Lynn Newbry to be honored in Talent Sunday

Former Oregon Gov. Vic Atiyeh won't be there in person, but he will be attending in spirit when former state Sen. Lynn Newbry is honored Sunday in Talent.

"I really admire Lynn. I'm very keen on people who paid attention to detail and worked hard for the state of Oregon," said Atiyeh, 89, who was governor from 1979-87.

"And it didn't make any difference to him whether you were a 'D' or an 'R,' " added the Republican, now retired in Portland. "That is a high mark for any legislator."

"He is a small-town boy in a sense, but a big man in the state of Oregon who has left a huge footprint," said former Ashland Mayor John Morrison.

Newbry, 88, and Charlotte, his wife of 68 years, will be honored by friends and admirers from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at the Talent Community Building, 206 E. Main St., Talent. Those attending are invited to step up to an open microphone and share their memories of the Newbrys' contributions to the region and to the state.

The event is being held now because of the former state senator's failing health, organizers said.

"We want to give the community a chance to come in and say, 'Thanks' to him and Charlotte," said Bob Casebeer, president of the Talent Historical Society, a seat that Newbry once held.

Newbry packed several careers into his busy life, from operating a packing house and orchard to serving in the Legislature and working for the timber industry, Casebeer said.

"He has done so much — I'm really amazed what he has done for the Oregon State Parks Trust," he said, noting that Talent's first park is named after Newbry. "That trust raised millions of dollars for state parks across Oregon during his tenure.

Morrison, 67, who spent the bulk of his childhood in Talent, was publishing a weekly newspaper in Talent when he came to know Newbry in the 1990s.

"I became interested in the Talent Historical Society at the time Lynn was its president," recalled Morrison who succeeded Newbry as the group's president. "I served on the board with him. I deeply admire him. He is a man of principles, well-spoken and thoughtful.

Born in Talent, Newbry is the son of Earl Newbry, who was a state legislator from 1939 to 1947 and secretary of state from 1947 to 1957. Lynn Newbry served 14 years in the state Senate.

After leaving the Legislature, he served as a director of Associated Oregon Industries, a director of the Valley of the Rogue Bank, on the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission, the State Parks 2010 Citizens Committee, the Oregon Transportation Commission and the Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Paul Fattig at 776-4496 or e-mail pfattig@mailtribune.com.

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