May 27, 1931 — August 3, 2018
Duane Ronald Gagner passed away on August 3, 2018, after suffering a stroke on July 31, 2018 at the age of 87 at Evergreen Hospice House in Albany.
Duane was born in Lignite, North Dakota to Philius and Nellie (Pierce) Gagner.
At age five, the family migrated to Oregon, settling in Woodburn. In the 40's, they moved to Portland and lived in the Hollywood District. He attended Grant High School.
After school, he worked at Pacific Fruit before enlisting in the Navy where he served as a gunners mate on the USS Halsey Powell and also drove supply truck in Yokosuka, Japan.
After his discharge, he went to work for the Burlington Northern Railroad, retiring after 40 years of service.
He married Linda (Lin) Kirchoff Gillespie on August 27, 1971 in Vancouver, Washington. Shortly after marriage, they moved to Sweet Home/Foster area. For several years he also owned and operated Riggs Hill Nursery from his backyard. During this time, the highlight for him was selling many flowers and hanging baskets for Mother's Day. It would get so busy, he would joke that he might have to call out the National Guard to direct traffic up and down the hill.
He enjoyed his family and looked forward to yearly family reunions, always making sure to ask as each family member arrived “what's new.”
He is survived by his wife, Lin; children, Ron (Kari) of Sequim, Washington, Jeffrey (Traci) of Sweet Home, Craig (Pearl) of Gresham, Paul (Jennifer Gamache) of Eagle Creek, Kathleen Hay (John) of Sweet Home, Don Gillespie (Vicki) of Hillsboro, Chris (Gail) Gillespie of Sweet Home; 12 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother; three sisters; grandson, Brennen Etheridge; and granddaughter, Amy Maisto.
There will be a recitation of the Rosary at 10:30 a.m., followed by a celebration of life Mass at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 18 at St. Helen Catholic Church, 600 Sixth Avenue in Sweet Home.
Huston-Jost Funeral Home is handling arrangements
Contributions in his memory may be made to PEO, Chapter FA and sent in care of Huston-Jost Funeral Home, 86 Grant St., Lebanon, OR 97355.