Eldon Dwane Wait, 76, of Jewell, died Thursday, April 22, 2010, at Providence Seaside Hospital.

He was born July 15, 1933, in Eugene, to Roy Owen and Lola Reva (Eaton) Wait.

He graduated from Knappa High School in 1951.

He joined the U.S. Navy Oct. 23, 1951, and was trained and subsequently certified as an aviation aircraft mechanic. He served for four years, and received the National Defense Service Medal.

On Nov. 28, 1952, he married Lavonne Loretta (Matzner) Wait in Arizona. She survives, residing in Jewell.

Mr. Wait worked at Lektro Inc., and then at Northwest Propeller Works until he opened his own machine shop at Miles Crossing. He owned two salmon trollers and trolled for salmon in the area. He started a dairy with his son in the 1970s in the Lewis & Clark area. He moved to Jewell in 1992, when he retired.

Family members said he researched and knew more about Jewell than most people. He had a passion for local history, mushroom picking, clam digging, gardening and elk hunting.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by four sons and three daughters-in-law, Larry and Sealy Wait of Warrenton and Rob Wait, Mike and Charlene Wait and Kevin and K'Lynn Wait, all of Astoria; three daughters and sons-in-law, Debbie and Leo Ostendorf and Teresa and Mark Cochran, all of Eagle River, Alaska, and Becky and J.D. Moreland of Knappa; a sister and brother-in-law, Myrna and Harvey Clothier of Georgia; three aunts in Washington; 18 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous cousins.

A graveside memorial will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 1 at Elsie Cemetery, off U.S. Highway 26.

Caldwell's Luce-Layton Mortuary in Astoria is in charge of the arrangements. An online guest book can be signed at (www.caldwellsmortuary.com).

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