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Obituary: Harlan Merritt Pete Niebling

Aug. 21, 1931-Aug. 10, 2006
by: contributed photo, Pete Niebling

Gresham resident Harlan Merritt 'Pete' Niebling, 74, died Thursday, Aug. 10, of an aneurysm. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 1700 N.E. 132nd Ave., Portland.

Pete was born Aug. 21, 1931, in Sacramento, Calif., to Hattie and Gordon Niebling. He was raised in Sacramento, Calif., Placerville, Calif., and other small mill towns of Northern California. When he was 2 years old, a logger drew a charcoal mustache on him and christened him 'Sugar Pine Pete.' The name Pete stuck with him the rest of his life.

He was an avid reader. He entered high school in San Jose at age 12. He briefly attended San Jose State College.

In 1951, Pete married Mary Brown. They divorced in 1973.

Pete began working in the forest products industry beginning at age 14. At 22, he became a Western Pine Association inspector and a field agent.

He moved his family many times around the country from California to Indiana, to Missouri, to New Mexico and to Michigan.

He moved to Portland in 1966, and worked as the Western manager of the North American Wholesale Lumber Association. He became executive vice president in 1979.

He married Maxine Gorans on Feb. 28, 1975, in Portland.

They moved to Schaumburg, Ill., in 1980. They returned to Portland when he retired from the company in 1988. He did some consulting work and joined Tumac Lumber Company, working as their credit manager until 1996.

He enjoyed stamp collecting.

Survivors include his wife of Gresham; daughter, Victoria Jordan of Portland; sons, Stanley Niebling of Portland and Russell Niebling of Troutdale; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to Resurrection Lutheran Church, 1700 N.E. 132nd Ave., Portland, 97230, or the Salvation Army.

Bateman Carroll Funeral Home is handling arrangements.