Casey James Puterbaugh
January 11, 1986 – July 7, 2018
The “swashbuckling” Casey Puterbaugh passed away peacefully in his sleep in his southwest Portland apartment. The old-fashioned term was given him by students in his 2004 Jesuit High School graduating class, and it fit. He was an old-fashioned, gallant guy. He wanted to be a hero, rescue damsels in distress, defend the downtrodden, and had a sense of honor and justice. He once said he could picture himself as a sheriff in the old west. Fittingly, he was a history major before graduating with a B.S. in Business Management from Portland State University, then earning a Food Management Certificate. And he dreamed of being a police officer. Some senior ladies who lived at his apartment complex said he was their protector, and they felt safe with him around.
Casey was adopted at Vancouver Memorial Hospital at birth by me, Candy Puterbaugh, and my husband, Jim. His then almost-seven-year-old brother, Rex, had long wanted a little brother. Later, Casey often told people, “I’m from Vancouver, Washington”, though he only spent one night there.
He walked to Bridlemile Elementary School, now and then bringing a note home about his antics. His fifth grade teacher told us a few weeks after school started that, when she first saw Casey on her class list, she thought, “Here comes trouble!” After having him in class, she dubbed him “endearing”.
He attended West Sylvan Middle School where one day his bravery came to the fore when, despite classmates in attendance, he gave his mother a kiss on the cheek during her hall duty.
He was always big and was often asked from a young age, “So, son, going to be a football player?” He looked like one but his love was baseball. He was a big lefty first-baseman and pitcher at Jesuit High School, where he played four years, and during his senior year was 1st Team All-Metro and won Jesuit’s team Sportsmanship Award. When asked if he got nervous pitching, he answered, “Why would I? I’ve got ice water in my veins.”
In 2002 he joined the Ringor baseball team as first-baseman, pitcher and fielder for three years, and in 2003 the team took the Senior Babe Ruth regional championship and placed fourth in the Senior Babe Ruth World Series.
Besides baseball, he loved golf, and worked at his swing with his family as a member of Columbia Edgewater Country Club. He always wore his heart, and his golf score, on his sleeve! He also enjoyed bicycling, weight-lifting, swimming, reading, sourdough bread-baking, and cooking. His favorite book was The Count of Monte Cristo. He delivered bread to his family, friends, and employees that he talked to at various venues.
And could he talk...and write! He could wax poetic in essays with a twist of the phrase all his own. And he could talk to almost anyone about anything and everything. There were calls of, “Hey, Casey!” everywhere he went. He stopped by his parents’ home for an hour every afternoon to talk...about helping in the yard, about nature, about facts that he learned in first grade on Emperor penguins, about the droppings in our driveway that were either from an owl or coyote, about books and baseball and golf and his dream of becoming a policeman. In 2017 he testified at Portland City Hall against single-track cycling on narrow trails in Forest Park.
And he said he could talk all day about food. His favorite job was working in 2013 at a new produce market in Beaverton, Ruby Fresh Market, as produce clerk, courtesy clerk, cashier, and acting manager, until it closed after six months. He also worked in the golf industry, in restaurants, and a law firm, spent one fall as a conservation volunteer in New Zealand, and lived with a host family the next spring in Guayaquil, Ecuador. There he discovered a new ability, speaking Spanish, which he studied the last few years.
Casey’s brother Rex expressed it best: “He was 100% Casey.” He always loved his home and his family, and knew they loved him. He is survived by his father and mother, Jim and Candy Puterbaugh; by his brother and sister-in-law Rex and Emily Puterbaugh; his nieces Nina and Reese Puterbaugh and nephew Calvin Puterbaugh; by a loving extended family of aunts and uncles and cousins galore; and by his favorite dog, Dodger, a therapy dog at OHSU.
Remembrances may be made to Pet Partners, 345 118th Ave. SE, Suite 200, Bellevue, WA 98005, or online at www.petpartners.org/donate; or to the Forest Park Conservancy, 210 NW 17th Ave., Suite 201, Portland OR 97209, online at www.forestparkconservancy.org.
IN THE CARE OF