Leroy Everette Orton was born October 4, 1940 in Albany, OR the youngest child of Ralph & Irene Orton. His childhood years were spent in Alsea, OR and Seal Rock on the Oregon coast. While still in high school, his family moved to a cattle ranch in the Langell Valley east of Klamath Falls. In 1959 he graduated from Bonanza High School.
Leroy met Sybil Hamilton of Ashland, OR in the fall of 1961, and they were married the next summer on June 30, 1962. At that time, Leroy was working for Weyerhaeuser Company in Klamath Falls as a shipping clerk. The following year they moved to Albany where Leroy began doing construction work. For the next few years he worked for Buerge Construction, a commercial builder, first as a laborer and then a journeyman carpenter. It was during that time that he was introduced to concrete work, which was to become his lifelong career. In 1970 he ventured out and started his own concrete business. Over the years he owned other types of businesses – a lumberyard, a retail discount store, a manufactured stone dealership – but concrete was his expertise and he always returned to it.
Leroy and his family lived in several different cities: from the Albany area to Medford, on to Coeur d’Alene, ID and finally in 1987 he settled in Grants Pass. In 2004 he built a vacation home in Bandon with the intention of retiring, but in no time at all he was back doing concrete work there also. For the next few years he poured concrete during the week in Bandon and spent weekends at home in Grants Pass. He truly enjoyed his work and continued pouring concrete until his health forced him to quit in 2014.
Leroy loved giving and helping those in need. He was a mentor to many men, especially those who worked for him. He encouraged and freely shared his wisdom and knowledge. As a result a large number of his employees, his friends, and his own sons were inspired to start their own contracting businesses.
He was always involved in church wherever he lived. He served on the board of several of those churches and he was always quick to volunteer for mission projects, using his concrete skills for the benefit of those less fortunate – in our country, and also in Mexico, Colombia, and Romania. He was a member of Parkway Christian Center and the Home Builders Association of Josephine County both in Grants Pass.
He was an avid hunter. The highlight of his year was his elk hunting trip to Eastern Oregon. He greatly enjoyed fishing and fellowshipping with his hunting buddies.
Leroy was not one to show his emotions outwardly, but he deeply loved and cared for his family. He is survived by his wife Sybil of Grants Pass; sons, Mike (Becky) Orton of Grants Pass, Steve Orton of Bandon and Brad Orton of Grants Pass; daughter, Deanna (Bryan) Bassett of Denver, Colorado; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and his brother George Orton of Sandpoint, ID. He was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Irene Orton and his sister Jean Orton Buerge.
A memorial service will be at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, August 1, 2015 at Parkway Christian Center with Pastor Dennis Webber officiating. Private inurnment will be at Hawthorne Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Parkway Christian Center Missions Projects, 229 NE Beacon Drive, Grants Pass, Oregon 97526.