In honor of our members who have passed, we would like to offer this small tribute to help share their legacies, keep their memories alive, and offer our gratitude for all they have done.






Those we hold closest to our hearts never truly leave us.  They live on in the kindness they have shared and the love they brought into our lives.

~ Author Unknown

Betty Jean Eastman Seitsinger (4/13/1930 - 12/12/2013)

Betty Jean Eastman was born April 13, 1930 in Portland, Oregon to Wilson and Alda Fern Eastman – her family had a long history in the fabric of Gresham. She attended Gresham Grade School and graduated from Gresham High School in 1948. She was a member of The Rally Squad throughout her years at GUHS. She followed with attending Business College.

She met Harry E. Seitsinger and they married August 31, 1950. They divorced 25 years later.

Betty worked for Portland public schools as an administrative secretary, from which she retired after 35 years.  She later lived in her childhood home, which is on the Gresham Historical registry, having been built in 1915. She was a dedicated volunteer and contributor to the Gresham Historical Society and the Antique Glass Club, as well as Gresham Methodist Church.

She is survived by her three daughters Marsha Fray of Keiser, Sherri Seitsinger of Gresham, and three great-grandchildren.

She was a wonderful friend. She will be dearly missed.

(Written by Martha Ruegg)

Carroll E. Hermanson (3/2/1918 - 8/21/2013)

Carrol Edwin Bertel Hermanson passed away at the age of 95. He was born in Elderon, Wisconsin to Eric and Sopha (Charboneau) Hermanson. He married Eleanore Reed in 1941 in Vancouver, WA. He remarried in 2003, a year after the death of his first wife, to Beatrice Barg, who preceded him in death earlier this year. Carroll graduated from Oregon State College in 1948 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked as an Electrical Mechanical Engineer for PGE before his retirement in 1985.

Carroll has been an active member of Gresham since 1933. He was a past Master of Gresham Masonic Lodge, Gresham Elks Lodge, City of Gresham Parks Planning Commission, Historical Resources Committee, past District Governor of Toast Masters International District 7, Board Member of Gresham Sister City Association, past President of Hood View Amateur Radio Club, President of PGE Retirees Club, President of Gresham Hot Shots, and a Lifetime Member of Gresham United Methodist Church.

Carroll was an avid photographer and supplied many pictures over the years for Sandy High School yearbooks, weddings and new photos. He enjoyed being a reading tutor in area elementary schools for children.

(Taken from the Oregonian Obituaries)


Lois "Arlie" Harris (3/9/1917 - 5/25/2013)

Arlie Harris, who died on May 25, 2013, was a stalwart of the early Gresham Historical Society. In 1981, she got together some old photos, artifacts, and stories of pioneer Gresham and presented them to some of the 4th and 8th grades in the Gresham area. Soon, other teachers and organizations wanted the same program, so she recruited other members to help her and organized exhibits for trophy cases, chose artifacts that could be “hands-on” and made slides of the old photos. Arlie made audio recordings of the old residents of Gresham. This was important because so many were passing away and taking their histories with them. She made sure they were handled correctly and protected from light and moisture she organized the spring luncheons, ice cream socials, and exhibits and served on many committees. Arlie was born Lois “Arlie” Groshong on March 9, 1917 in Goldendale, WA and on November 10, 1935 married Cliff Harris. While Cliff served in the military during WWII, she worked in Portland. After his return, they settled in Gresham and were active in the community. Besides G.H.S., she worked with the Salvation Army and the Churches of Christ. She also worked for the Bureau of Census driving many miles through the western states and Alaska. She loved animals and gardening. Many of us remember her wry sense of humor, watching with a slight smile until you “caught on”. After Cliff died in 1977, she lived alone but watched out for her mother and others at a care center. Always curious and interested, on her 85th birthday, she rode in a hot air balloon and at 87 went sky diving. She was a strong Christian who shared her knowledge of the Bible and lived her faith.

(Written by Utahna Kerr)

Reeve E. Erikson (4/15/1925 - 4/15/2013)

Reeve Erikson was born in Portland, OR the son of Fritz and Geraldine Erikson. He grew up in Gresham where he attended school until he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1941. He later joined the Marine Corps in 1943 and served with the 4th marine Division, landing on Roi, Saipan and Tinian, in the Marianas and Iwo Jima  and in the Volckans. He reenlisted in the Corps after college and was sent to Korea where he was injured and retired from the service.

He went on to attend graduate school and work as a school psychologist with Multnomah County until his retirement in 1983.He married Mitzi Jones in 1956, and became stepfather to Ronald Jones and Joanne Gratton. He is also survived by one grandson, one great-granddaughter, and his sisters Beverly Wiens and Donna Mae Lunt.

He and Mitzi enjoyed travel, hiking, bicycle rides, ballroom dancing, and bowling with seniors. In addition, he liked to read and write poetic verse.

(Taken from the Oregonian Obituaries)


  Elvera Ida "Vera" Peters (9/6/1923 - 4/4/2013)

The Gresham Historical Society lost an enthusiastic energetic supporter and friend, when Vera Peters recently passed away.

She came from a small town in Minnesota and went to work in San Francisco during WWII. There she met and married Army Sgt. John Peters. After living in various places around the country, they settled in Gresham in 1960and started a bowling alley on East Powell Blvd. where cows from Wrights farm still grazed. Part of the building was destroyed in the 1962 Columbus Day Storm.

John died of a heart attack in 1963 and Vera continued to run the business and raise her son and daughter. Later she opened an award and trophy shop.

She became interested in the Historical Society and in 1982-83 realized that many people who had known the early day pioneers had photos and stories that would be lost as time went by. She headed a committee to gather, identify, and copy the old photos. The Historical Society published a book called Remember our Childhood, which she compiled and edited.

Vera served as president of the Society in 1987. She organized many events, socials, rummage sales, etc., to keep the Society viable. When the Society was able to obtain the old Carnegie Library building, she continued to support their efforts.

She will be dearly missed.

(Written by Utahna Kerr)