Wilford “Will” Carey passed away peacefully and unexpectedly at his home in Hood River, Ore., on Feb. 3, 2018. He was born to Kenneth Carey and June Grigg Carey on March 16, 1941. He was proud to be a fourth generation Oregonian. Will grew up on a farm in Vale, Ore., in a family that eventually grew to include eight siblings: six sisters and two brothers.
The family relocated to Ontario, Ore., where Will attended high school and excelled in his favorite sport, football. He joined the National Guard and went directly into active duty after graduation.
Will went to Rick’s Junior College in Rexburg, Idaho, where he met his wife Sheryl Olson Carey. The couple married in 1964. Later they welcomed their first child, son Erich Carey. Will attended and graduated from Utah State University and was commissioned as a regular army officer due to his outstanding involvement in ROTC.
He and his family moved to Bamburg, Germany, where he served for two years before receiving orders for Vietnam. At age 26, Will had been promoted to Captain and led a company of 200 troops in active combat. He was wounded during the beginning of the TET Offensive and received a purple heart. He was awarded the silver star medal for his heroic action in that battle. He also was awarded two bronze stars for his service.
After months of recovery, Will was released from the hospital and sent to University of Oregon’s ROTC department, where he taught military history. After medical retirement from the Army, he attended U of O School of Law, receiving his Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1972.
Will started work in Hood River as assistant district attorney. He joined the private law firm of Annala Lockwood in 1974. He discovered an interest in the field of land use and helped write many of Hood River County’s first land use regulations. Will was hired by Wasco County to thwart the infamous Rajneesh takeover attempt. He represented several neighboring governmental bodies (counties, cities, and ports) up until his recent passing. He was instrumental in the forming of Northern Oregon Regional Corrections facility. He also helped form the Community Renewable Energy Association.
In 1981, Will accepted appointment as municipal court judge for the City of Hood River. He held this position for 37 years. His compassion towards the defendants in his courtroom was well recognized and respected.
From a young age, Will was interested in cars and their restoration. His passion for cars provided a joyful release from the continuous demands of his vocation. Automobile swap meets, auctions, car clubs and shows resulted in many lifelong friendships.
Other hobbies included hunting and fishing, tennis and actively viewing Ducks’ football games.
He was a member of the Eagles, The Elks Club, the American Legion and the Crag Rats Mountain Rescue. He volunteered services for Rotary International, Columbia Gorge Opportunity Connections and Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum.
Will is survived by his wife Sheryl, son Erich (wife Renee), daughter Sonja (husband Lupe Marquez), all his brothers and sisters, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and loving dog Pepper.
A memorial Service will be held at WAAAM on Friday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River. Visit www. AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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