Friday, March 30, 2012

Ellis Road

When you have a road in Corbett named after your family, you know "you have arrived!" Jim Ellis does not actually live on the road named after his family, but is thrilled to have his roots here. Having been raised and raising his own family in Corbett, he loves and appreciates the community on many levels. Jim graduated in 1961 from Corbett High and went to both Portland State Univ. and Oregon State Univ. before getting his degree in chemical engineering in 1967. Along the way he met and married Pat, from Sandy. Once married and graduated, they headed to Anacortes, Wa. and then Springfield, Or. for work. Jim's father passed in 1974 and his mom was struggling to keep the family farm in Corbett going. Jim and Pat decided to make a move back to Corbett to help his mom out. Jim got a job with a Portland area corporation, having to take a demotion to make the move back. It turned into a blessing because he stayed with the company 24 years, becoming the President and CEO! Along the way, he and Pat had two daughters, Kari and Angie. Having retired in 2003, Jim says living in Corbett has literally saved his life to a certain degree. Now retired since 2003, Jim says there were some very stressful years as the head of the company. The peace and serenity of the Corbett lifestyle was therapeutic on many levels. The home his grandfather and the home his father built are both nearby, as well as all the many wonderful childhood memories of growing up on the farm. Over the years, Jim has served four years on the Corbett School Board and is now the President of the Board for the Corbett Education Foundation. He also finds time to be an elder at his church. His goal in life continues to be focused on serving and helping others.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

April 21, 1968

Growing up in SE Portland, Ron Cannon graduated from David Douglas High School in 1965. After finishing school, he got involved with radio broadcasting. In July 1967, Ron was drafted. Hoping to get into radio operations and stay out of harm's way, he ended up carrying a radio on his back into the jungle of Vietnam. After a mere three weeks in Vietnam, Ron stepped on a land mine and spent the next three weeks fighting for his life. Ron laughingly says there are no atheists on the battlefield. After losing his lower right leg and a portion of his left leg, he also had a body full of shrapnel. It was at this time that Ron literally asked God what purpose there was for him now.... After being discharged in Feb. 1969, Ron was back home attending Mt. Hood Community College, working to finish degrees in both radio and television. It was during this time he met his wife Shirley at a party. Ron said he immediately KNEW he was smitten and Shirley was the one he wanted to be with forever. The two dated and then married in Nov. 1972.  Moving to Corbett in 1978, they purchased a home together and raised their three children. Ron loved being a father and wanted to "give back" to his community and others. Being bullied as a child, he became involved with his son Michael's Cub and then Boy Scout troop. He taught the boys how to have self-confidence and also taught them about disabilities. Ron was actively involved with the Scouts in Corbett for over 10 years, and under his leadership, he watched 13 boys (including his own) become Eagle Scouts. Ron has also continued to serve on the Corbett Fire Dept. Board. for the last 10 years. Ron eventually left broadcasting to become the first Disabled Veteran's Outreach P Division Director in 1977. He served veterans and disabled persons for eight years and was then hired by the Federal U.S. Dept. of Labor's Veteran's Employment and Training Service. He recently has retired. Thinking back to April 21, 1968 when Ron asked God about his purpose....he now understands. Ron used his past pains to better enhance the lives of others, blessing numerous people along the way.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Part of the Team

