Japan for three and a half years in the mid 80’s and traveled on work assignments to over 19 countries. I retired in 2001.
In 1986 I met and married my wife, Doyne Alward. We live in Kirkland and share our home with our dogs. Emily and Oliver are 11 year old toy poodles. Doyne retired from Lake Washington School District last year after 45 years of teaching.
In 2005 I was honored when Doyne’s son, Lee and his fiancée, Maiya asked me to officiate at their wedding, I so impressed my sister Joyce that she asked me to officiate at her wedding.
We now have twin grandchildren, a boy and a girl age three. They live in Seattle so we see them often.
I enjoy photography, gardening, computers and woodworking. We do major entertaining for all of the major and many of the minor holidays.
Retired Married 2