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Iven H. Findley

October 2, 1951 - November 16, 2018

Iven H. Findley passed away November 16th at his home in Aumsville, OR with his loving family at his side.  Iven was a “gentle giant” who absolutely loved people and was adored and respected by his many friends and extended family.  He was born in Nyssa, OR on October 2, 1951 to Grover and Ida Findley and was the youngest of their four sons.   As the 25th grandchild, he was named after his paternal grandfather, who was immensely proud of his namesake. Iven died of complications from pancreatic cancer. Facing a disease with a five-year survival rate of 9 percent and few survivors beyond one year, Iven defied odds and lived courageously for almost three years.
At four months old, his family moved to their new farm near Madras, OR.  He attended grade school in Metolius, high school in Madras, and graduated from Oregon State University in 1974.
While at Oregon State, Iven met Helen Luukinen from Astoria, and they married in December 1975. They lived in Alaska for four years where Iven traveled in the Bush working as an accountant for a non-profit.  They have been inseparable since, and became parents of daughter, Heidi (Findley) Mitchell, who resides in Puyallup, WA and son, Trevor Findley, who resides in Washington DC.  Together with Helen, he thoroughly enjoyed and cherished their two grandchildren, Elijah (8) and Mira (6) Mitchell, children of Heidi and Chris Mitchell.  Iven was the epitome of a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle.  He had over 70 first cousins and maintained close ties to many of them.  He was so caring and personable to not only his many relatives, but also to numerous friends who have shared the sorrow of his declining health from pancreatic cancer.
Iven grew up on a family farm and learned hard work as the norm.  He was instrumental in the operation of the farm, particularly after his older brothers left for college and their own professions.  His dedication and commitment to purpose started with his experiences as a farm boy and became lifelong traits.  He grew to be an affable, modest, unassuming, ethical and reliable young man who loved to interact with people.
Outside his immediate family activities with Helen, Heidi, Trevor, Chris and his grandchildren, Iven’s pastimes included years of deer and elk hunting with his father, brother Tom, and uncles; coaching numerous youth sports teams for his kids and many others; being a Master Gardener, particularly skilled at vegetable gardening and growing thousands of beautiful dahlias; following and supporting Oregon State Beaver athletic teams, particularly Oregon State Baseball and Oregon State Women’s Basketball; and spending time with his brothers, Jim (Connie), Jerry (Ina),Tom (Kathleen), brother-in-law Charlie (Valeria), 13 nieces and nephews, and their families, who survive him. He is predeceased by his parents, Grover and Ida Findley.
Iven retired in 2010 after 32 years working for the State of Oregon in Adult and Family Services and the Oregon Youth Authority.  He established enduring, dear friendships with his professional colleagues and continued to meet regularly with many of them after his retirement.
Iven enjoyed a long, active, and esteemed role in East Salem Rotary, recording more than 35 years of perfect attendance, serving as President twice, and was honored as Rotarian of the Year. He was a founder of the Sunrise Rotary club and attended both club meetings for 32 years. He worked tirelessly on many Rotary programs and Rotary Foundation activities.  He was a “make it happen” kind of guy in Rotary.
Iven had a fantastic sense of humor, good-natured wit, and he was quick with quips and ribs that kept everyone on-their-toes. Those were endearing traits that he kept to the very end and that were loved by all as uniquely “Iven”.
Iven will be deeply missed by his family and his many, many friends, all of whom are better for having known him and who will forever cherish their experiences and relationships with this good man.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday December 1st at ten o’clock at Center 50+ at 2615 Portland Rd NE, Salem. Those attending are encouraged to wear purple for pancreatic cancer awareness or flowered apparel to honor Iven’s love of gardening.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to pancreatic cancer research in memory of Iven Findley:  or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Ste. 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.

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To Helen and the rest of Iven's family, we may have been out of touch for many years but are hit hard by this news of Iven's illness and death. Your words here describe perfectly the Iven we knew and enjoyed and admired. We wish you much needed and well deserved rest after three years of dealing with cancer, confidence as you navigate this unsettled and unsettling time, and the continuing love of friends and family members. We will plant bulbs in Iven's memory this weekend, believing that by the time they bloom in the spring your grief will be less raw, and dahlias in the spring, knowing that by peak bloom next summer, you will be able to speak of him without tears. Peace to you. Janet & Scott

Iven was a wonderful wonderful man.  I remember how much he loved the comic Strip Hagar the Horrible.  He was also so very funny.  We developed a skit at the office that was presented to all of the OYA staff.  He rose to the occasion by adding his own dialogue and actions to the script - he was the hit of the event.  He helped keep us all humble and laughing at ourselves.  I am so happy to have known him.

I am so sorry for your loss!
I had the privilege of working with Iven from 1998 through the time he retired.  Iven acted as a mentor for me and my teammate starting in 2005... and he always took the he time to explain to us anything we wanted to know.  We loved to thank him with dark chocolates too!  After her retired, it was really nice to see him at the adaptive riding therapy where he volunteered to help with their sensory trail... and every so often when I would run into him in town... always such a warm and friendly person.  We still use the Iven-ism at work in budget... when asked how much something is going to cost? He would always reply, "Eleven dollars and forty-nine cents!"  He assured us that no one would ever believe a round number, so no matter how large a number we were working with, always end it with $11.49.  We remember Iven with smiles whenever that comes up in a meeting or discussion.  His generous and kind legacy will continue.  I will miss him.

To Trevor and all of the Findley family, we are here mourning your loss with you, and want you to know that we are thinking of you and your family at this time.  Please know that although your father is gone, he is not forgotten.  And, just as the Creator likes beautiful flowers in His garden, your father is now a beautiful flower, still growing, still blossoming.  May Peace be with you and your family in your time of need.

The USDA AMS Fair Trade Practices Program Team

So sorry to hear of Iven's passing. His death will leave a big hole in Dorothy, Zach, Calvin and Violet's lives. All our sympathy to you, Helen, and your family. Mary and Tony Diehl

I have very fond memories if Iven. He will be missed. Sending love and prayers to the family. 

Sherry Joseph 

Hyvaa Paivaa Helen! I am an 83 year old Finn from Portland, now living in Keizer. Iven and I worked together in the 1980s. Iven was the AFS Representative and I was with SED, DOJ. When my wife and I lived in rural Polk County, I called Iven when we were having troubles raising our first batch of chickens who were fighting and throwing blood all over the place. Iven asked "How many roosters do you have?" I told him seven or eight. Iven started laughing and told me we have too many roosters! He was a great guy and I'm sorry for his illness. My condolences to you and your family.

I have many fond memories of Iven when I was a child growing up with his daughter Heidi. Iven and Helen were both warm and welcoming people. I remember Iven as an encouraging couch of my basketball team in elementary school. Sending you my deepest sympathy to Helen, Heidi and Trevor. Iven was an amazing person. I am so deeply sorry for your heartbreaking loss.

Uncle Iven always had a warm smile and a gentle hug to greet you with.  I always saw him demonstrate patience, kind heartedness, and dedication to his family, as well as a heartfelt laughter that made me smile.  He was deeply loved by his family and he will be greatly missed.  Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to his life very well lived.  Sending love, prayers, and healing to everyone who was touched by Iven's kind heart.