Harry Bodine Jr. (1932-2024)

Harry Bodine Jr

Harry Evans Bodine Jr. died April 21, 2024 in Portland. He was born Sept. 12, 1932 in Houston, TX, the son of Harry and Ann Bodine. He was raised in Dallas, TX and Glendale, MO. Following graduation from Kirkwood, MO High School, he obtained a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri. Following graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Army’s Field Artillery, based in Fort Sill, OK, Fort Riley, KS and Aschaffenburg, Germany.

Harry Bodine Jr

Harry began a 42-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor in 1956 starting at the Roseburg OR News-Review. He later edited the Ontario, OR Argus Observer and returned to Roseburg as city editor. His longest day in the news business came in 1959 when a truck loaded with dynamite and fertilizer exploded in downtown Roseburg, killing 14 people and leveling 10 city blocks.

In 1964, Harry left newspapering briefly, managing a Congressional candidate’s primary campaign in Idaho’s 2nd District. When his candidate lost, he and his wife Winona moved to Portland, launching a 33-year career at The Oregonian and a 58-year residency in Cedar Hills. They became staples in their community at their church, Murray Hills Christian, as well as volunteering at the Cedar Mill library.

At The Oregonian, Harry had his dream job covering state and national politics from 1967 to 1975, interviewing five U.S. Presidents, candidates who canvassed Oregon in Presidential primaries, and attending national governors’ conferences. In his last decade at The Oregonian, he covered local governments in Washington County.

In retirement, Harry served on the board of the Cedar Mill Community Library Association and was board president when the library added the addition in 2000-01. From 2002-2020 he was part of the leadership of People for Libraries, advocating voter approval of county-wide property tax levies to finance library services. The record: 5 wins, 1 loss.

Washington County awarded Harry its Distinguished Service Award in 1986, the first individual so honored, and the Oregon Library Association’s Volunteer of the Year award for his work on library levy campaigns in Washington County.

Harry and Winona had two sons. He is survived by their son, Stephen (Steve), his wife Melissa Ann Fischer (Mitzi) and one granddaughter, U.S. Air Force 2nd. Lt. Windra Bodine. A Celebration of Life for both Harry and Winona, who passed away on February 28, 2023, will be held on May 4 at 11am at Murray Hills Christian Church.