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.
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.