Frank vonBorstel, Jr., 91, passed away September 4th at Oregon Veterans' Home after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.
Frank was born February 17, 1922 at Kent,Oregon, the elder of two Sons to Frank and Floye Elizabeth (Clodfelter) vonBorstel. He grew up on the family farm in southern Sherman County. He was active in 4-H as a youth and led 4-H groups while majoring in animal science at Oregon State University, where he was in ROTC until active duty in the Army, 1944-1947. He served in Central Europe, and the Rhineland during the Army of Occupation. Then he returned to OSU to complete his B.S. degree, and on to OSU Extension in Douglas County working with 4-H and Youth programs. In 1950 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. His thesis, along with six other branches of research, resulted in a new breed of sheep, Perendale, which became one of the most popular breeds in New Zealand. After he obtained his Master's in Animal Science, he worked for a year there, before returning to his job in Douglas County. Half of his employment with OSU Extension was in Douglas County and half in Marion County.
During thirty years as an OSU 4-H extension agent he advised hundreds of 4-H'ers and volunteer youth leaders in animal science, natural science, mechanical science and horticulture. He helped organize statewide 4-H functions and worked on countywide events like tour days, demonstrations, shows and annual livestock market auctions. Enrollment in Marion County 4-H and youth programs climbed from 1700 to 3,000 thirteen years after he joined the staff there. Frank knew that 4-H participation taught many life skills, including good citizenship. He loved his work and spent his life truly trying to help others.
After retirement, Frank did part-time work managing the Marion County Fair for a few years and continued an active life of volunteering and community involvement in numerous ways: Local School Advisory Committees at Grant Elementary and Parrish Middle Schools; North High School's Curriculum Committee; Grant Neighborhood Crime Watch and police department liaison; Salem Downtown Lions Club; treasurer at Jason Lee Methodist Church; member of Salem Youth and Jr. Symphony Boards; Salem Stamp Society; Salem City Club; and Willamette University Institute for Continued Learning. He particularly enjoyed: concerts (Oregon Symphony in Salem and others); travel, combined with study about the countries visited; reading history, biography, current events, etc. Another hobby was flying a small plane, which he co-owned with three friends in Roseburg.
On Dec. 18, 1965, he married Jo Ann (Hutchings). He is survived by his wife and their children: Eric (Kelly), Stayton, Or. and Julia, Portland. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Robert C. vonBorstel. A private memorial service will be held at Willamette National Cemetery. The family requests that any memorial gifts be made to the Oregon 4-H Foundation or Sherman County Historical Society.
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