Benjamin Franklin Eckley, Jr., 87, of Woodburn, Ore., died March 9, 2013, in Silverton, Ore.
He was born April 26, 1925, in Joseph, Ore., to Benjamin and Alma (Rudger) Eckley. He joined the Navy at age 17 during World War II and served from 1943 to 1946 in Naval Intelligence as a radioman.
On June 22, 1947, in Beavercreek, Ore., he married Gloria Mary Corless. They spent the next 66 years together. After the Navy, he joined the Oregon Army National Guard and served 41 years before retiring as colonel.
He attended Enterprise High School and Oregon State College, earning a bachelor’s degree in animal and military science. He also attended additional courses in agriculture and the military.
He worked as a vocational agriculture teacher, farm credit officer, public utility supervisor and farmer. He spent 20 years in The Dalles, Ore., where he established a career with PCA and Federal Land Bank in office management, before settling down in the Woodburn area.
He enjoyed outings with his wife and kids, traveling, camping and hunting. He was also 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.
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 is set for 11 a.m., Saturday, March 23, at the United Methodist Church in Woodburn.
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