Steven K. Rector

Aug. 30, 1954-June 30, 2011

Steven K. Rector, superintendent of the Centennial School District, died Thursday, June 30, at Legacy Hopewell House Hospice Center of pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 11, at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 11560 S.E. Market St., Portland. Funeral services were held Thursday, July 7, in South Sioux City, Neb.

Steve was born Aug. 30, 1954, in Sioux City, Iowa, to Keith and Anita (Jacobsen) Rector. Steve attended kindergarten in Homer, Neb. The family moved to South Sioux City in 1960, and Steve attended first through 12th grades, graduating in 1972.

He married Jay Stamps, also of South Sioux City, on Nov. 23, 1974, at First Lutheran Church.

Steve graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) in 1976 with a degree in English and received his master's degree in administration from UNL in 1980. He earned his education specialist degree from Wayne State College in 2001 and was chosen Wayne State College Alumni of the Year in 2009.

Steve began his teaching career at East High School in Lincoln. At age 26, he was appointed chairman of the English department, overseeing East High's 22 English teachers.

Steve became high school principal at Geneva, Neb., for two years before returning to his hometown to begin 26 years with the South Sioux City School District, first as high school principal for 12 years, as assistant superintendent for three years and finally as superintendent of the district for 11 years. He was named Nebraska Superintendent of the Year in 2009.

In 2010, Steve was named Dakota County Leader of the Year.

In July 2010 Steve and Jay moved to Portland, where he became superintendent of the Centennial School District.

'Steve proved to us in a short time that we had selected not only the right person, but a good person as Centennial's leader,' said Shar Giard, Centennial School Board chairwoman. 'He was an incredibly gracious man who made a difference in his very short time in the district.'

Steve was a member of First Lutheran Church in South Sioux City, the Gresham Rotary Club, the University of Nebraska Alumni Association and Oregonians for Nebraska. He was past president of the South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce, the South Sioux City Rotary Club and the Greater Nebraska Schools Association.

Steve served as the Dakota County chairman of the United Way campaign and also as a director on the boards for the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, Siouxland Federal Credit Union, Junior Achievement and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Siouxland.

Survivors include his wife, of Portland; sons, Nick of Portland and Reggie of Austin, Texas; his parents, of South Sioux City; brothers, Rick of Seward, Alaska, and Jeff of South Sioux City; sister, Suzie Rector of Dakota City, Neb.; and a loving extended family.

Memorial donations can be made to Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 11560 S.E. Market St., Portland, 97216; or to the Portland Schools Foundation, 2069 N.E. Hoyt St., Portland, 97232.

Bateman Carroll Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Verdella Ann Chess

Feb. 26, 1935-July 2, 2011

Verdella Ann Chess, a former resident of Gresham and Damascus, died Saturday, July 2. She was 76.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 11, at the Sandy Church of the Nazarene, 34717 Jarl Road, Boring. A burial service will follow at 1:30 p.m. at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Gresham.

Verdella was born Feb. 26, 1935, in Portland to Herman Greene Sr. and Helen Lamb-Greene, the first child in the family. She was raised in the Rockwood area. She attended Portland Christian High School, graduating in 1952, and then attended George Fox College in Newberg. She received her bachelor's degree in education from Cascade College in Portland. Her belief in a strong education led her to pursue post-graduate education throughout her life.

Verdella met Robert Chess while attending George Fox College, and they married on Aug. 16, 1958, at Gresham Church of the Nazarene.

Verdella's career began as an English teacher at Portland Christian School and Redland School. She then took a short break to begin a family. Her children were raised on her family's rose farm in Damascus, where she worked until they were of school age. Verdella's commitment to education led to her career in public libraries for nearly 30 years, beginning in 1970 with Multnomah County Library. She served as supervisor of the Gresham and Rockwood branch libraries.

Verdella was a member of Sandy Church of the Nazarene, helping to build the church with Pastor Fred Tau. She served as pianist, organist and vocalist. She founded the Greene Scholarship Fund in memory of her family. Verdella and Bob moved to Sandy in 2001 to be closer to their church, living her life by always considering God first, others second and herself last. 

