January 3, 1921 - August 2, 2012
Arthur Francis Valley, 91, died at home with family by his side on Thursday, August 2,
2012 in Albany, Oregon. He was born January 3, 1921 in Bend, Oregon, the son of Peter and Olga (Johnson) Valley.
Art attended Bend High School where he was active in sports (football and track). Following graduation in 1940, he went to work for Brooks Scanlon saw mill in Bend. In 1941 he moved to Seattle to work for Boeing as a sheet metalist. He returned to Bend after the attack on Pearl
Harbor, intent on serving his country. En route, a chance meeting in Portland reunited him with his high school sweetheart, Bette M. Miller. They traveled home together to meet one another's parents. Art joined the Marines in January 1942 and shipped out to Samoa in March with the Second Marine Division. He and Bette corresponded throughout the war. In November of 1943 he fought in the Battle of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands. US troops were under heavy fire during the landing of Higgins Boats at high tide. Art saved the life of a wounded fellow Marine by carrying him to shore through neck-high water. A nearby mortar explosion left him deaf in one ear for the rest of his life. Late in February 1944 Art was sent home on leave. He married Bette on March 7, then reported to base in San Diego later that month. In fall 1944 he was assigned to Tongue Point Naval Station in Astoria, until his discharge in spring 1945.
Following the war, Art and Bette worked on the Lyle Miller Ranch near Paulina for about a year, then settled in Bend. Art was again employed by Brooks Scanlon and advanced to the position of sawyer. After purchasing a small home, he spent most of his evenings and weekends remodeling, expanding and upgrading it for several years. Art retired in 1983 after which he and his wife enjoyed several trips in Europe and the US with their daughter's family. They moved from Bend to Albany in 2010 to live closer to their son.
Art was a born storyteller. His laugh was contagious, and he often entertained family and friends with humorous tales of his life experiences. He was a master fly-fisherman. He enjoyed reading, history, football, traveling, gardening, hunting and camping. Before WWII, Art and friend Maurice “Butch” Kelley spent many days hiking in the Central Cascades and discovered pristine unnamed lakes. Immediately after the war, they hiked back into the lakes for the best fly-fishing of a lifetime. When Butch later worked for the Forest Service, he named those lakes
the “Hank” Lakes, after Art's nickname.
Art was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 68 years, Bette; his parents; and his brothers, Harold, Leonard, and Larry Valley. He is survived by his son, Steve Valley and his wife, Robin Keen of Albany; daughter, Jan Lackermann and her husband, William of Washington, DC; four grandchildren: Kristi Steeprow and her husband, Mike of Sherwood, Oregon; Captain Katie Lackermann (U.S. Army), of Fayetteville, North Carolina; Karen Lackermann of Madison, Wisconsin; Steve Lackermann of Falls Church, Virginia; two great-grandchildren, Max and
Megan Steeprow; brother-in-law, Pat Miller and his wife, Naida of Paulina, Oregon; and many nieces and nephews.
AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home in Albany handled the arrangements. A private celebration of his life will be held at a later time. The family suggests memorial donations be sent to Hospice.