Lee (Rusty) Lafferty, age 80, died in Salem on September 13, 2012.
Born June 5, 1932 in Gold Beach, OR to Edward J. and Mabel (Hays) Lafferty. He also lived in La Grande and Salem. He worked for the Coos Forest Patrol and then the Oregon Department of Forestry until retiring in 1988. He married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Dubay, January 20, 1951.
Rusty had a remarkable 39 year career as a firefighter in Oregon earning national recognition with a Bronze Smokey Award for Forest Fire Prevention. He served as the first President of the Curry County chapter of the Oregon March of Dimes. He was also a 4-H leader, taught hunter safety and CPR in the community and was affiliated with the Masonic Lodge and Jobs Daughters. In retirement, he served in several positions with the Oregon Forestry Retirees Association where he honed his story telling skills and kept old friendships active and alive.
Rusty was a compassionate, loving and loyal family focused man. He made it a point to know all of his nieces, nephews and grandchildren and had a way of making them feel special.
He could make a new friend in a minute and did, on a daily basis, for most of his adult life.
Rusty is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Edward Jr., Revelle (Val), and Neil, his sister Ellen and granddaughter Alexis.
Survivors include his wife Ruth, Salem, his daughters Janet Lafferty, Seattle, Karen Stone, Salem, Linda di Pietro, Scappoose, his sons Bill Lafferty, Albany and Mike Lafferty, Salem. Grandchildren include Dale Williams, Sarah Stone, Megan Hogland, Tyler Lafferty, Danielle and Carly di Pietro. Great-grandchildren are Justice Hogland and Benjamin Smith-Williams.
Services will be at11AM on Thursday, September 20 at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Home, 605 Commercial St. SE., Salem. Burial will be in Gold Beach on Saturday, October 6, at 11 am.
Memorial contributions would be welcome at Marion-Polk Foodshare, a local food bank of your choice, or to the Forest History Center at the Oregon Department of Forestry in Salem.