An extended hand. An embracing, warm smile. And a heartfelt, welcoming “Howdy—I’m Mac Epley!” It’s a familiar encounter by all who met and got to know this life-long Oregonian; highly respected marketing communications professional; dedicated community volunteer; unconditionally devoted Ultimate Duck fan; loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and mentor. Mac donned his Duck hat one final time on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at 91+ years old, after 69 years of marriage to Dolores.
Malcolm Epley, Jr. was born in Eugene, Oregon on December 11, 1927 to Malcolm & Jane Epley, then students at the University of Oregon. He grew up in Klamath Falls with his younger brother, John, where their dad was the editor of the Klamath Falls Herald and News. After graduating from Klamath Union High School, Mac enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945. Upon discharge in 1946 he enrolled at the University of Oregon, joining Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in journalism.
High school and college summers were spent “in the woods” as a Summer Fire Guard for the Klamath Forest Protective Agency in Southern Oregon and as a Fire Guard at the Lava Beds National Monument in Northern California where he also worked as a U.S. National Park Service Summer Park Ranger.
In 1950 Mac married Dolores Steele and settled in Klamath Falls, working as a reporter for the Herald and News. They moved to Portland in 1953 where Mac took a public relations job with Western Pine Association. He joined Pacific National Advertising Agency in 1962. Two years later, he went to work at McCann Erickson Advertising, becoming vice president. In 1977, Mac came full circle when he joined Western Wood Products Association (formerly Western Pine Association) serving as Director of Industry Communications, Vice President of Technical Services (Engineering and Standards), and Vice President of Marketing. He retired in 1993.
Memberships and service include: Oregon Chapter of the American Marketing Association, board vice president; Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Oregon (Northwest) advisory board; Portland Zoo Commission; board member and state chair, Oregon Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Portland Opera Association board; Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity corporation board; Volunteer Works (RSVP) Advisory Council, Multnomah County; SMACCO (a Volunteer Works & United Way project) founder; Edgefield Children’s Center board; Oregon Club of Portland member and creator of Ultimate Duck, a character and cartoon that appeared regularly for over 20 years in the OCOP monthly publication, DUCK TALK.
Awards include: 2015 Oregon Club of Portland’s “Harold Taylor Life Time Achievement Award”;
2009 Phi Kappa Psi “J.W. Broome Lifetime Achievement Award”; 2005 Oregon Club of Portland “Duck of the Year”; 1997 Portland OASIS Senior Role Model Award; 1990 Edgefield Children’s Center Co-Volunteer of the Year.
During their 69 years of marriage, Dolores and Mac raised 3 kids but the Epley family reached beyond bloodlines to become an extensive, extended family. The Epley Mt. Tabor home was a gathering place for many—spanning generations—who loved each other’s company. All because Dolores & Mac set the tone for a welcoming place full of love where everyone could be themselves, have a great time and eat good food. That hospitality extended to the much loved family place in Ft. Bidwell, a small cattle town and former cavalry outpost located in NE California’s Surprise Valley.
Mac is survived by his wife, Dolores; daughter Janet (Dave) Gonrowski, son Mark (Jan Rothermel), son Jon (Kelly); six grandchildren, Ty (Jenny), Drew (Mike), Brian (Kate), MacIan, Brendan, and Garren; three great grandchildren, James Malcolm, Parker, and Mia Jane; sister, Alix (Rick) Traver. And more friends than can ever be counted. Gosh, we’ll miss him.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity.
A Memorial Service will be held Sat., Oct.5, at 2pm.
McGuire Auditorium, Warner Pacific University, 2219 SE 68th, Portland, OR.
Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019
Time: 02:00 pm
McGuire Auditorium at Warner Pacific College
A memorial service for Mr. Epley will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 2:00 PM in McGuire Auditorium at Warner Pacific College.
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