Douglas James Goertzen, Sr.

Douglas James Goertzen, Sr., died May 27, 2022, at the age of 85. He was born on Valentine’s Day, 1937, to Otto and Theresa (Tackett) Goertzen in Vernonia. When Doug was young, the family moved to Clatskanie, where they owned the town bowling alley.

Doug lived the life of a small-town boy, graduating from Clatskanie High. He played football, created life-long friendships, worked summers on local farms, and, of course, he set pins for the family bowling alley. (No automation back then!) After high school, he joined a friend in northern California to work in a logging camp, until the big flood of 1955 put him out of a job. He then joined the Navy in 1956, based in San Diego, where he was stationed on the U.S.S. Comstock. Visiting small islands and ports in other parts of the world was very different from his small-town upbringing. He was very proud of his service.

While on leave from the Navy, he attended a dance at the Quincy Grange, where he met wife-to-be Alta Vlastelicia from the even smaller town of Knappa. They were married in Astoria 63 years ago. Doug and Alta began their life together in San Diego, and upon his honorable discharge in 1959, they moved to Portland, where they started a family and Doug began his career as a truck driver with IML and then CF.

In 1962, they moved out to the country in Scappoose, where they raised three kids, some cows and chickens, and a few dogs.

Upon his retirement, never one to sit still, Doug started a Christmas tree farm on their property. Of course, he always found time to meet friends down at Ichabod’s every day, too.

Doug’s favorite pastimes were camping and fishing all over Oregon, especially fly fishing at his slice of heaven on the Metolius River. Thoreau said, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” We think Doug knew.

Doug was predeceased by his son Doug, Jr. in 2018 and his brother Bud (Alfred).

He is survived by his wife Alta; daughter Lisa; daughter Mary (Gary); grandchildren, Nick (Brittany), Zoe (Zacc), and Zak (Makayla); great-granddaughters, Rhylind and Audrie; as well as many nieces and nephews; and wonderful neighbors and friends.

Services will be at 11 a.m. on Fri., June 17, 2022 at St. Wenceslaus Parish. Reception immediately following at the Parish Hall next door. Please sign our online guestbook at

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