Virgil Ehlers, 76, of Shady Cove, Ore. passed away peacefully September 28, 2016 at his home. He was born April 29, 1940 the youngest of two children to Henry and Lois Ehlers in Schuyler, Neb.
His father, Henry Ehlers and brother, Alan Ehlers were tragically killed in an oil truck accident in 1942. His mother, Lois later married Ray Bottorff who had a daughter, Rita; together they had a son, Jim Bottorff and became a loving family. The whole Bottorff family loved and accepted Virgil as their own, and he cherished them as well.
Virgil joined the United States Army where he spent time as a paratrooper after graduating high school in Temple City, Calif. After returning to Blue River, Ore, Virgil met Ardis Ehlers and the two were married in 1965. They had two sons, Mark and Rick. Virgil was a locomotive engineer for the Southern Pacific Railroad, his route was Ashland to Eugene and he remained friends with many of his co-workers.
Virgil lived on the river and was a 33-year resident of Shady Cove. Many good times were had by all at Virgil's Boil Hole. He spent time enjoying metal fabrication, fishing, cutting wood, riding his 1978- 1/2 Low Rider and going to bike runs. He loved going elk hunting and was always excited to go set up camp. He was known for his unique ways. He helped so many people and never wanted anything in return. He was a dedicated man to many who had the pleasure of knowing him. He was quick to lend a hand and was known for pulling people out of a ditch with his 1970 Blazer, no questions asked. He was a giving man, respected by all.
Throughout the years, Virgil had several dogs, his faithful companions. In his later years, Virgil love to spend time relaxing by the river in his hammock.
He will be dearly missed by all his family and friends; his son, Rick Ehlers; daughter-in-law, Dina Ehlers; grandson, Boston Ehlers; granddaughters, Lacy Harju and Pody Leonardo and their families; sister, Rita (Myles) Jamieson; brother, Jim Bottorff; his best friend, Ernie Petersen; and friends who became family too numerous to count. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Alan and his son, Mark.
A family gathering was held October 2, 2016 at Virgil's place. A Celebration of Life will be held during salmon season of 2017, date to be announced. Meanwhile, please visit abbeyfuneralhome.com to pay tribute to Virgil. Your memorial tributes will be appreciated.