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Howard Neal "Jorgie" Jorgenson

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

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Howard Neal "Jorgie" Jorgenson passed away on May 2, 2016 at the Cheney Care Center surrounded by his family.

Howard was born on July 26, 1939 in Valley City, N.D. to Lillian and Nels Jorgenson. He lived his life in North Dakota, Everett, Cheney and Medical Lake.

"Jorgie" graduated from Everett High School in 1957 and went on to attend Washington State University for a year in 1959, studying civil engineering. He also served four years of active duty and two years of reserve duty in the U.S. Air Force.

He then worked for 35 years at Eastern State Hospital as a hospital attendant and a heavy equipment operator/supervisor. Howard and Marye were married on June 30, 1989 and enjoyed over 25 years of marriage together.

Jorgie served as the Washington Federation of State Employees president for 25 years. He also served as an international vice president for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, as a member for the AFSCME judicial panel and a board member and president of the Retired Public Employees Council of Washington.

Shortly after leaving work at Eastern State Hospital, Jorgie was appointed by Gov. Gary Locke to the Washington State Personnel Appeals Board. He also held a city council position in Medical Lake on two different occasions. All council wages went to Medical Lake Dollars for Scholars to support scholarships.

Volunteer work that Jorgie participated in included: Medical Lake Friends for Children, Medical Lake Dollars for Scholars and Medical Lake High School Booster Club.

Jorgie was also a volunteer firefighter and fire chief with the Medical Lake Fire Department. In 2007, the West Plains Chamber of Commerce honored Jorgie with the Medical Lake Community Award.

He loved to travel to North Dakota every summer to visit family. Many of those trips were with his brother, Lyle.

During Jorgie's travels to Washington, D.C. in his AFSCME role, he read Western novels. Jorgie was a collector of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and devoted a room in his home where he could display those cars.

Jorgie also loved to spend his time playing cards with his family and out at the casino. He also enjoyed watching Western movies, the Seattle Mariners and C-SPAN. He also enjoyed putting a puzzle together.

Jorgie was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Clayton Jorgenson. He is survived by his wife, Marye Jorgenson of Medical Lake; his son, David (Becky) Jorgenson of Medical Lake; his daughter, Judy Calvert of Cheney; stepdaughter Meaghan (Aaron) Rasmussen of Spokane; stepson, Donovan Cathey of Olympia, Wash.; grandchildren, Josh Calvert of Olympia, Wash., Anthony (Jamie) Jorgenson of Spokane; Michael Calvert of Cheney; Henry Rasmussen of Spokane; sister, Lila (Duane) Mattern of Monroe, Wash., and brother, Lyle Jorgenson of Thousand Palms, Calif.

Howard's family would like to send a special thanks to the staff at Sacred Heart Medical Center, Cheney Care

Center and the hospice staff at Gentiva. A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 1 p.m. at the Medical Lake High School gym, 200 E. Barker St. A reception will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to: Medical Lake Dollars for Scholars, Medical Lake Friends for Children or Medical Lake High School Booster Club. Donations can be sent to: Marye Jorgenson P.O. Box 1024 Medical Lake, WA 99022.

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Original Publication Date: May 12, 2016

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