Melvin C. Berens, 78, of Beaverton, formerly of Astoria, died Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009, in Newberg.

He was born Aug. 18, 1930, in Walker, Kan., to Herman and Elizabeth (Staab) Berens. His parents preceded him in death.

In 1949, he graduated from Bethune High School in Colorado. He received a bachelor's degree in 1964, and a master's degree in 1966, from Pacific University in Forest Grove.

He married Janet Jones April 14, 1959, in Houston. She preceded him in death April 13, 1965.

In June 1966, he married Joy Davis in Hillsboro. They divorced in 1978, but remained friends until his death.

Mr. Berens was a geophysical engineer with Sinclair Oil Corp. from 1950 through 1960, first in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, later in Libya, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania. He lived in Astoria, and was a professor at Clatsop Community College, from 1966 until he retired in September 1991. He was the "Outstanding Educator of America 1972."

He was a member of the Association for Global New Thought Churches and Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics, for which he did service work from 1984 through 2006.

Family members said he enjoyed traveling the world, reading and visiting family.

He is survived by a daughter, Luana Berens of Newberg; a son and daughter-in-law, Galen Berens and Shannon Kelley of Beaverton; two grandsons, Anton Berens and Joshua Marston; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Arlene Swartz of Denver and Kathryn and George Bridwell of Moorhead, Minn.; three brothers and two sisters-in-law, Joe Berens of Bethune, Colo., Earl and Darlene Berens of Burlington, Colo., and Patrick and Genevieve Berens of Arizona; two sisters-in-law, Dawn Berens of Westmount, Ill., and Laurine Berens of Denver; ; a brother-in-law, Gene Barnes of Matteson, Ill.; and a stepson, Mike Pritchett, and his wife, Kenna Kay, of The Dalles.

He was preceded in death by four brothers, Ralph, Benno, Kenneth and Elmer "Whitey" Berens; and two sisters, Esther White and Marie Barnes.

A memorial will be held at 2 p.m. April 18 at Fir Lawn Memorial Park, 1070 W. Main St. in Hillsboro.

Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Women's Resource Center, 1010 Duane St., No. 207, Astoria, OR 97103 or Clatsop Community College Foundation, 1653 Jerome Ave., Astoria, OR 97103.

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