Stuart Durkheimer (1921-2009)

Stuart Durkheimer was the second son of Sylvan and Dorothy Durkheimer. His paternal grandfather had come from Bavaria in the mid-19th century and was one of the early Jewish pioneers in Oregon. Stuart and his siblings, James, Marian (Jaffe) and Eloise (Spiegel) grew up in Northwest Portland and attended Chapman Elementary and Lincoln High School. The family spent summers at Seaview, Washington and they were lifelong members of Congregation Beth Israel.

He graduated from Stanford University in 1942, and being unable to serve in the military during the Second World War because of poor eyesight, he instead began his career in the grocery business, eventually becoming president and CEO of Wadhams & Company. Following the sale of Wadhams, Stuart served as president/CEO of Coast and General Distributors. 

The Boy Scouts greatly influenced Stuart's life and as an Eagle Scout he traveled to Europe for the World Jamboree in 1937. As a young adult he became the leader of troop 69. He also served on the boards of numerous organizations in the community including The Oregon Symphony, Oregon Jewish Community Foundation, Robison Board, Friendly-Rosenthal Foundation, Jewish Federation, and was president of Temple Beth Israel and founding president of the Oregon Jewish Committee. He was a member of the Multnomah Athletic Club, Tualatin Country Club, Astoria Country Club and Congregation Beth Israel. He was also a Little League baseball coach at Wallace Park. 

Stuart married Leah Kinspel in 1943, and they had Barbara (m. Gary Larsen), Alan, and Julie (m. Mark Dohrmann). They had a second home at Arch Cape, Oregon, where they spent summers with their children entertaining. After Leah’s death in 2000, Stuart had a long relationship with Rosemarie Rosenfeld.

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