Virgil Lester DeHaan

Virgil Lester DeHaan
Date Of Birth: 12/28/1924
Date of Death: 03/08/2021

Virgil Lester DeHaan was born in Portland, Oregon on December 28, 1924 to John Rudolph DeHaan Sr. and Effie Marie (Davis) DeHaan. The oldest of six children, he spent his early years growing up in Garden Home where he attended McKay School. In early 1943, he was drafted into the United States Army, but mumps delayed boot camp until late spring. He trained at Camp Abbot—now Sunriver—to serve in the 27th Infantry’s 152nd Combat Engineers. After boot camp, he trained for jungle warfare in the Hawaiian Islands. In November 1943, he shipped out to the Gilbert Islands where he received a bronze arrowhead and a bronze star for the Battle of Makin Atoll. He also earned bronze stars for the Battles of
Saipan and Okinawa. Before arriving home in December 1945, he served in New Guinea and Korea.

Preceding and following the war, Virgil worked for Northwest Natural Gas, formerly known as Portland Gas and Coke. He worked as a pipe welder for most of his career. He retired after over forty years of service and was one of the fortunate ones to enjoy retirement for thirty-four years.

In early 1954, Virgil was introduced to Iona Marie Rothrock, who later became his wife on August 15 of that year. Within eleven years, Virgil and Iona had three children: Elaine, Duane, and Jeanine. For many years, Virgil kept an immaculate yard, which some compared to a golf course. Each spring, he planted a robust garden. The winter months kept him busy in his
workshop where he made furniture, clocks, and even dabbled in carving.

In 2018, Virgil moved to Hearthstone of Beaverton where he made friends with the many wonderful people there. Hearthstone soon became home, the place he preferred to be. The family thanks the staff and ownership for their love and care these last three years. Many thanks, also, to Traditions Healthcare for managing his care the last two weeks of his life.

Virgil is survived by his children Elaine Mallett and her sweetheart Dave Yuschat of Hillsboro; Duane DeHaan and his wife Laurie of Rigby, Idaho; and Jeanine Stewart and her husband Richard of Winnsboro, Texas. He’s also survived by his grandson Brian Mallett and his wife Micaela of Bonney Lake, Washington; grandson Kevin DeHaan of Rigby, Idaho; sister Pat
Eggers of Corvallis; brother David DeHaan and his wife Joanne of Beaverton; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife Iona; parents John and Effie DeHaan; brothers Alvie and John DeHaan; and sister Ann Cassidy.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Disabled American Veterans at

Many thanks to Springer and Son in Aloha for their assistance.

7 Responses to “Virgil Lester DeHaan”

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  1. Virgil was an underwater diver providing welding repairs to naval ships in the Pacific Theater of Operation during WWII.Hooah, and farewell to a true Patriot of the Greatest Generation of Americans. You have my greatest respect and love.

  2. Becky Terrell says:

    Wow, such a True Patriot! Prayers for you all as you grieve the loss of your father, brother, and such a Patriot!

  3. catherine says:

    I am very honored you welcomed me in the warm atmosphere of your Portland house , together with Jeanine, my wonderful and caring friend, to spend a lovely Christmas day, when, as a student, I was so far from my French home. You made me feel home, and I will be forever grateful.

    With love and prayers, I wish to thank you,


  4. Robbie Roberts says:

    God Bless you, sir, Rest In Peace after a wonderful life.

  5. Les Peterson says:

    Had the pleasure of working with Virgil at NWG, Actually he was one of the first people I work with, One day it was a rainy nasty day he was sitting in the crew truck, I got done doing what I had to do, I got in the back where the new people had to sit and I asked him Virgil what are you doing, he gently turned around and he said, “I’m sitting and looking out staying warm and dry”. What a gentle soul. Definitely one of the good guys.

  6. Todd Jones says:

    Virgil was the welder when I started working in the field in 1979, and I was a green hat helper. He helped me out and directed me in such a kind manner that he made my transition into an occupation that I really knew nothing about so much easier. I’ve never worked with anybody as kind and considerate as Virgil. God bless that wonderful man.
    Todd Jones

  7. Suzanne Zimmerman says:

    I had the honor of know Virgil after he moved to Hearthstone. What a kind and gentle man. Oh, and a gentleman too. I’ll always remember his laugh, his Christmas cactus that he planted from one cutting, his kindness to other residents, his smile. He enjoyed music and didn’t miss the opportunity to hear entertainers. Now, he didn’t go in to the activity room, but he sat in one of the brown chairs outside the room with a big smile on his face. He enjoyed his family’s visits so much and Elaine and Dave brought so much joy to Virgil and others in the building when they came to visit. Virgil is missed and I like to think Walt is coming to visit him now in Heaven.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

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