William Lewis Luethe
November 5, 1945 – October 18, 2017
William Lewis Luethe was born to Brooks Mallory and Virginia Katherine (Folkenberg) Luethe on November 5, 1945. He was one of five children and brother to Mallory, Larry, Donna, and Alan. He grew up on 180-acre property on Skyline Boulevard and McNamee Road in Portland. His family farmed potatoes and raised livestock. Bill attended Skyline Elementary and graduated from Scappoose High School. In high school, Bill was involved in 4-H and was an involved athlete. He ran track and field, cross country, and played on the basketball team. He attended Brooks Hill Methodist Church, a church his grandfather helped build.
Following high school, Bill entered into military service with the US Navy. During the Vietnam War, Bill served for four years and two tours of duty as a Boilerman.
Not long after his return to civilian life, Bill was introduced to Karen Vandermast, by a friend of hers who was dating his brother. A year later, in April of 1969, Bill and Karen were married in Piedmont Presbyterian Church. The two made a home on a 20 acre section of the family property gifted to the young family by Bill’s parents that had earlier been his uncle Chris’s Chicken Farm. Bill and Karen were blessed with four children: Matthew, Daniel, Melinda, and Melissa.
Bill’s lifelong career was in the steel industry – he served as a shipping foreman at Oregon Steel Mill.
Bill was a loving husband to Karen and supportive father to his children. He supported his children in their 4-H ventures and was a tee ball coach for his kids’ teams. Bill was an enthusiastic cheerleader for all of his children’s sports events-his voice was always the loudest to be heard. He rooted not for just his kids, but for the whole team.
Bill enjoyed meeting new people and talking to his friends and neighbors. For many years, Bill set up a seasonal veggie / flowers stand at the end of the driveway, near the end of the Portland line. It was here that he could meet and converse with his neighbors and visit with passers-by.
Bill, also known by friends and neighbors as “Bones” or “Bill from the Hill” will be remembered as a man of strong character. Bill “told it like it was” and his word was his bond. At 6’4”, 250lbs, Bill was considered by many a gentle giant who lead a life of quiet, honesty, and dignity. His motto was “one day at a time”.
Bill loved animals. He always had a horse. One of his favorite things to do was to feed the cows, watch them eat peacefully, and just “watch the world go ‘round.” Bill looked forward to his annual visit to the Multnomah County Fair. He loved being involved with his kids’ 4-H projects when they were young and just being near all the animals. Bill enjoyed many fairs throughout his life and he loved spending time with his family at the fair - ideally finding a fresh, hot, greasy, basket of curly fries.
Bill passed away in Portland on October 18, 2017 with his loving family at his side. His death was almost 2 years to the date from his original diagnosis. It has been said that Bill “never truly let his cancer beat him.”
Bill is predeceased by his parents Brooks and Virginia Luethe; and his brother Alan.
He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Karen Luethe; sons, Matthew (Lorraine) of Portland and Daniel (Lisa) of Cornelius; daughters Melinda Luethe (Brian Howell) of Aloha and Melissa Miller (Barry) of Portland; brothers, Mallory and Larry Luethe; sister, Donna Pfister; grandchildren, John Murphy (Carola) of California, Michael Murphy of California, Christopher Luethe of Portland, Erin Luethe of Portland, Madeline Luethe of Cornelius, Grace Miller of Portland, Theodore Luethe of Cornelius, Peyton Miller of Portland, and TJ Miller of Portland; great-grandchildren, Preston and Cailyn Murphy of California. A Celebration of Bill's life and memory will be held in Skyline Memorial Gardens Funeral Home, Clatskanie Room, 4101 NW Skyline Blvd., Portland, Oregon, on Friday, October 27, 2017, at 12 noon.
A reception and burial service in Skyline Memorial Gardens will be held afterwards.
Remembrances in lieu of flowers may be made to Providence Hospice. Thank you.
Arrangements under the direction of Skyline Memorial Gardens Funeral Home Funeral Directors, Portland, OR. (503) 292-6611
A Celebration of Bill's Life
Friday, October 27, 2017
William Lewis Luethe
November 6, 2017
Dearest Karen and family I just learned of Bill's passing. Your wonderful family has so many treasures of the heart to cherish because of this amazing husband, parent, grandparent and all round good guy in your life. (I was out of country in October) My condolences. Ginger Killion
November 2, 2017
My husband and I will miss seeing Bill as we walk our greyhound, Garret. I would often stop and chat with Bill while walking Garret. Ours thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
October 28, 2017
Karen, you and your family are in my heart. Bill was a special man and I know how much you will miss him (every day). It was a privilege to work with him at OSM, and I will forever remember him as a gentle, polite, friendly, kind man with a great sense of humor.
October 28, 2017
I worked with Bill in Shipping when I first started at Oregon Steel Mills. He taught me a lot and I appreciated his humor and good nature. He will be missed.
October 25, 2017
I remember leaving you in 1960 as a boy and seeing you again in 1964 as a Navy man! We had so many great times! Memories will always be there. You always had my back and you were there when I needed you! You may be gone but certainly won't be forgotten! Love you brother, until we meet again.
October 25, 2017
Bill was a wonderful man who will be missed by all of us.
Dick and Sheryl Brooks
October 24, 2017
Dear Karen & Family-Len and I feel much sadness at Bill's passing. We always had so much fun back in the "old days" when we were all so young. Bill loved you so much--he'd always say "I was a spy for the FBI!" God be with all of you--lots of love & great memories from old friends Len & Linda Illias
Marcia Burns Swinehart
October 22, 2017
Kind, sweet, thoughtful, encouraging, devoted, loyal, faithful and God loving. These are just a few of the qualities that Bill the friend, family man, the husband and the brother, son, gave this world. He will be missed, but most importantly, he made a difference and contribution with his life and touched so many hearts.
October 21, 2017
I attended high school with "Bill" and played sports with him. Bill was a gentle, good-natured giant who always had a kind word to say to everyone he met. His upbeat attitude was a model to all who knew him. He will be sorely missed. Prayers and condolences go out to his family.