Robert Henry “Bob” Borgen, 78, a longtime Baker City resident, died Oct. 16, 2007, at the Boise Veterans Hospital.

His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Lutheran Church, 1734 Third St. Friends are invited to join the family at a reception after the service at Community Connection, 2810 Cedar St.

Bob was born in Baker on March 20, 1929, to George Washington Borgen and Winnifred Moeller Borgen. Bob attended Brooklyn Elementary School and was a 1947 Baker High School graduate. He was an outstanding athlete at Baker High School where his picture hangs on the honors wall in the gym hall.

He briefly attended Oregon State University until his enlistment in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1950. Bob married Betty Louise Milton on Oct. 17, 1952, at Winnemucca, Nev., before he was shipped overseas for active duty as a B29 waistgunner in the Korean War. Bob and Betty had three children, Karen, Kerry and Kris.

His family came to Baker in the 1870s as pioneers and were instrumental in the construction of the infrastructure of Baker. As a young man Bob worked with his father and his uncles in construction of many roads and irrigation systems in all corners of Baker County and Eastern Oregon.

He was an exceptional heavy equipment operator and worked for Rogers Construction on the construction of Interstate 5 and Interstate 84 from Bonneville Dam to Baker. Bob worked as an independent logging contractor with his son, Kerry, for nearly 30 years in Northeastern Oregon, driving log truck well into his retirement years.
Bob was a lifetime member of the Baker Elks Lodge, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and served on the Baker County Fair Board and Fair Advisory Board. If the measure of a man is how many people are touched by a life well lived, Bob stands head and shoulders among good men, family members said.

“He stood up for his convictions, he was always kind, quick to quip and still makes us laugh,” they said. “He will always be our example of a genuinely good guy.”

In 2004, after a week-long vacation with his children and their families at the Oregon Coast, he and Betty were in an auto accident on the return trip. Betty did not survive. He spent two months in hospitals recuperating, but never really recovered from losing Betty.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty; and brothers, George and Richard.

He is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Glen Giles; son and daughter-in law, Kerry and Kari Borgen; and daughter, Kris Borgen; grandchildren, Robert, Hallie and Laura Borgen and Megan Runyon; a sister, Marilyn Borgen; and a brother, Arlen Borgen; and many extended family and friends who were dear to him.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bob Borgen vocational scholarship through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 19, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor