Ellis E. Pickering

Army engineerCol. Ellis E. Pickering, U.S. Army Retired, 86, died Tuesday, Aug. 12 of complications from kidney cancer at his home in Palm Desert, Calif.

Col. Pickering was born in Brighton, Tillamook County, to Blanche and Earl Pickering and grew up on a farm on U.S. Highway 101 outside of Seaside. He graduated from Astoria High School in 1934 and received a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University in 1940, after which he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

He had a distinguished career in the Army, which included service in World War II, in which he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in Italy. He also served in the Korean War as the supervisor of construction of Iranian military bases on the Iraq border. He supervised construction of 250 Minuteman missile silos in Wyoming and the surrounding states, and was chief engineer of the Panama Canal. He retired from the Army in 1966.

Col. Pickering was actively interested in the history of Clatsop County. He contributed several articles to Cumtux, the Clatsop County Historical Society's quarterly magazine.

Col. Pickering is survived by his wife, Norma, of Palm Desert; a son, Jim Pickering of Arroyo Grande, Calif.; two daughters, Celeste Tracy and Lisa Pickering. both of Seattle; a sister, Marjorie Foreman of Portland; and six grandchildren.

Interment was Aug. 19 in Riverside (Calif.) National Cemetery.

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