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Gordon E. Bjork

 

Born February 23, 1911; Married April 21,1934 (Florence E. Bloomberg, d. Feb 1977);
Married July 15, 1975 (Elizabeth Anderson Neslund, d. Nov 2004); Died May 13, 1990

Children: Gordon Carl Bjork, Dec. 15, 1935; Lyle Helmer Bjork, Dec. 5, 1940;
Priscilla Jane Bjork Orr, Oct. 26, 1943

 

In 1911, when Tukwila was only a whistle stop on the electric
interurban line, having no highway through it, not even a gas station,
Gordon was born, weighing more than 12 lbs., a breech birth.  This happened
at a little house on the hill above the tracks.  I don't know when and
how the doctor got there but he told my dad, "The boy won't make it, but
I hope I can save your wife.  That was 73 years ago.  Mother died at
age 66.  Eugene was born there in 1909.  We moved to Ballard, also a
suburb of Seattle, in 1914.  We lived at the other end of the block from
the grade school I attended.  I would have graduated from there in mid-year
1924, so a group of us took six weeks of summer school across town, and
graduated in June 1923 from Salmon Bay School.  High school was three
blocks away and an uneventful four-year drudge.  About the only highlight
of that four years was in my senior year.  I had a part in an operetta,
through which enjoyed a brief moment of notoriety.  I graduated in
June 1927 as class "nutty-victorian."  50 years later I enjoyed an evening
of class reunion, which proved that everybody else looks older.  I had
no college education except the college of hard knocks during the Depression
years, learning the trade of salesman which I have followed ever since,
and am still doing today 60 years later.  Some of the things I have sold,
listed somewhat in order, are: door to door magazines, newspaper subscriptions,
a document delivery service in Portland, over the counter groceries,
AAA memberships and auto insurance, candy wholesale and retail, work gloves,
nylon hosiery, phonograph records, Amana refrigerators and air conditioners,
Magnus organs, vacuum cleaner bags, Melmac dinnerware, transistor radios,
plastic pipe and plumbing parts, and, for the last 16 years, Bell carillons,
stained glass windows and Malmark handbells.  During the years 1972 to 1975
I also sold music systems to funeral homes in six states.

 

I married Florence Bloomberg in April 1934.  We had a very happy life
together raising three children.  After Florence's death, Beth and I were
married July 15, 1975.

 

Our oldest child, Gordon Carl (Skip) was born in December 1935.  He
made his way through all the steps of education including Dartmouth,
Oxford and Ph.D. at Univ. of Washington.  He has been teaching in colleges
since 1960.  He was president of Linfield College for six years.  He has
four children, the oldest two of whom are in college at Dartmouth and Grinnell.

 

Lyle Helmer was born December 1940.  He went to college at Dartmouth
and has a Masters degree from Reed College.  He was a high school teacher
for ten years and spent two years with the Peace Corps in Turkey.  Frustrated
with the school hierarchy he took a leave of absence from teaching five
years ago and went into real estate.  He was successful and is well established
in an old firm in Seattle. He and his wife, Anne, have two children, a boy,
Brick, and a girl, Rachel, both in high school or nearly so.

 

Priscilla Jane was born in October 1943, was educated to be a teacher,
and graduated as Mrs. Stanley Orr in 1964.  Her teaching has been restricted
to Sunday school and raising a busy family of two boys and one girl. She
helped with so many church meals that she eventually became church cook,
preparing an average of two meals a week for from 100 to 250 people. She
is now a locally recognized expert in this field and is called on to
conduct seminars and workshops.

 

- Gordon B. Bjork



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