Island City, Oregon
Maurice D. “Ozzie” Asemissen, 82, died March 21 at a local adult foster care home from the effects of a stroke he suffered on Oct. 20. The Island City Lion’s Club will host an informal celebration of life at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Island City City Hall. Pizza will be served.
Ozzie was born July 1, 1925, in Moneta, Iowa, and attended school in South Dakota. On his 18th birthday he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the submarine service. He observed the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay from the deck of his submarine.
After the war, Ozzie returned to school and later graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in elementary education. He taught for four years, then left the education field to work in the emerging electronics industry in Mountain View, Calif. His first job was with Nobel Prize winner, Dr. William Shockley. He worked with the development of semi-conductors and lasers with various companies until moving to La Grande in 1970 where he worked at home building and contracting until starting the Island City Trading Post in 1975, a business he operated until retiring in 1996.
Ozzie was always active in the Island City community. He was one of the co-founders of the annual Hog Wild Day celebration. He was an active member of the Island City Lions Club and helped with their many community projects. He received a number of awards for his Lions Club service. In recent years he was probably best known for operating the Lions Club “Pig Train” at parades and other area events. Ozzie was honored for his many years of community service by the City of Island City in 2004 by being named an honorary citizen of Island City, and “Citizen of the Year.”
His family says he was a kind grandpa for instilling the value of family adventures as well as his love and respect for the environment and the outdoors.
Ozzie is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Jeff Russell; former wife, Virgene Peshel; three grandchildren; one great-grandchild; numerous nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; and three sisters, Margaret McFarlane, Ruth Browne and Jean Johnston.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Island City Cemetery Veteran’s Memorial in care of Loveland’s Funeral Chapel in La Grande.
The Observer – Obituaries for the week ending April 5, 2008 – Published April 3, 2008