God, family, education and her career were top priorities in her life. Verdella, a Republican, and her husband, a Democrat, always made it clear - with a laugh - that it's OK to disagree. Their relationship was centered on a deep appreciation and respect for each other and a shared interest in music, church, sports, politics and the beach. Verdella and Bob cared for seven children in addition to their own.

Verdella's interests included visiting the Oregon Coast, relaxing at her second home in Bay City; following the Seattle Mariners and Portland Trail Blazers (holding season tickets the year the Blazers won the World Championship); and music. 

Survivors include her husband; son, Jon Chess of Gresham; daughter, Janelle Chess of Boring; brother, Herman Greene Jr. of Sandy; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Gresham Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Donald Jerry Branton

March 4, 1931-July 1, 2011

Gresham resident Donald Jerry Branton, 80, died Friday, July 1.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at the Gresham Elks Lodge 1805, 3330 N.E. Division St.

Jerry was born March 4, 1931, in Mazatlan, Mexico, to Donald and Eileen (Gamwell) Patch. After his father's death, his mother married Ivan Branton, who legally adopted Jerry. Jerry was raised in Corvallis and graduated from Corvallis High School. He received his degree in civil engineering from Oregon State College and served in the military at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

In 1954, he married Judy Cole, who preceded him in death. On Sept. 26, 1970, he married Charlotte Stebbins in The Dalles.

Jerry was president of Tenneson Engineering for more than 50 years. Jerry's projects included construction layout of The Dalles Bridge, surveying natural gas and Bonneville Power transmission lines throughout Oregon and Washington, the city of The Dalles sewer and water projects and development of the Port of Klickitat Bingen Point and Dallesport Industrial Park properties. Jerry was the city engineer for Hood River from 1964 to 1980 and provided city engineering services to many of the small municipalities throughout the north-central Oregon region including Madras, Fossil, Culver, Shaniko and Umatilla. In recent years, Jerry was responsible for the water rights projects within the firm.

Jerry was also a licensed professional land surveyor; at the time of his death, he was one of the longest active land surveyors in the state. Jerry enjoyed skiing and jazz music and liked Shetland sheepdogs.

Survivors include his wife; daughters, Kathy Branton of Bend, Eileen Branton of Salt Lake City and Jan Christopherson of Tigard; son, Dan Branton of Eugene; brother, Thomas Branton of Alaska; sister, Roseann Goodman of Alaska; and two grandchildren.

Memorial donations can be made to the Oregon State University Engineering Memorial Scholarship.

Beverly Jean Pomeroy

March 3, 1926-July 3, 2011

Gresham resident Beverly Jean Pomeroy, 85, died Sunday, July 3.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 14, at Bateman Carroll Funeral Home, 520 W. Powell Blvd., followed by a reception.

Beverly was born March 3, 1926, in Portland to Harry and Rosaland Scribner. She moved to Eugene during World War II and also resided in Brightwood. She graduated from Franklin High School in 1943 and began working at Columbia Aircraft.

Beverly met Robert Pomeroy during a scavenger hunt in 1942, and they were married in 1944.

Beverly sang in the choir at church and at Mt. Hood Community College until 2007 as an alto. She enjoyed bunco, crosswords, sewing and romance novels. While she hated to cook, she loved to open cans. She taught her family to listen to others and try to understand them, to not be a burden to another and to be strong in the face of adversity.

Her husband preceded her in death.

Survivors include her son, Ronald Pomeroy of Canby; one grandson; and one great-grandson.

Bateman Carroll Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Maxcine Viola Smith

Aug. 29, 1940-July 5, 2011

East County resident Maxcine Viola Smith, 70, died Tuesday, July 5, in Montana.

Services are pending. A full obituary will run in a future edition of The Outlook.

Gresham Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Gresham Outlook's obituary policy

The Gresham Outlook publishes news obituaries free of charge as space allows. Forms are available at The Gresham Outlook office, 1190 N.E. Division St., Gresham. The Outlook reserves the right to edit submissions to conform to its obituary style. The obituary desk can be reached at 503-492-5114. Photos of deceased loved ones are encouraged.

Advertising space is available for detailed obituaries. For more information about paid obituaries, call Cheryl Swart, advertising manager, at 503-492-5190.

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