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Gregg Radford

November 2, 1957-June 22, 2014


Radford

Gregg Radford was a jogger, but no one ever saw him move at other than a slow and deliberate pace.

Radford, who died Sunday morning, June 22, at the age of 57 from stomach cancer, was The Outlook press jogger.

A celebration of life will be held for him at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 29, at Paola’s, 38015 Highway 26, in Sandy.

As a jogger, Gregg was the fellow who received stacks of freshly printed material off the press, wrapped them, strapped them, put them on the pallets and made sure they went where they were supposed to go. It was a solitary job, with the roar of the press in the background, and could have been done without speaking a word. But that was not Gregg.

“Gregg with three g’s,” he liked to point out. A master of the droll and witty observation, he had what reporter Rob Cullivan described as an “understated take on life.”

Gregg was “funny, sincere and big hearted,” says Don Atwell, the Outlook general manager.

So it was that between press runs Gregg would put his hands in the pockets of his ink-stained blue work clothes and slink, stoop-shouldered, through the building to see how the rest of the newspaper was faring. Though he worked at the tail end of the product, he knew how the front end worked. One minute he wasn’t there. The next he would be standing silently, reading an old Outlook over your shoulder, happily picking out news items of a community where he grew up: Orient Grade School, Sam Barlow High School and Carpenter Lane, where three generations of his family lived. Names he knew. And because he was a reader, he knew many names. He was sharp-eyed and loved nothing more, working at the back of the shop, than to a find a mistake we made at the front of the shop.

Radford and Nesbit, two longtime Outlook employees and friends.

A couple years ago, when an injury put him on light duty, he worked at the reception desk. At year-end, when someone was needed to go through the obituaries listing prominent residents who had died, Gregg took on the task. His news savvy and wide knowledge of the community would have made him a fine reporter. “He was good at his job, and it’s really all he ever wanted to do. He had been doing it — literally — for decades,” said Atwell. Gregg started work at The Outlook in 1980, worked about six years in Camas, Wash., when The Outlook’s press operation was shut down, and came “home” in 2005. Stricken with stomach problems about three months ago, his goal was to recover sufficiently to return to work.

When he learned of his fatal illness, Gregg asked his doctor if the cancer was caused by smoking and drinking. No, the doctor said, telling Gregg he was the unluckiest guy in the world. “Then,” Gregg said, “you can tell the Surgeon General to kiss my ass.”

After work, Gregg took his dry wit and easy companionship and went off to one of a few favorite taverns where he had a host of friends who became family. He was a regular at LT’s in Gresham, and at Paola’s in Sandy. His last birthday was celebrated at Paola’s and included a cake entirely coated in Hershey bars.

Never much interested in driving, Gregg preferred beer to the automobile, and walked, rode the bus or hitched a ride with a friend or his companion, Nancy Amonson of Sandy.

One night, walking to the home he shared with Nancy for the last 12 years, he was stopped by a Sandy cop who asked for identification and asked Gregg to turn out his pockets. Gregg obliged, producing a Hershey chocolate bar from one pocket, another chocolate bar from his jacket and finally, a last candy bar from a third pocket. “OK, Candyman,” the cop laughed. “Get on home.” Gregg would share his chocolate. If he had an extra dollar, he would buy you a candy bar of your own.

He once owned a cat so ill-tempered that some nights Gregg had to fight his way into his own apartment. He was proud of that cat. He liked to watch football and enjoyed playing pool and darts.

He grew up as a military kid, born in Great Falls, Mont., on Nov. 2, 1957, where his father was in the Air Force. His parents, Ed and Ramona (Goger) Radford, moved to New Jersey and to Alaska, where Gregg attended schools.

After his parents divorced, his mother returned to Oregon and the Lusted area, where he went to Orient Grade school, graduating from Sam Barlow High School.

A sister died when young. His brother, Keith, died in 2007 and his mother is deceased. He is survived by his father and Nancy Amonson.

He was cremated. Gresham Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.