A memorial service for Archie Dean Rackleff Jr., 95, of Coos Bay will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, at Coos Bay Chapel, 685 Anderson Avenue in Coos Bay with Pastor Tom Stroud of Greenacres Community Church officiating.
Archie was born Aug. 26, 1924 in Marshfield, Oregon to Archie Rackleff Sr. and Eva (Truex) Rackleff. He died at home with family on Dec. 21, 2019.
His early years were lived during the Great Depression. The family hunted, fished and visited the grandparents’ homesteads in Myrtle Point and Langlois to get produce they had grown. The trips took all day and when they went to Langlois involved taking the ferry at Bandon. The family was returning from one of the trips when Bandon was burning and described having flames on both sides of the road. They managed to make it through without injury.
In his 95 years, Archie lived through many changes and was a living historian to the many changes that occurred in Coos County. He shared many of these memories with his family and friends. He was an excellent storyteller just like his father. He graduated from Marshfield High school in 1942 and immediately entered the U.S. Army, serving in World War II in Europe. He said that he never expected to make it home and he never shared many stories about his experience in the war. We were all blessed by his return. He always put family and friends first.
Although he never married, he had many children. His nieces and nephews in addition to the neighborhood kids were blessed with his humor and patience. He took them on the weekly drives he would take on the backroads of Coos County picking berries or having impromptu picnic. He worked as a mechanic at Georgia Pacific, retiring when he was 70. He was quite inventive and able to repair anything. He and a coworker invented a chip sampling device the mill had patented. He started his love working on cars as a child standing on an orchard box so he could reach the engine. This love continued all his life and he worked on friends and family’s cars in his spare time. He also enjoyed speed. He put a Cadillac motor in his 1950 Ford pickup and talked about turning the speedometer over he was going so fast. He and a friend had a roadster they raced on the weekends at the Port Orford airport, which used to have weekly races. He was an avid hunter and looked forward to yearly trips with his family and friends. They would prepare for weeks and set up a camp, which was the best part of the trip.
Although he enjoyed hunting, he also enjoyed caring for any stray animals in the neighborhood. He fed the neighborhood cats and took them in when they were too old to be outside. The world lost a special man. He was always supportive and nurturing, willing to help anyone in need. He shared his humor and kind spirit with all who were blessed with his presence.
He is survived by his nephew, Gerald Pratt and wife, Kum Yon; nieces, Cindy Pratt, Susan Russworm, Betsy Newman and husband, Mike; as well as numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
Archie was preceded in death by his parents and siblings.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com.
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