John Chlarson Chelson passed away March 6, 2017, in the Hood River Care Center after an extended illness.
He had been a member of the Colton/Molalla communities for most of his life, moving there in 1941.
Mr. Chelson was born John Michael Felty, Feb. 8, 1935, in Denver, Colo., to Larose Chlarson of Thatcher, Idaho and Michael Franklin Felty of Hickory Creek, Texas. He moved with his mother to Portland, Ore., in 1936 and to Colton, Ore., in 1941, assuming the last name of his stepfather, Carl Chelson. He attended Colton elementary and high school, graduating in 1953.
He married Donna Maxine Lutz in 1955, which later ended in divorce. John moved to Molalla in 1963.
He married Mona Dianne Ransom Bates, widow of Harold Bates, in 1970, which ended in divorce. He married Billie Jo Willcox on August 20, 2011, in The Dalles, Ore.
John was a timber faller until 1969 when he went into real estate as the owner/broker of John Chelson Real Estate until his retirement in 2004. He was the Molalla Chamber of Commerce president two years and honored with both Citizen and Businessman of the Year for the Molalla area. He worked with the Boy Scouts for 65 years, including 10 years on the council level, where he was awarded the prestigious national “Silver Beaver” award. John was a member of Kiwanis for 46 years, serving as President, Lt. Governor and Pacific Northwest District Governor. He held both District and International life memberships and was honored as both Kiwanian of the Year, and Kiwanian of the Decade by his club. He also was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, serving in many positions, including Bishop of the Molalla Ward.
Survivors include his wife, Billie Jo, and four daughters; Cheryl Dawn and Ed Stoner, Reno, Nev.; Caroyl Yvonne Van Tassell, Woodburn, Ore.; Cynthia Rose and Charles O’Donnell, Rigby, Idaho; Darcy Lynn and Greg Budreau, Keizer, Ore.; two half brothers, Ronald Waude, Seattle, Wash.; Carl David Chelson, Molalla, Ore.; a half sister, Larose Victoria (Chelson) Christie, Redmond, Ore.; step-children; Bradley Justin Willcox, Phoenix, Az.; Blair Austin Willcox, Mesa, Az.; Bryce Rustin Willcox, Tigard, Ore.; Penny Jo Willcox Stahly, Overland Park, Kan.; 35 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother, Gary and mother Larose, and step father, Carl.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, LDS Church 1815 E 15th Street The Dalles; at noon, viewing and 1 p.m. chapel.
Burial will be at the Odd Fellows cemetery in The Dalles.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Cascade Pacific Council, Boy Scouts of America, with a donation box in the foyer of the church, during the service or 4145 Naito Pky, Portland, Ore. 97201
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