Jeffrey Dale Mailer, 73, passed away Friday, February 19 in Cottage Grove, Ore. Jeff was born May 4, 1947 to Sally Toner Mailer and James Mailer of Everett, Wash.
Jeffrey (Jeff) graduated from Kalani High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he majored in surfing. At 14 years old, he was hired by the newly built Colony Surf Hotel to paddle out every evening at dusk to light the torches on the reef. After high school, Jeff was drafted into the Army, where he was trained in the U.S. Army Aviation School and served as a helicopter crewman in the VietNam War, flying on recovery missions.
Following his discharge in 1969, Jeff settled in Cottage Grove, where his gentle soul chose an individualistic path. He was drawn to the Native American ways, resonating with their life close to nature. Multi-talented, Jeff excelled at everything he did – a master mechanic, a meticulous craftsman, an attentive gardener, a spotter for the forest service during summer fire seasons, taking calls to pick up wounded animals during the local veterinarian’s off-duty hours, a working cowboy and ranch hand, a reviewer of books, the provider of end-of-life care for his mother … the list goes on.
Jeff loved working in his woodshop, fishing, and being on horseback – trekking into the mountains or participating in the Southern Oregon Headwaters 25 cross-country race, in which he finished in the Top 10 in 1993. Thoughtful and generous, Jeff was always available to help when needed; he took care of people, touching them deeply and making lasting friendships. His twinkly warmth and humor permeated every conversation.
Jeff is survived by his loving partner, Stevie Convey of Cottage Grove; his twin sister Jo Habib of Kihei, Hawaii, and her sons Sky Olson (Faye), Joshua Olson, and Aziz Habib and daughter Leslie Johnson (Andy); his sister Cheryl Mailer of Seattle, Wash.; his brother Don and his wife DeeJay of Boise, Idaho, and their two daughters Renee DeHaas and Brandy Ragain (Casey); several great-nieces and nephews who will grow up hearing loving stories about their unique uncle Jeff; and innumerable dear friends. He will be greatly missed.
Arrangements by Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel.