Harvey Lee Farestrand

March 6, 1933November 22, 2018

My father, Harvey Farestrand, was born March 6th, 1933 and passed away on November 22nd, 2018. He was the son of Ingvald and Gerda Farestrand. He had two younger sisters, Irene and Esther. His parents and sisters have all passed away. Dad is survived by his four children, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, his very good friend Manni.

He attended Shattuck Elementary and graduated from Lincoln High in 1951. Upon graduation, he was drafted into the Army. After his service in the Army, he returned to his job at the Irwin-Hodson Company where he had started as a bicycle delivery boy. In the early 1960's he discovered that he had a progressive eye disease; Retinitis Pigmentosa. A disease that ultimately left him with essentially no vision. Despite his disease, he continued work for several decades. He took a medicaal retirement from Irwin-Hodson many years later where was as the Comptroller.

While working his way up the company ladder, he married Janet Kay Matthieu on August 15th, 1953. Together they had four children; Diane, Donna, Scott, and Susan. All are living today. My Dad and Mom divorced after seventeen years of marriage, but stayed in touch with each other throughout the ensuing years until Mom passed awaaway in 2014.

Dad was a deeply religious, principled, and independent man. Some people might even call him stubborn. He believed in working hard and highly valued honesty. An example of his appreciation of honesty happened when I was 16 or 17 years old. I had our Datsun station wagon to go to a Friday night football game. Of course, I took some friends with me. The parking lot was a grass field and it was raining that night. I had to show off and do some power slides in the grass. Well, I power slid onto a downward slope and could not get out of the slide. I ran into another car. My friends encouraged me to hit and run. Instead, I went to the announcement booth and asked the owner of the car to come to his car. By the time I got home expecting - well I am not sure but it wasn't going to be good. - the owner of the car had already told Dad. Instead of getting in big trouble, Dad was proud of me for reporting the accident and paid for all the damages. I am sure I was told this was a one-time pass.

Dad liked to consider himself a “Cheap Charlie”. One example his friend Manni gave us. They were grocery shopping, he told Manni he liked cucumbers but they made him burp. She told him they should buy English Cucumbers. Typical of Dad, he asked how much they were. When she told him $1.79 each, he responded with "Send them back to England". Several customers in the produce aisle started laughing.

Diane, Donna, and Susan shared some of their childhood memories. Those childhood memories include trips to Norway, camping, spending time at the cabin in Sleepy Hollow near Welches, going to the airport after church to eat McDonalds and watch the airplanes (and listening to the traffic controllers radio), watching women’s fast pitch softball, and weekly trips to John & Mary's Ice Cream, and watching races at Portland Speedway.

I marveled at what he did on his own. We all know that many blind people can still see. Few people know how bad his blindness was. Memories of going to watch NASCAR races with him at Portland Speedway come to mind. In the 1980's we were at a race. I asked him how much he could see. When he described it to me, I made a circle with my thumb and forefinger to mimic what he could see. Years later, with that little circle of vision, Dad was still cooking and doing his laundry.

Dad's attitude served him well over time. He lived independently until he fell and broke his leg. When he fell, he was dealing with congestive heart failure, A-fib, V-fib, high blood pressure, as well as his blindness. His mind and brain were functioning at a high level and he was still making decisions on his own.

We can be sad that Dad has passed away and I am sure many of us will miss him. I think that we are all better served to be happy for him. He led a good life, set good examples, raised four hard working children, and lived independently until the end. He was prepared for death and was looking forward to seeing loved ones that have already passed and meeting the rest of us at some time in the future. How incredibly lucky (or deserving) he was to be prepared for death and have it occur with his family and good friend by his side.

Good bye Dad, you will be missed but we will always respect you and be proud of you.

Service will be held Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at; Trinity Bible Church, 14333 NE Whittaker, Portland, Oregon 97230. Coffee and cookies following the service. Private Interment. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to: Casey Eye Institute RP Research Fund 3375 SW Terwilliger Blvd. Portland, OR 97239 or online at


  • Viewing Tuesday, December 11, 2018
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Harvey Lee Farestrand

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Farestrand Family

December 6, 2018

Debbie Bown

December 5, 2018

Harvey was a special person and I will miss him. I am Thankful I talked to him before he died and had that chance to tell him I loved him one more time. ❤️