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Karl Ross Mitchener Sr.

February 13, 1937 - September 6, 2019

Karl Ross Mitchener Sr.Karl Ross Mitchener, 82, of Salem, Oregon – devoted and loving husband, father, and friend, defender of country, and member of Salem Presbyterian First Church – passed away on September 6th, 2019.
Born in Independence, Missouri in 1937 to Bessie Mildred Shores Mitchener and Max Burr Mitchener, Karl grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri, with his younger brother James Mitchener and half-sister Vicki Schlueter. He attended Lee’s Summit High School – where he was a two-sport varsity star in baseball and football – and graduated as salutatorian in 1955. He was awarded a US Navy-ROTC scholarship and chose to attend Northwestern University, where he followed his love of problem solving and numbers by majoring in mathematics and working for NU faculty in his spare time. During college, he played the trumpet in the NU marching band, participated in community activities through his church youth group and his fraternity, Sigma Nu, and completed his officer training program in the navy. While a midshipman for three summers, he traveled the globe on cruisers, submarines, and his favorite, carriers. He graduated from Northwestern in 1959, and later completed his MBA at the University of Chicago.
After receiving an officer’s commission into the Regular Navy, he went to the Naval Justice school in Rhode Island, where he was trained as a legal officer. His service continued as a naval liaison officer on the USS Saratoga. Following his time in the navy, he went on to a distinguished career in business, working at Commonwealth Edison in Chicago for twenty years as well as Fleetwood Homes, PDP, and Real Log Homes. He would later start his own management consulting firm. Along with his wife, Virginia, he helped to establish the first Montessori school in the western suburbs of Chicago. While living in Glen Ellyn with his family, he was a Rotarian and served on the board of DuPage County Symphony Orchestra.
Karl loved the outdoors, travel, and photography –  introducing his children to the beauty of the national parks system through family camping vacations in the beloved “woody” station wagon. He moved his family and his father-in-law (Harry Wedler) to Salem, Oregon in 1980 to begin a new life in the “wild west,” where he could pursue adventures in the office as well as in the beauty of his adopted state.
He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Virginia Wedler Mitchener; his sons, Kurt Douglas Mitchener and Kris James Mitchener; his grandchildren, Nathaniel Owen Mitchener and Olivia Clare Mitchener and her mother Lynn Webster; his half-sister, Vicki Shlueter Congrove; his sister-in-law, Jo Wedler Scudamore; his nieces, Tina Mitchener and Alisa Scudamore; and his nephew, Douglas David Scudamore. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, and, by just a few days, by his eldest son, Karl Ross Mitchener, Jr.
In May 2019, Karl was diagnosed with an unknown primary cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Please consider honoring his memory with a donation to the Cancer Research Institute, which supports scientific breakthroughs for all types of cancer, through immunotherapy research and clinical trials: or to his other favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity,, where he volunteered with his brother-in-law, Doug Scudamore.
A memorial service to honor Karl is scheduled for Saturday, October 12th, 2019, at 2:00 p.m., at the Salem First Presbyterian Church, 770 Chemeketa St NE, Salem, OR 97301. A private burial service will be held in Portland at Willamette National Cemetery’s Columbarium on October 14th, 2019.

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Guest Book Entries

We are blessed to have known Karl as a friend.

It was an honor to be present at his Memorial Service.

Karl was a man with a beautiful heart and soul.  I'm pleased I could be present at the service to celebrate him and the beginning of his new life in heaven.

Mrs. Mitchener,

Word reached me in Atlanta recently about your double loss of Karl and his dad.  I am so sad.  I spent many a fun day in your basement in Glen Ellyn and have great memories of both of them.  Prayers for your strength and God's love.


Tom Brennan