Roger Julian Mockford (1924-2015)

This is the reprint of the Obituary for my father that was prepared for release to local newspapers. Roger J. Mockford died December 4, 2015 of natural causes a few days before his 91st birthday. A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Oregon City, located at 822 Washington St. on Friday, December 11 at 11:00 AM, after a private burial at Willamette National Cemetery.

Roger was born December 7, 1924 in Inglewood, California to English immigrants Arthur Julian and Frances Rose Mockford.  He moved with his family to Oregon City in the early 1930s and graduated from Oregon City High School in 1943. Roger entered the US Army and was selected for the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at the University of Oregon.  His unit was called up to serve in General Patton’s Third Army, 11th armored Division in 1944.  Roger arrived in France on the eve of the Battle of the Bulge, where he earned two Bronze Stars as an infantryman with the 55th Armored Infantry Battalion, fighting in the Ardennes Forrest near Bastogne.  Later, he was tasked with a 60lb flamethrower to attack bunkers in the Siegfried Line as Patton’s Third Army fought its way into Germany.  Roger suffered a concussion in western Germany after a nearby half-track ran into a mine.  He was sent from field hospital to Paris by train just in time to witness VE Day 1945 and the spectacular celebration as the war in Europe ended.  Roger served as the last President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the 11th Armored Division Association that retired its colors at the Louisville Convention in 2010. In 2015 Roger joined Honor Flight of Portland to visit the National World War II Memorial a trip that was deeply important to him 70 years after the end of WWII. He enjoyed participating in the Reynolds High School Living History Day every year including the November 7, 2015 program.

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Roger returned from the war in 1945 to continue studies at the University of Oregon and played on the Oregon Ducks Basketball and Football teams while earning his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees.  He then began a career in teaching as a science teacher, coach, and athletic director.  Roger married Marie Rose Dolgan on June 10, 1951. Together they raised two children, Jim and Linda, who attended Kennedy School in NE Portland.  Roger taught at Portland’s Washington High School, Madison High School, John Adams High School, and Portland Community College (PCC).  He was department chair of the PCC Physical Education Department and initiated ski programs for college students at Mt. Hood.  In 1972, Roger became Athletic Director of the Reynolds School District, until his retirement.

Roger was an active Boy Scout Leader. He worked at Echo Lake, California, as well as Camp Meriwether in Oregon. He served as waterfront staff at the 1967 World Scout Jamboree in Idaho, and returned for two more stints at the National Scout Jamborees in Farragut Idaho.  Roger and Marie were active members of Rose City Squares, they traveled to national square dance conventions and were host for Portland events.

He was preceded in death by his wife Marie (2008) and granddaughter Laura Anne Mockford (1999).  Survived by his son, Jim Mockford (Cheryl); daughter, Linda Ferris (Scott); sisters, Mary Conrath and Margaret Foss; brother-in-law John Dolgan (Barb); grandsons, Christopher Mockford (Lynn), Jeffery Ferris, Chase Ferris, and Kirk Ferris; and granddaughter, Jenny Farmer (Jacob).

Donations may be made to Honor Flight of Portland – Bend Heroes Foundation, Providence Medical Center, and St Paul’s Episcopal Church Oregon City.

Roger J Mockford Obituary Portland Tribune



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9 Responses to Roger Julian Mockford (1924-2015)

  1. Connie Allen says:

    Hi Jim,

    Sorry to hear about your father’s passing. He sounds like a brave and talented man. And like his son, made the world a better place.


  2. david kemper says:

    Dear Jim,
    They don’t make em like that any more. Such a high bar you seemed to have achieved too. It ‘s not easy losing a best friend as I know your dad was to you. Peace to you and Cheryl.

  3. Lisa Alexander says:

    Linda ,
    Much love and condolences to you and the whole family.

  4. Laurie Odegaard says:

    Well told story, we are saddened by the loss of this wonderful. He was such a vital part of our family. Keeping all the strands connected. We love and miss him. Looking forward to seeing you all this weekend.
    Laurie and Iver Odegaard

  5. Jolene Cummings says:

    Dear Jim & Cheryl,
    What an honor it was to be acquainted with your Mom & Dad, they were awesome square dancers with River City Dancers when we first joined and they were so helpful and kind that we loved them right from the start. Your Dad was one wonderful, kind, good human being that made life happy for all around him. We are so sorry for your loss. He was a star for sure. He truly made a difference to all by having him in their lives. Thank you for sharing him with us. God Bless. Love, with hugs, Jolene & Ed

    • mockford says:

      Thank you for your kind words. We know they enjoyed Rose City Dancers and all of their dancing friends. Your hugs have been accepted and in return pass ours on to all the dancers! Jim and Cheryl Mockford

  6. Mel and Bonnie Blair says:

    We learned of Roger’s passing from The River City Square Dance newsletter the end of December, 2015. We were so sorry to read this news. He was a wonderful friend who we met many years ago as new square dancers. He and Marie were such a loving, patient couple and we have been honored to know both of them. Our prayer is that everyone will take a moment to reflect on this wonderful couple and the joys and blessings they so freely passed out Mel and Bonnie Blair

    • mockford says:

      Thank you Mel and Bonnie, We still feel the joy and blessings that Mom and Dad brought with them to dancing and brought home from the dances! All the best to you and River City Square Dancers in 2016! Jim

  7. Kitty Ellard says:

    Hi Jim,
    My sincere sympathy on the death of your father. Since my own mother died I have sadly lost contact with her/our cousins. Mum’s maiden name was Eileen Mockford, daughter of JB III. I encountered your info via google images for David Jones! Do make contact privately! Many thanks!

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