James Robert Etherington, 90, of Sweet Home, formerly of Lebanon, died Friday at the Lebanon Veteran’s Home.
James was born February 25, 1925 at 11:30 PM in the town of Hamilton, Carlisle Township, Pembina County, North Dakota. The attending physician Dr. J. S. Hamilton traveled 6 miles from Bathgate, on horseback, through February winter snow to assist with the birth. Following the successful event Doctor Hamilton returned to Bathgate arriving home on the 26th. James birth certificate indicates his birth was on February 26th, the day following James actual birth. Apparently due to a hard, cold night with no sleep Dr. Hamilton recorded the birth date using the time of his arrival back home in Bathgate. Throughout his life James always documented his birthday as February 25th. The discrepancy between birthdates escaped the eyes of the US Navy, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration and Medicare. It was only discovered when James tried to renew his Oregon driver’s license at age 82. James was refused a license not because of inability to drive, but because he might not be who he had been for 82 years. Perhaps a terrorist? A lengthy and tedious process resolved the discrepancy and James eventually got his license. He continued to celebrate his birthday on the true day of his birth, February 25th, until his passing at the 90+.
James entered the US Navy during WW II, May of 1942 and received an Honorable Discharge in April 1946 and returned to Minnesota.
James married Marlys Ione Hanson on the 16th of September, 1951 in Erskine, Minnesota. Shortly after their wedding they loaded up and moved to Reedsport, Oregon to join some family and where James worked in the sawmills. James and Marlys started their family with the births of a son, Duane in 1952, a daughter, Diane in 1954, another son, David in 1956. The family then moved to Englewood, Oregon and Coos Bay, Oregon areas; then finally moving to Lebanon, Oregon in 1962 working as a planerman for Willamette Industries in Sweet Home, Oregon retiring in 1987. James and Marlys then moved to Woodburn for a time, then Corvallis, back to Lebanon and then finally to Sweet Home in 2007.
James had a lifetime membership at the Lebanon American Legion Santiam Post #51 and was past Governor of the Lebanon Moose Lodge #1866. He enjoyed camping, hunting, and fishing with family and friends. He taught his granddaughter, Jennifer, how to spit on the worm for luck while fishing. Nearly until his death, James especially enjoyed working with wood and created many beautiful pieces, bowls, candle holders, coasters and bird houses. These he shared with friends and family.
James was preceded in death by his parents Mack and Annie (O’Shaughnessy) Etherington, Sisters Armelia and Harriet, Uncles and Aunts. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marlys, son Duane and his wife Patti, daughter Diane and her husband Bill Marshall, son David and his wife Sandy, grandchildren Ryan Daniels and his wife Jenny, Jim Etherington and his wife Liz, Travis Etherington and his wife Brandi, Jennifer Bilyeu, 7 great grandchildren, Cody, Bryce, Akila, Camas, Logan, Makena and Hunter.
Viewing will be from 4 – 7:00 PM, Thursday, at Huston-Jost Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM, Friday, Sept. 18, at Huston-Jost Funeral Home. Burial will follow at the Lebanon IOOF Cemetery.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Legion Post #51, and sent in care of Huston-Jost Funeral Home, 86 W. Grant St., Lebanon, OR 97355.