James L. Moreland


image of James L. Moreland

James L. Moreland

James (Jim) L. Moreland was born Dec 8, 1930, in Santa Anna, CA, to Watson John (Jack) Moreland, a rural Kentucky born Veteran, and Henrietta Margaret Lukke Moreland, a Wisconsin born daughter of Danish Immigrants.

Soon after his brother Ronald John Moreland was born 13 months later, Henrietta passed from acute pneumonia. The young widower, turned to his wife’s family and Jim was raised by Nora Lukke Deininger and Ron by Christine Lukke Faccou until he was about 4 years old.

The brothers were reunited after Jack met and married bookkeeper, Pearl Irene Black of CA in 1934, who began to raise Jack’s boys as her own. As the Depression deepened his family migrated north in 1937 to live with Pearls parents, her father a retired railroad engineer, in an unplumbed farmhouse in Canary, Oregon, just outside of Florence. Ever adventurous, the boys roamed the coastal forests, beaches, fished in local lakes, helped on the farm, and attended a one room schoolhouse before the family moved to Newport, Oregon when Jack became employed by the local Utility Company.

When James was 9, the family moved to Portland, OR when Jack got a job with the Westinghouse Company.  Pearl was eventually employed part time as a bookkeeper at a local hospital and baked and sold bread to neighbors and construction workers. They bought a mid-19th century farmhouse which they would later remodel to a flat roofed one-story house, using Jim’s drawings inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The SE Portland neighborhood grew up around the farmhouse. The remodeled house still stands.

image of James L. Moreland -1950As the War effort unfurled in Portland during WWII, Jack worked as a Navy inspector at the ship building yards. Jim began to follow the war in Europe carefully and by age 11 decided he wanted to be a pilot, a dream he later fulfilled.   Ever industrious, Jim and Ron started picking fruit, changing tires, bagging groceries, and did most of the finishing work on the remodel of their house.   Franklin High School was a few blocks away, and Jim participated football, basketball, and track and was a Student Body Vice President. He and his brother rebuilt an old model T, they would later drive to college.

Jim entered Oregon State University in 1949 pursuing mechanical engineering.  He participated in ROTC and was an active member of Phi Gamma Delta (FIGI) fraternity. His junior year he pinned Valdis Elaine Storkersen, daughter of Norwegian Immigrants, who had grown up in the same Portland neighborhood. They were married soon after their graduation in 1954. Jim did boot camp his senior year at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, WA. On his way back he saw the Grand Coulee Dam as it was being built.  He completed primary training and then Flight School, on Air Force Bases near Tuscan, AZ, San Angelo TX, then Panama City Florida. His first child, John Michael, was born in San Angelo in 1955. Jim qualified to fly a B25, B27 and the C119 Cargo plane.

Jim’s small family were stationed at an Airforce Base near Misawa, Japan and was a crew commander for a Radar Site on Mt. Ominato. He flew recognizance and cargo flights. They monitored Russian and Chinese aircraft activity in the area, sometimes a game of cat and mouse.  He flew all over Japan, Formosa, Hong Kong, China’s coastline.  In 1957 Jim’s second son Scott James was born at the base hospital.  He started a serious photography hobby there, developing his own pictures in the Base dark room. Jim chronicled much of his life in photos.  He returned to civilian life at the end of this tour of duty in 1957 and he entered the Air Force Reserves. This was time of relative peace for the US, and the beginning of the Cold War.

Jim was hired by Westinghouse Corporation and began Electrical Engineering training in Pittsburg Pennsylvania where his twins, Susan Irene, and Steven Thor, were born in 1959.  Later that year, the family moved to Los Angeles, CA area (La Mirada) and he worked in Electrical Switch Gear Sales for Westinghouse. Both he and Val were very active in civic organizations. The family came full circle when Jim was transferred to Portland OR, living with Val’s parents for a time while their new house was built in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland.  They enjoyed many extended family gatherings while living in Beaverton, especially at the Val’s Parents’ home in Portland on SE 50th and Salmon.

With the closing of a division office and a promotion Jim was transferred to Boise, Idaho in 1968 where he worked as an Industrial Field Engineer. Jim described this job as perfect for him, going to various locations in the region helping to install, repair and inspect electrical switch gear stations. Eventually his job took him to faraway places including, Peru, China (where he met H.W. Bush, then a foreign diplomat to China, at the funeral reception for Mao Tse-Tung), South Korea, and eventually Alaska.

Later he would say he lost Val along the way, as they separated and later divorced in 1968.  As a single father, Jim was active with his children, exploring back roads and trails in Idaho, vacations on the Oregon Coast and visiting Family in Oregon.   Frequent destinations were Detroit Lake, Mercer Lake Resort, The Dunes at Honeyman State Park, and near Medford, Diamond Lake and fishing on the Rogue River. He was a model of optimism and persistence in the face of adversity, encouraged excellence and exploration. Conveniently, he taught all his kids how to Bowl and keep good score. He met and married Donna (later De) Moody of Boise in 1975. He added two stepchildren to his life, Richard, and Carolyn Moody. He remained enormously proud of his children’s accomplishments and supported them in their pursuits.

In 1976 Westinghouse sent him to work as a field service engineer working on the construction and startup of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline at Prudhoe Bay, which was completed in 1979. In this way he saw himself as a part of history. He and De moved to Anchorage and in 1980 he stared working for the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) on the North Slope of Alaska maintaining electrical systems for the pipeline pump houses. He retired in 1995 and continued to work there on a contract basis until he was 70. The job was one engineering problem after another, which Jim was well suited for. He was numerously recognized for his work. His co-workers were like a second family.

In 1995, Jim retired from ARCO and he and De moved back to his favorite place, the Oregon Coast, in Newport, OR. This was a destination for many of his children’s family vacations, creating a home base for exploring the beaches up and down the coast. He knew them all. He and the “Mudders” golfed most mornings for years, rain or shine. He traveled to see his kids and his 5 granddaughters in Washington, Colorado, and California.  He was league bowler there, champions more than once.  He wrote a graphic art program on his computer and would create 3D art figures using mathematical formulas. He worked on inventions and solutions as a pastime.   He renewed his fervor as an Oregon State Beaver Fan, traveling to games in Corvallis and following victories and defeats carefully.

De eventually moved to Woodburn Oregon, and then to Provo Utah to be close to her son Richard. Though they remained married, they lived essentially separate lives.  His brother Ron also moved to Newport for a time, living nearby, first time since high school, creating an opening for him to get to know his nieces and nephews and their children. Jim’s son Scott, disabled because of a vestibular disorder, came to live with him in 2005 and he lived with him on and off for several years.

Sue and Jim, at the Beach, 2019

In the face of health concerns and a desire for another change in scenery, Jim decided to move to Shoreline, Washington in 2015, to an Independent Senior Living Community, Cristwood Park, a part of Crista Ministries for Seniors. He lived close to his daughter Sue and her husband Bill Dehmer. Sue and Jim were partners in crime finding the care he needed and helping him explore his new home, the last of 23 in his lifetime.

Sue and Bill traveled with him to familiar and new NW destinations.  His son’s visited often, and Scott move to live nearby for a few years. Jim became a beloved and respected resident at Cristwood Park. He participated in a safety committee and was a host in the Dining room. He finished several paintings, integrating his geometric designs.  He remained a devoted Republican, despite his good-natured debates with his neighbors and family. Goes without saying he loved his country, ever repeating, freedom is not free, forever grateful for the sacrifices of those who served in the armed forces.

After 3 recent hospitalizations related to congestive heart failure, and a recent diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Jim entered Hospice Care in late May 2022, wishing to receive care at home.  A few weeks later he learned of the sudden death of his son Scott, of natural causes.  A shock for him and his family.  He faced uncertainty and adversity the same way he always had, ever hopeful, but grounded in the facts and figures. He was courageous, rarely complaining, and, as ever, willing to face the unknown. When offered, accepted prayers, because after all, “I am 91”.  Jim was so grateful for the care and support he received those final weeks, especially from his caregivers, who were so dedicated, proficient, and kind. Evergreen Hospice was amazing. And of course, his family will ever believe we lost him too soon and too quickly. He was all about the living, about finding what was around the corner and on the horizon.

Jim is survived by his children, John Moreland (and Diana Moreland), Susan Moreland (and Bill Dehmer), Steven Moreland (and Giti Heravian) and his grandchildren, Sarah Moreland Salvo Soto, Kelsey Dehmer (soon to be Kelsey Scott), Genevieve Moreland, Emily Dehmer, Kaitlyn Moreland, and great grandchild Gwyneth Salvo Sato. Also survived by Nieces and Nephews, Bill Moreland, Bob Moreland, Anne (Moreland) Eyman, and their spouses, children, and grandchildren. Scott Moreland passed on May 31, 2022. De Moreland passed away in April 2021 and Valdis E. Moreland in July 2000.

Instead of flowers or gifts for family, please donate to the American Heart Association – easily done online.

A Celebration of Jim’s life will happen on Sept 9th at 1pm.

Please notify Sue Moreland if you plan to attend at:

image of sue moreland email

for more information. Reception will follow.


One Response to “James L. Moreland”

  • Ron Boucher says:

    I worked with Jim for many years on his investments and financial needs. My office is in Salem but I visited him often in Newport. It was always a fun meeting even when the market was doing poorly.
    Jim paid very close attention to his investments. Some of our meeting took a couple hours, We had good time reviewing the whys and what if of his holdings, the markets, and individual securities. He was one of my favorite “Client Friends”. I miss him.

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