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Roger L. Danielson

April 6, 1931 – June 3, 2018

Stayton – Roger, 87, was born to Manvel R. Danielson and Gladys (Traver) Danielson on the Danielson Family farm on County J near Boyceville, Wisconsin. His family lived there, in Boyceville and in Downing, Wisconsin until 1944 when they moved west. Rural life on the farm and in small-town Wisconsin was idyllic he was as part of his extended Swedish and Norwegian family, the small school and Downing Methodist Church. Even though this was the time of the Great Depression, a child felt loved and secure in the arms of parents and grandparents, visiting aunts, uncles and cousins from Minnesota and elsewhere, and always many friends.

The move to North Dakota brought contact with his mother’s family, the Travers. This was a whole new set of loving grandparents, six new aunts and uncles with their wives and husbands and many more cousins who by now have spread the family across the continent.

He finished his basic schooling in Linton, North Dakota, and entered Jamestown College, in North Dakota in 1949. He was called to military service with the 47th Infantry Division in January of 1951 and served his enlistment in Alabama, Georgia and Texas.

Following his discharge he moved to Oregon and entered the University of Oregon in Eugene. Life in Oregon with its banana-belt climate was a whole new experience of study and part-time jobs at J.C. Penney, setting chokers in the woods, turning sheets on the spreader in the plywood mill on the graveyard shift, and two summers with the cannery packing cans.

Graduation came in 1955. The beginning of this happy summer ended with the best of events, marriage to his wife, Mary Lou Sunderland of Springfield at Central Lutheran Church in Eugene. They moved the next week to Stayton, where they built a home and have lived since. The friends who stood with them are still close friends today, and as usual the wedding was a big family event.

Both Roger and Mary Lou taught at Stayton Union High School, he for thirty-two years and she for eighteen. His teaching assignments began in business and music and extended themselves through the social sciences to American History and German. He was much involved in the foreign student exchange program and worked for those years with numerous people in the community to earn the funds to maintain the exchanges.

Roger and Mary Lou enjoyed folk dancing. They were members of the International Folk Dancers Club of Salem.

One year of Roger's teaching career was spent at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied American History and German in the John Hay Fellowship Program.  In 1979 he enrolled as a student in the Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik at Lewis and Clark College. In 1983, he took study sabbatical and studied German at Willamette University and at Lessing Kolleg in Marburg and in Luebeck, Germany.

Roger was a genealogist and was successful in tracing his Swedish and Swiss roots. He had much contact with his Swedish cousins. He and Mary Lou traveled there several times to visit and become acquainted, and they spent time in Germany traveling and visiting friends.

His most treasured extra-family activity was his 26-year membership in the Festival Chorale Oregon. Singing the works of the great masters of European and American music was to him the opportunity to become an extension of the imagination and skill of great composers and part of an effort of friends to produce something truly beautiful. He was proud to have sung in Carnegie Hall.

The Danielsons always had a large garden of vegetables and flowers. They were early adaptors of organic gardening, for which their children are grateful. Dahlias, geraniums and peonies were high on their list of favorite flowers. Roger's prized possession was his riding mower with which he groomed not only his own lawns, but for a few years, those at the SHF Brown House during its period of restoration.

Roger is survived by his wife: Mary Lou and three children: Lorna (Randall) Adkins, Catherine (James) McGehee and Mark Danielson; daughter-in-law: Theresa Danielson; sister: Roberta (John) Lovald; grandchildren: Joel Ventres, Matthew (Stephanie) Ventres, Christine (Isaac) Becktold, Carin (Ivan Fonzeca Zazueta) Hemshorn, Traver Danielson, Karlie (Fiance’ Travis Shroyer) Danielson, Desiree Danielson, Patrick (Ashley) Danielson; great-grandchildren: Madec, Micah and Merrel Becktold, Alicia, Silas and Scarlett Danielson and Camila Ventres. He was preceded in death by his four grandparents, parents and his step-father, brother, Richard Danielson, sister, Judith Collier and son, Paul Danielson.

His memorial service will take place at Calvary Lutheran Church in Stayton on Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm. Inurnment will be in the church columbarium. Memorial gifts may be made to Lutheran World Relief, Bread for the World or Jamestown College, Jamestown, North Dakota. Serving the family, North Santiam Funeral Service, Stayton.


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