Gareth Stanley Ferdun passed away December 26, 2016 in Portland, OR surrounded by his family. He was born November 11, 1937 in Modesto, CA, the second son of Stanley E. Ferdun and Jean M. Van Buskirk Ferdun.
He spent his childhood and youth in Modesto, Santa Cruz, and Victorville, CA. He received his BA in Psychology from the Univ. of Calif., Berkeley in 1962 and a MA from San Francisco State College in 1966. Gareth, his wife Georgenne and their two children moved to Sacramento, CA in 1964 where he began his work career as a research analyst with the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. Gareth transferred to the Department of Mental Hygiene in 1965 and to the Department of Youth Authority in 1970. He retired as Chief of the Bureau of Management and Policy Analysis in 1990. During these years he was also an avid gardener, hiker, Volkswalker, and compiler of family history.
Gareth and Georgenne began building their retirement home in rural Nehalem, OR in 1991 and became permanent residents in 1998. He was very interested in the natural world around Nehalem Bay and was a committed conservationist. He served as Chair of the Lower Nehalem Watershed Council, 2000-2002; Founding Board Member of the Lower Nehalem Community Trust (LNCT) and first Board Chair, 2002-2005; and LNCT Board Member 2005-2008 and 2012-2013. Gareth wrote two books about the area: Understanding the Nehalem Watershed: an environmental perspective, April 2003, and The Nehalem Estuary and adjacent Wetlands, May 2007. He was a member of the Core Team for the development of the Voluntary Conservation Action Plan for Nehalem River Watershed, 2010-2012, and worked with others to implement projects proposed in the Plan. He was always available to create a map and write a report or grant to help protect and restore the wild lands around the bay.
Gareth is survived by his wife, Georgenne; children: Severn (Sarriet), Destin (Kellie Barnes), Muir (David Berkshire); grandchildren: Rima Ferdun (Erick Brito), Sesa Ferdun, Sofia Berkshire, Kyle & Abby Greenspan; and great-granddaughter Natalia Brito. He is also survived by his brother Lew Whitney, aunt Marilyn Moore, step-sister Mary Bloom and step-brother Joe Gary, nephews and niece, and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his step-father Walter Whitney and brother David Ferdun.
A celebratory memorial service will be held later this spring, date and location to be announced. Memorial donations may be sent to Lower Nehalem Community Trust, PO Box 496, 532 Laneda Ave., Suite C, Manzanita, OR 97130 (www.nehalemtrust.org)