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Memorial for Bun W. Doerfler

Born in Corvallis, OR on Aug. 22, 1935
Departed on Mar. 1, 2020 and resided in Albany, Oregon.

Bun Doerfler (1935-2020) passed away surrounded by his family, wife Janet, children Diane Doerfler, Bonnie Anderson, & Vincent Doerfler, and granddaughter Stephanie Ottusch. Great-grandson Teddy Ottusch and his dad Tim Ottusch were unable to be present, but were there in spirit.

Bun was raised on a typical farm in the Willamette Valley, with fields, small lakes & woods to explore with his brother. In addition to the usual farm livestock, the family had a sweet tempered raccoon pet named Ollie.

Primary grades were in a 1 room country schoolhouse, followed by junior and senior high in Albany. The years riding school buses in the area proved useful later when Bun volunteered to be on crews when the hot air balloon events came to Albany. Because he knew the area so well (the roads, bridges, and dead ends), he could ‘chase’ the balloon and would be in the field shortly after the pilot landed. (Before GPS & cell phones, etc. it was entirely visual - the driver of the chase vehicle had to keep the balloon in sight, and end up on the correct roads before the balloon came down & was out of view)

Bun attended Albany Union High where he lettered in football, baseball and track. Following graduation (1953) he worked for a time at Stokely VanCamp Frozen Foods, then attended Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls (now know as Oregon Institute of Technology) majoring in Refrigeration Engineering. In 1957, he married Janet Stapleton, a classmate at Albany High School, and shortly after was drafted and assigned to the army engineering unit at Fort Belvoir in Arlington, Virginia, where daughter Diane was born.

After his discharge from the Army, the family returned to Oregon and Bun resumed his education, graduating from OTI. Following graduation, daughter Bonnie was born, and Bun returned to work at Stokely VanCamp. They purchased a home in West Albany with a large yard for the kids’ sandbox, a treehouse in the big old cherry tree, swings, and room to run. With the birth of son Vincent, the family was complete. Bun had the opportunity to work for Western Kraft Paper Mill as a journeyman millwright, and over the years worked his way to various positions before retiring as pulp mill/ production supervisor.

Bun & Janet bought a travel trailer and the family took frequent vacations to the coast and the mountains. They were members of the Albany Amblers for many years, spending summer days at the club’s coastal property with their children, granddaughter, good friends, and other members. Being at the Oregon coast, Bun could relax.

The arrival of granddaughter Stephanie brought new riches to Bun’s life. Being Stephanie’s Opa was one of his greatest joys. They gardened, visited the farm, and on their daily walks to school, they observed the seasons, practiced spelling & math, and enjoyed each other’s company. Their bond remained incredibly strong for the remainder of his life.

Bun was one of the first members of the Mid-Willamette Valley Friendship Force, which opened up a world of travel and friendships, around the world and across the US. The home stay citizen exchange program meant really getting to know their hosts in other countries, as well as the travelers staying in the Doerfler home.

When the Albany Historic Carousel received the 1909 Dentzel mechanism, Bun eagerly joined the volunteer crew who worked to puzzle out which piece went where & what was missing, and restore it. Over the next 10+ years, he would spend hours each week on the carousel machinery he grew to love. Only his health could interrupt his participation in the restoration, and once the carousel was running, Bun enjoyed riding it or even just sitting & watching it with a smile.
Throughout his life, Bun remained close to the family farm, continuing to work on small projects and keeping a watchful eye on everything happening there. From his chair in the oak grove, and with his beloved dog Vanity beside him, he delighted in watching the seasons and wildlife change, and the return of eagles to the valley.

The family is honoring Bun’s request and no service will be held.

Suggested donations in Bun’s name may be made to Albany Historic Carousel, Guide Dogs for the Blind, or the Albany Public Library.

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