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Baker City, Oregon
John Paul Edvalson, 89, died April 25, 2007, at his home in Baker City.
His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.
John was born on Aug. 1, 1917, at Union to Carl Patrick and Cecilia Isaacson Edvalson. He was the 12th of 14 children in the family. He was raised on the family farm on Catherine Creek about three miles upstream from the town of Union.
He was a 1935 Union High School graduate. A highlight of his high school time was judging livestock. John participated as a member of Union High School’s judging team at the Pacific International Livestock show in Portland.
After graduation, he worked on the family farm for four years. In 1939, he moved to Baker City and worked at the Oregon Lumber Co. on the green chain.
After Pearl Harbor, he joined the U.S. Army in January 1942. He became a member of the 2nd Chemical Mortar Battalion and trained in Maryland, North Carolina and Florida before shipping out for Europe and Africa.
His unit held training exercises in North Africa before participating in the Allied invasion of Italy. They saw heavy action in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Cassino and on to the occupation of Rome. They were then dispatched to France and then on to southern Germany. He participated in the liberation of the concentration camps at Dachau.
Members of his unit provided high explosive and white phosphorous mortar support for the infantry during their tour of duty. John was discharged from the Army with the rank of staff sergeant in October 1945 and returned to Baker City in January of 1946 to resume employment at the Oregon Lumber Co.
He met his bride-to-be in Baker City before the war. After his return to Baker City he married Angela Amelia Smurthwaite on July 26, 1946, at Boise. Later that fall their marriage was sealed in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Angela and John lived in a rented home on Virginia Street in south Baker City until they moved into their own new home on Myrtle Street near the Powder River Bridge in 1948. They lived in the easily recognizable pink house near Wade Williams Field for the next 52 years.
After seven years of marriage, they were excited to welcome their only child to the family. Timothy John Edvalson was born in February of 1953. John was an active lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and worked for many years in the Boy Scouts of America as a Scoutmaster and later an Explorer leader. He received the Scouter’s Key Award as an adult leader in 1960.
After the Oregon Lumber Co. closed he worked for Edward Hines Lumber Co. at Bates from 1961 to 1975 and in John Day from 1975 until he retired in 1979.
John was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing and hiking. He especially enjoyed backpacking trips in the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area. He was also a rock hound, collecting many specimens of petrified wood and other gems and minerals. He was a talented gardener and was well-known in his neighborhood for his flowers and vegetables.
Survivors include one sister, Ada Dungan of Sacramento, Calif.; his son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Timothy J. and Dana J. Trusty Edvalson of West Linn; granddaughters and their spouses, Allyson and Billy Rodriguez and Marel and Thomas Stock, both of Provo, Utah; several brothers and sisters-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Perpetual Education Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or to Habitat for Humanity through Cole’s Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, May 9, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor