Norman Keith Mentzer
December 18, 1935 - December 2, 2018
Norman Keith Mentzer, 82, passed away at Saint Anthony Hospital on Sunday, December 2, 2018. He was the husband of Shirley Arlene McKinnon Ward. They shared 20+ years together happily married.
Norm was born in Pilot Rock, Ore., on December 18, 1935, son of Floyd Freeland Mentzer and Hazel Augusta Warner. He grew up on a small ranch 11 miles south of Pilot Rock, farming, ranching, hunting and enjoying the outdoors. He attended school in Pilot Rock and received his diploma. During school, he played football and other sports, and proudly played in the Oregon East-West Shriners Football Game.
He enlisted in the Army based out of California where, along with his regular duties, he created a woodworking shop program. He spent time at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico and Fort Bliss, Texas, working in the missile program, including the famous Minute Man.
He worked logging for many years, falling and driving truck. Falling trees was his passion, and he could identify any of his stumps and tell a story related to it. He even spent a year in Alaska as a mechanic. Later, he changed careers and became a correctional officer at EOCI. He was respected by both his fellow officers and inmates who remembered his calming influence and incredible memory for the inmate identification numbers.
When younger, Norm spent a lot of time fishing, hunting, huckleberry picking, mushrooming, camping, snowmobiling, boating and water skiing. He shared this love with his family. When working as a logger, he camped out with his family as long as possible each year, especially at the North Fork John Day River. Even as he got older, he still enjoyed taking drives in the mountains. Just being outside made him happy, and he could be found mowing his 1+ acre lawn any day of the week, even in the fall to mulch leaves. His all-time favorite place on earth was the family ranch, which abounded with life long memories.
Norm is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and sister. His children are Lani Mentzer Bass (Gary), Tommy Mentzer, Andrew Mentzer (Lexie), Curtis Ward and Cathy Ward-Stelk. His grandchildren are Tanner Bass, Katelyn Bass, Stephanie LeClair, Remington LeClair, Thomas Mentzer, Brody Mentzer, Wyatt Mentzer, Charlise Mentzer, Sorrel Beers (JT), Cheyenne Ward, Tyrel Ward, Andy Stelk (Jessica) and Eric Stelk (Mackayla). His sister is Doris Richards. Preceding him in death were his parents, his brothers Lloyd and Leonard Mentzer, wife Linda Earwood and granddaughter Elizabeth Mentzer. Also, during his lifetime, he was married to Sonja Lawhead.
The funeral will be at the Life Church, 222 S.W. Third St., Pilot Rock, Ore., on Saturday, December 8, 2018, at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Pilot Rock Education Foundation by contacting the Pilot Rock School District, 541-443-8291.
Share online condolences at www.pioneerchapel.com