Moving to Corbett from Baton Rouge, LA in 1998, is a bit of a story for Marcie Edmunds. She and husband Kirby are native Oregonians, but when Kirby was laid off from the railroad, he decided to take the job offered to him in LA. When the Union Pacific RR was ready to hire Kirby back on, they were both ready to come "home" to Oregon. Problem was, Marcie's sister was now renting and living in their home! Not wanting to kick her out, Kirby's dad knew a man named Raymond Smith in Corbett who was looking to hire someone to live on his land~ Kirby and Marcie took their trailer to the rock quarry at the end of Howard Road to "keep an eye on things" for Raymond. Living there for two years, they ended up loving the beautiful area and community of Corbett. In time, the couple purchased some acreage from Raymond, taking their trailer with them to the new property in Corbett. Eventually they replaced the trailer with a manufactured home, and have been happily there ever since! Marice is excited to mention that she not only has three grown sons, but also has three grandsons! She smiles as she describes each of them by name. Kirby has been with the railroad a total of 30 years now and Marcie is a full time homemaker and mom to sons Arthur and Austin, still living at home. One thing Marcie loves about their current Corbett location is that it is so private and peaceful, providing great serenity. Having been through a few bumps in her life, Marcie is quite connected to her church, East Hill in Gresham and says she loves to help others. She looked out for an elderly neighbor for years, helping him get food assistance at the Grange. Now Marcie is "part of the team" of volunteers that helps out at the Grange. Each Monday she is a quiet and yet gentle spirit that provides a ray of cheer and kindness as she helps hand wash all the dishes after the senior's no cost hot lunch is served. It is this meaningful service that puts the near constant smile on her face for all to enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Master at His Craft

Being the youngest of four boys, Brian Aho first moved to Corbett with his family when he was just starting to walk and talk. It was at this time that his family had purchased acreage and started building a house on the land. As early as Brian can remember, he was always swinging a hammer. Attending Corbett schools K-12, Brian built his mom a garden shed, fencing, a shop addition, helped paint the house, and even built furniture during his childhood. When he wasn't busy playing sports in school, he was snowboarding and riding motorcycles with his brothers. His dad also taught him a great deal about working on cars, something he still enjoys doing today. Brian says he loves the fact he was friends "with everyone" growing up in Corbett, and still is. After high school, Brian went on a whirlwind trip across the U.S. in a motor home, seeing as many sites as possible in just under two months. He then moved to Bend to study business for two years at Central Oregon Community College. Having a brother who is a firefighter, he came back from Bend and went to Portland State Univ. to study Fire Science. Brian also continued traveling during this time, visiting Africa, El Salvador (to visit his parent's orphanage), the Canary Islands, Europe and even Florida. He also never stopped building, always looking to learn more each step of the way. In 2005 Brian was able to begin his own company, Aho Custom Building and Remodeling, LLC. He has enjoyed great success, remodeling many homes in Corbett as well as in other locations. Brian has also had great success with family. In 2005, his very close friend introduced him to Kaitlin Wilson, a gal who also grew up in Corbett but was a few years younger. He says he just KNEW she was the one he wanted to spend his life with. She was the "complete package!" He and Kaitlin married and now have two children, Greyson 3 and Paisley 17 months. Not only did they create a family together, but have also built a home together as well. They purchased a 1922 "tear down" in Corbett and had the Corbett Fire Dept. do a practice burn. From scratch they have built a very energy efficient home that has many personal touches. It continues to be a "work in progress!"

Friday, March 9, 2012

It Didn't Sell

Sixteen years ago Heather Garrett moved to Corbett with her husband, Brad. Heather says she "stumbled across" their current home and property while Brad was in Sunriver. Knowing this was "the one," she called Brad. He encouraged her to go ahead and make an offer if she felt that strongly. Not having seen the house himself, Brad trusted Heather. Today there are no regrets! They made the move from Troutdale and are now raising daughter Delanie, age 15 and Mac, age 5 in the Corbett community. Heather has been involved at the schools as a volunteer, helped out with Corbett Children's Theatre, and also Corbett Youth Sports. She loves the people of the community and the fact that folks look out for each other's kids. Heather says that having a full-time job with Multnomah County as a HR analyst is not easy, and she loves coming home to peace and tranquility as well as privacy. Ten years ago they thought they would sell to move closer to Brad's job in Wilsonville. They put the home up for sale and it did not sell. Heather says that she is SO thankful that it did NOT bring a buyer! When Heather was in the fourth grade, her parents both took a teaching position in Australia. The entire family made the move for just six months. Heather laughs that everyone, both parents and the three kids, all got too homesick for the states and moved back. "Short but sweet."