Feb. 20, 1932-March 20, 2013
Merle Harold Maine, 81 of Ontario, Oregon passed away Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at Saint Alphonsus Hospital, Ontario.
Merle was born February 20, 1932 in Eugene, Oregon, the only child of Harold and Violet Maine. At the age of 11 in the spring of 1943 Merle moved from the Willamette Valley (Scio), to a farm his parents purchased outside of Vale.
Merle attended Vale High School until his junior year, when his parents moved from Vale to Butler Rd., Ontario. He graduated from Ontario High in 1950. After graduation, Merle took the ONLY paycheck job working in the Cascade Mountains as a choker with a lumber company.
Returning home to Ontario, he met and married a neighbor girl, Betty Jo Maus, May 1, 1952. They resided for several years near the Malheur Butte before moving to the Hyline Road area, known as the “Slope” of Ontario. They had 4 children, a son and 3 daughters. Merle immediately after getting married became an Independent Operator, he borrowed some money from Betty’s father to buy his first rock crusher. Over the next 10 years Merle diversified into land leveling and deep plowing through out the Treasure Valley. Merle won an Agricultural Award in 1969 after building a 6 foot depth plow. In 1980 he continued to diversify even further when he was approached to purchase a failing business. The company was auctioned off in pieces. Merle loved an auction. After purchasing pieces and parts, he reassembled the business into what people came to know as Ontario Asphalt and Concrete INC. Merle acquired other companies, Oregon Concrete Inc, Nyssa, OR.- Blankinships Auto Parts- Ontario - Merle Maine Enterprises, Ontario - Ontario Aviation. Some of the projects he was involved in included - Exit 3 Rest Area, City of Payette main street reconstruction, 3 Hells Canyon Idaho Power Park, Eagle Picher Mining, Inter and Outside construction of road for The Snake River Correction Institution, Ontario Airport Runways and Highway 95 reconstruction from Payette to Weiser.
Merle divorced in 1992 and re-married Arleta Priest on January 7, 2000, Art lived many years in Ontario before moving to Portland.
Merle’s love was flying. Over the past 40 years, Merle acquired many planes which have been displayed at the Ontario Airport as well at the Ontario Air Faire. Google Merle Maine Warbirds.
Merle would want to express his gratitude and appreciation to the many employees that have worked for him for the past 50 years and helped make his life to be a success.
He is survived by his Wife - Arleta Maine, Ontario; Son- Steve Maine, Ontario; Daughters - Sherry Kelner, Payette; Lynne Renee Maine, Utah; Lori Maine, Portland. 5 Grandchildren, Elliot Hatt, Michael Hatt, Cassie Cook, Michele Sprouffske, Cody Maine, and 8 Great Grandchildren, his Aunt Evelyn, and cousins- Kay Carter, Emelene & John Maine.
Services will held Thursday, March 28th at 1:00 p.m. at the Four Rivers Cultural Center & Museum, 676 SW 5th Ave., Ontario, OR. Condolences can be made to the family at www.lienkaemperthomason.com