December 1, 1932 — November 16, 2017

Lavern Martin Cary died peacefully November 16, 2017.

Lavern was born with twin sister Laverna on December 1, 1932, to Wilbur and Mattie (Stewart) Cary on the farm in Grant, Nebraska.

His parents lost their farm to the Dust Bowl, migrating first to Idaho and then to Corvallis in 1937. They raised five children in austerity, exemplifying characteristic ingenuity, self-sufficiency, and the value of family and community cooperation.

Lavern graduated from Corvallis High School in 1950 where he met his first wife, JoAnne Jones. They soon married and started their family of five children. Together they enjoyed camping in the Metolius River/Scout Lake area, ballroom dancing, evening swims at the high school, large family gatherings and vacations on Payette Lake, Idaho.

Lavern joined the Corvallis Fire Department, first as a volunteer, then as a truck and ambulance driver. At 27, Lavern won Fireman of the Year and was appointed the first city Fire Marshall after saving the life of a teenager accidentally shot through the chest in a hunting accident. Lavern raised two Dalmatians (both Sparky) as mascots and for school fire prevention programs. Lavern was selected as a founding member of the Uniform Fire Code Committee which wrote the Uniform Fire Code; one of the origin documents for today’s International Fire Code.

When Lavern retired as Fire Marshal in 1982, he then began a 21-year career as a highly sought building code and fire safety consultant.

In 1984, Lavern and his second wife, Kathy, moved outside of Sherwood where he enjoyed raising llamas. The couple’s love of water eventually led them to live along the North Santiam River. Later, Lavern retired in the Sublimity/Stayton area.

Lavern had a strong sense of civic responsibility; he was very active in Rotary, and he and Kathy were founding members of Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Lavern enjoyed music, Irish and Native American history, geography and maps, wine and wineries, animals, and investing. He was an avid reader and amassed a large library. Lavern was known for his integrity, wisdom, common sense, dedication, and quick wit.

Lavern was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Orval and Frank; sister Nelma Buck Ziegler; and grandson, Owen Newlin.

He is survived by twin sister Laverna Couey; sons, Stewart and Steven; daughters, Diane (Don) Vosburg, Theresa (Ron) Newlin, and Kathleen (Brent) Adams; former wives JoAnne Phillips and Kathy Cary; ten grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will take place 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at Adair Clubhouse, 6097 NE Ebony Lane, Corvallis.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Stayton Area Rotary, PO Box 267, Stayton, OR 97383.

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