Roddy Duane Presley, 70, passed away Dec. 25 at his home in Burns.
Roddy, or Rod, as he was best known, was born May 12, 1944, in Ontario to Eldon (Cyc) and Juanita Presley. He grew up and lived all his life in Burns, except for a few years in Washington state.
He married his high-school sweetheart, Gayla Houston Hebener, in May 1966, in Winnemucca, Nev. To this union two sons were born, Robby Morgan and Anthony Martin Presley. After Gayla passed away in April 2010, Roddy married Terri Swearengin Holt of Burns in July 2012 in a garden ceremony at their home in Burns.
Rod attended Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls after graduation from Burns High School in 1962. He then went to work for Edward Hines Lumber Company most of his working career, rising to the job of electrician. With the prospect of the Hines mill closing, he then moved to the Snohomish, Wash., area as an electrician for their lumber mill for the next five years. Upon retirement, he and Gayla returned to their home of many years in Burns. Throughout his entire working life, he was known as a dependable and loyal employee who rarely used a sick day.
Saying Rod was a dedicated soldier in the Oregon National Guard for 22 years is putting it mildly; he loved talking about his career and experiences as a tank commander and 1st sergeant, especially around a campfire; it was a big part of his life. He was a long-time member of the Oregon Hunters Association. Rod was also a member of The American Legion Harney County Post No. 63, and on Sunday, Dec. 21, seven members of the local Post presented Rod with an Officer Award in recognition and appreciation of his devoted service as a commander, vice commander, chaplain and membership chairman for the American Legion Post.
Besides being a loving husband to Gayla and Terri, and a father to two boys and two step-daughters, he was an avid outdoorsman, being introduced to the wide open spaces of Harney County at an early age by his parents. Throughout his entire life, he took every opportunity to be out camping, hunting, four-wheeling, rock-hounding, exploring, and just enjoying the great outdoors he adored.
Many of the local folks can tell you that Rod was the kind of man who was always available to help out others. Whether it was lending a hand or fixing things, he “had your back.” He will be sorely missed by so many whose lives he touched.
He is survived by his wife, Terri; son, Anthony of Seattle, Wash.; brother, Denny Presley and his wife, Judy of Burns; sisters, Sharon Showers of Elko, Nev. and Linda Schmidt and husband, Charles of Hines; grandchildren, Lodi Presley of Burns, Jarryd Presley of Nellis AFB, Nev., Chance Presley and Robby Colton Presley of Prineville, and Elizabeth Merritt of Seattle, Wash.; great-granddaughters, Haily Lohf and Ashton Runnels of Burns; step-daughters, Jessica and husband, Jake Berry of Burns, and Chelsi Ferris of Phoenix, Ariz.; step-granddaughters, Bobby Jo and Jordynn Berry of Burns; step-grandsons, Tye Rookstool and wife, Jenny of John Day, Zane Rookstool and wife, Heather of John Day; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends.
Rod was preceded in death by his brother, Ronald Presley; his son, Robby Presley; his wife, Gayla Presley; and his parents, Eldon and Juanita Presley.
A funeral service will be held Saturday, Jan. 3, at 11 a.m. at Faith Baptist Church, followed by graveside services at the Burns Cemetery. Fellowship and potluck will follow at a location to be determined.
Contributions in his memory may be made to The American Legion Harney County Post No. 63, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel.