Obituary of Edward MacGregor
Edward H. MacGregor "Ed", on 11th of May, 2018, lost his difficult and courageous battle with dementia and passed away peacefully at his home with family and friends by his side.
Ed's most interesting life began on October 24, 1931, to Thelma and Willard MacGregor Sr. in La Grande, Oregon. Ed was one of six children, besides Ed there was; Willard Jr., David, and Vivian, with two half-sisters, Jackie, and Dixie.
As a child, Ed grew up during the Great Depression. When not attending school he would work to help support the family. He worked for various farmers in the valley, worked for his uncle’s garbage company and was a stock boy at the local Safeway. He even found time to work for a local church maintaining their boilers for heat during church services. Ed grew up young, but he grew up right. It was these beginnings that would go on to mold his character into the man he was known for. A man with a strong work ethic, responsible, independent, and with a can do attitude—valuing most, honesty and integrity.
At the tail end of WWII at the age of sixteen, Ed lied about his age so he could join the National Guard. After graduation from La Grande High School, Ed enlisted into the US Navy in 1951 during the Korean War, and served his country honorably for four years. All the while, Ed continued to send his money home to help support his family.
Ed was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1955 in Long Beach, Ca. He moved back up to the Northwest in the spring of ‘56, riding his Harley the entire trip. Once home his brother David and sister Vivian introduced him to the love of his life, Sharon Ruzicka. Immediately Ed knew that he had met the girl of his dreams. So, with nothing but a job, a motorcycle and their love for each other, Ed and Sharon were married and began their life's adventure in July of 1957.
Lionel Chadwick (Evard) Ed's step father literally changed Ed’s direction in life. It was Evard who gave Ed the sage advice to learn to tend bar. “Learn the bar business Ed, and you’ll always be able to find work.” Ed offered to work only for tips at Amato’s Supper Club. This was a bold move considering he was expecting his second child Denice any day. In the months that followed, he worked other bars such as Carmen’s and the Peppermill (now called Limelight). Ed also graduated from Portland's Engineering Institute.
In 1963, Ed & Sharon had an opportunity to go into a partnership and buy Kay’s Bar in Westmoreland. On November 22, 1963, Kay’s Bar had become their fourth child. This was the beginning of Ed's legacy.
Ed became a recognized and respected figure in the community of Sellwood. He loved people, especially children. He rode a horse as the Grand Marshall for the Sellwood Days parade. He donated his time to play Santa Claus. He served for two years as Vice President for the Oregon Restaurant and Beverage Association representing the rights of all restaurant and bar owners. He was the regional representative for the National Licensed Beverage Association. Ed started, along with his good friends, Ole Cannamore and Bill Hitner, The Loungers Golf Association. This was a small group of restaurant owners and patrons that would meet every Tuesday during the summer to play golf. The Loungers is still alive and strong. Golf was Ed's main form of recreation. He and Sharon traveled all around the country playing different courses. For years he and a select group of golfing buddies traveled to Scotland annually to play the Scottish courses where they stayed in different castles for the time of their stay.
Ed became somewhat of Renaissance man in business, acquiring four restaurants, two retirement homes, two trailer parks, a catering business, and a very successful collection of Christmas tree farms. The Christmas Tree business was among his favorite ventures. He with his partner Ole Cannamore, exported trees to a handful of states in the US, some to Mexico, and Hawaii. Every year from the early 1980s to the year 2000, he would fly over to Hawaii the day before Thanksgiving and work several lots around the Island himself selling his trees that he had shipped in. He was well liked by all of his employees.
Realizing that with age he now needed to slow down and spend more time with his family. This meant it was time to retire as a restaurateur. Ed and Sharon decided to sell Kay’s business in 2006. They were able to enjoy retirement for just three years before having to face the most difficult time in his life. Cancer - His beloved wife and bride lost her battle with Cancer in 2009. They lived as soul mates for fifty-two years while amassing a great life.
Ed's love of golf became eclipsed by an activity inspired by his grandson, Hayden. He began Tae Kwon Do at the unheard of age of 69. Next to his family, Tae Kwon Do became his second passion in life. He loved the physical and mental challenge. TKD gave him new inspiration during the most challenging years of his life. The Masters and fellow students were his extended family, and he loved them all very much. This activity gave him focus, purpose, and the strength to continue. He went all the way until at the age of eighty-three, in 2014, he tested and achieved his fourth degree black belt which earned him the title of Master. In April of 2014 Ed received a letter of commendation from the KUKKIWON in Korea, probably one of the proudest moments in his life.
From day one, everything Ed learned, he applied to everything he did in is future. He knew how to use what he had, and when he made mistakes, he knew enough to learn from those as well. Knowing was his nature—His nature was knowing the most precious values in life; how to love, how to live, and how to have fun.
Ed is survived by his sister, Vivian Schell, and his three children, Steven, Denice, and Edward Jr. Also, he is survived by seventeen grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Ed's life will be held on June 5, 2018 at 11:30 am at the Turning Point Church, 13333 SE Rusk Rd, Milwaukie, OR 97222. A committal with Military Honors will follow the service at the church at 1:30 pm at Willamette National Cemetery. Following the cemetery service everyone is invited to a reception at the American Legion Post 180, 2146 SE Monroe St, Milwaukie.
Contributions in Ed's memory would be appreciated to the Alzheimer's Association or the Boys and Girls Club of Portland.