Jan. 13, 1915-Sept. 16, 2004
PENDLETON - The funeral for Swen Westersund will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, in the chapel at Burns Mortuary of Pendleton. Following the service a luncheon gathering will be held at Peace Lutheran Church in Pendleton. Private family graveside committal will be at Olney Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home on Monday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for viewing.
Mr. Westersund, 89, a lifelong resident of Pendleton, died Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at Juniper House.
He was born Jan. 13, 1915, on Despain Gulch near Pendleton, the only son of Einar and Lydia Karkkanen Westersund. As a child he moved with his family to Astoria where he attended school. When he was 16, he and his family returned to Pendleton and he began farming with his uncle. Meanwhile, his family negotiated the purchase of farmland on Missouri Gulch.
During the Depression, Mr. Westersund moved to Los Angeles where he worked in an aircraft factory. He was then drafted and served in the Army Air Corps as a mechanic in the South Pacific Theater during World War II, rising to the rank of sergeant.
On March 29, 1946, he married Judith Rinell in Pendleton.
He continued operation of the family farm on Missouri Gulch near Pendleton. Together the couple had six children - two sons and four daughters.
Mr. Westersund was one of the last remaining farmers in the area to have experienced the transition of farming with horses and mules to modern tractors and combines. He was also a pioneer in the use of Nitrogen fertilizer in the Pendleton area.
He enjoyed woodworking, fishing and was an avid reader. His passion was farming and he enjoyed watching the progression of the crops through the seasons.
He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church, the Umatilla County Historical Society, the Elks Lodge of Pendleton, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Finnish American Historical Society.
Survivors include his wife, Judith Westersund of Pendleton; sons, Steven Westersund and wife, Susan, of Pendleton; Kristen Westersund and wife, Margaret, of Tigard; daughters, Mary Holloway and husband, Lonnie, of Boise, Trina Robertson and husband, Dick, of Eugene, Andrea Westersund and husband, Ken Jones, of Tigard, and Susan Triplett and husband, David, of Clinton, Tenn.; 16 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. His parents, sister, Rose Rosandich, and daughter-in-law, Joyce Westersund preceded him in death.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Umatilla County Historical Society, PO Box 253, Pendleton, OR 97801.
Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements.