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Michael William Hargin

September 23, 1945 August 17, 2019
Michael William Hargin
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Obituary for Michael William Hargin

Lifelong Oregon resident, Michael William Hargin, 73, died August 17, 2019 in Salem, Oregon.

 Michael leaves behind his loving family including his wife of 51 years, Aurora, children Michael, Steven and Angela, grand children Jordan and Jocelyn and his sister Marilyn Askin of Longview, Washington. He was preceded in death by his son-in-law James McDonald. 

Michael was born September 23, 1945, in Salem, Oregon, to William and Luella Hargin. He grew up in Lyons, Estacada and (closest to his heart) Newport, Oregon. He achieved Eagle Scout status before he graduated in 1963 from Newport High School. He took great joy in attending his 55th class reunion in Newport in August 2018.

 At 20-years-old, Michael joined the Army and served in the Screaming Eagles 101st Airborne out of Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. He served two tours in Vietnam, volunteering for the second. He was injured while serving in his second term and returned home with an honorable discharge.

 “Plumber by trade” is how Michael described his work life which also included years of construction, program and facility management.  During his work at Hillcrest, a youth correction facility, he found personal satisfaction in mentoring at-risk youth in pursuit of his same profession. 

Philanthropy was hugely important to Michael. He was a charter member of the Keizer Elks, lodge 2472, and a Grand Lodge member. He held numerous leadership positions over the years including Exalted Ruler and Trustee of Keizer lodge and Oregon State Elks Association roles of Chaplain and Sergeant-at-Arms. While he joked one benefit of being in the Elks was the affordable bar prices, it was the volunteer and charity work that drove his passion for the Elks. He was a board member of the Meadowood Springs Speech and Hearing camp (an Elks supported organization) and looked forward to annual maintenance weekends. He delighted in the camp participants’ happiness with having a place of their own.   He spent endless hours on events and fund raisers, including the infamous Follies, benefiting Elks charities.  For years he delivered meals-on-wheels to those in need. He was rewarded with numerous cookies and sweets from his “customers”, as he called them, but most important their smiles and stories.   Michael missed his “customers” when his own health prevented him from continuing delivering. 

Michael’s family, immediate and extended, were his source of joy. He grew up and was raised with dozens of cousins and stayed connected with them through adulthood, raising his own kids with their cousins in the same way. He was an avid dog lover, having many dogs over the years he said were part of the family, not just pets. With family he enjoyed boating (on lakes and the ocean), water skiing, camping, the Blazers, Oregon Duck football and playing cards.  He loved playing pinochle, 500 and being the “house” for blackjack/21. He held leadership roles in the local US Power Squadron for boaters. He was an avid supporter of his children’s school functions and events including coaching sports, volunteering time and labor and for years was in cub scout leadership. He loved to sit in the sun and despised air conditioning, always choosing warmth over cold. He loved cooking, looking forward to making tamales each Christmas, and enjoyed “real tomatoes” and Walla Walla onions in vinegar. 

Michael savored traveling and looked forward to trips near and far. He had many trips to Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC to visit family along with many other destinations when traveling to represent the Elks. He enjoyed cruises in the Caribbean, trips to Hawaii, visiting multiple European countries, the Middle East and Africa.  Taking his grandkids to Disney World and attending his grandson Jordan’s graduation from boot camp in Fort Benning, Georgia (the same base he graduated from so many years before) were two of the highlights in his life. 

While he enjoyed foreign and exotic travel, his favorite place to visit was closer to home - Newport, Oregon. Growing up on the coast formed his love of the ocean, the beach and clam chowder. He could take you on a tour of the town pointing out memory highlights and what had changed since he grew up there. By all accounts, it was his home town. He was fortunate to have visited Newport in June this year on a beautiful sunny day and savor a bowl of clam chowder with a view of the ocean he so dearly loved. 

As Michael wanted, a memorial service for all friends and family will be held at the Keizer Elks Lodge located at 4250 Cherry Avenue NE, Keizer, Oregon on Friday, September 13 at 3:00 PM. A private internment ceremony for family only will follow at a later date.

 Donations may be made in Michael’s honor to:

Camp Meadowood Springs

122 SE Court Ave

Pendleton, OR 97801


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Previous Events

Memorial Service




3:00 PM 9/13/2019 3:00:00 PM
Keizer Elks Lodge

4250 Cherry Ave NE
Keizer, Oregon 97303

Keizer Elks Lodge
4250 Cherry Ave NE Keizer 97303 Oregon
United States

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