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William “Bill” Volkert

William “Bill” Volkert Jr., 94, of Gresham, Oregon, formerly of Cushing, passed away on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 in Portland, Oregon.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the St. John Lutheran Church of Cushing, with the Rev. Wayne C. Pfannkuch and Rev. Doug Opp officiating.  Burial will be at the Cushing Cemetery of Cushing.  Online condolences can be made at

Bill was born on July 27, 1922 in Battle Creek, Iowa to William K. Volkert, Sr. and Grace (Denker) Volkert. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church.

He graduated from Cushing Consolidated School. He entered into a farming partnership with his father in 1942.

Bill was passionate about conserving the soil. He was an early advocate of contouring, terracing, and tiling. In 1982, Bill was awarded the district Marc Cox Award for conservation.

Bill married Lois G. Severson at St. John Lutheran Church on December 27, 1943. Three children were born to this union: Jon Douglas (Guyla) Volkert of Chicago, Illinois; Thomas Dean (Sandra) Volkert of Correctionville, Iowa; and Dana Jo (Victor) Olson of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Lois taught school in Cushing until her retirement. Bill and Lois were foster parents for many years. Lois passed away on June 10, 2002.

On July 27, 2002 — his 80th birthday — Bill fulfilled a long-held desire and went skydiving in Minnesota. He also went skydiving in Oregon on his 85th birthday.

Bill married Dana (Severson) Chidester on May 17, 2003. After their marriage in Sioux City, Iowa, Bill moved to Gresham, Oregon. From this union, Bill became a father to Steve (Deborah) Chidester of Pleasanton, California and Susan (Matt) Danielski of Gresham, Oregon.

Bill joined Trinity Lutheran Church, and he and Dana volunteered at Zarephath Pantry for over ten years.

Bill is survived by his wife Dana; his sons: Jon and his wife Guyla of Chicago and Tom and his wife Sandra of Correctionville, Iowa; his daughter Dana Jo and her husband Victor of Colorado Springs, Colorado; his stepson Steve and his wife Deborah of Pleasanton, California; and his stepdaughter Susan and her husband Matt of Gresham, Oregon; eleven grandchildren; seventeen great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and special family friends Brent & Crystal Renken and family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Lois; and many cousins and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John Lutheran Church of Cushing.

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