Eldon Leslie McCaw passed away on Aug. 29, 2018, at the Hood River Care Center in Hood River, Ore. He was 83 years of age at the time of his passing.
Eldon was born in Pedee, Ore., in a log house, on May 22, 1935, to Robert Eccles and Annie McCaw.
As a child, he lived in Crescent, Ore., where he helped his father log from the time he was a young boy through his high school years. Eldon also helped his mother run a restaurant/gas station.
The family moved to Florence, Ore., in 1950. Eldon attended Siuslaw High School, graduating in 1954. He then attended Northwest Christian College for two years before moving to Bend, Ore., where he was drafted and sent to Korea. During the war he was a disposal officer, distributing war surplus.
After being discharged from the Army in 1960, he and his mother opened up a restaurant called The Friendly Cafe in downtown Dallas, Ore., where he met his future wife, Kathie Fern. They met in 1962 and married June 29, 1963, in Dallas. The happy couple then moved to Bend in 1967, Seattle, Wash., in 1968, back to Dallas in 1970, and then to Salem, Ore., in 1971.
In 1973, Eldon opened his own restaurant called Big Eldon’s and ran it successfully for 14 years.
Family was important to Eldon and while raising his two boys, he was Chief in what was called Indian Guides through the YMCA. He also became the director of the Salem Soap Box Derby Association.
Eldon was always a part of the community and made sure he was an active part of his boys’ lives. In 1977, he was named Outstanding Volunteer by Governor Bob Straub and Senator Bob Packwood. After Big Eldon’s closed in 1987, Eldon found that another one of his callings was teaching life skills to high risk adolescents.
In 2002, Kathie and Eldon moved to Hood River to be closer to their grandchildren. To fill his days, he began working at the Hood River Historical Carousel Museum as their curator. He held that position for the next three years. He was an active member of the Hood River Valley Christian Church from the time the family arrived in Hood River. In 2015, due to his declining health, Eldon moved to the Hood River Care Center until the time of his passing. The family wishes to express their gratitude for the wonderful care they gave during his time at the Care Center.
Eldon was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Bob McCaw and Leroy McCaw. He is survived by his brother, Darrell McCaw (Blanche) in Dallas; his wife, Kathie McCaw; his sons, Jeff McCaw (Jan) and Greg McCaw (Jennifer); grandchildren, Nathan (Brittany), Adam, Peyton and Gunnar McCaw; two great-grandchildren, Sophie Karr and Delanie McCaw; and his dog, Chloe.
A viewing was held Sept. 6. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Hood River Valley Christian Church, 975 Indian Creek, Hood River. Mausoleum placement was Sept. 7 at Idlewilde Cemetery.
Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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