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In Memoriam: Herbert Merlin Lay (Jan. 4, 1934 – Feb. 29, 2023)

Herbert M Lay

Herbert Merlin Lay, 89, passed away Feb. 28, 2023 at his home in Mount Angel, Oregon, surrounded by his family.

Born in Albany, California in 1934, Herb spent his early life in California where he worked at several state hospitals and the California Department of Corrections, becoming Lieutenant of the Conservation Camp at Slack Canyon, in Monterey County before moving to Oregon. 

He married Bessie (Bee) Strand of Silverton in 1953. Their four children, Steve, Mark, Kathie, and Jonathan were born in Northern California. The family moved to Silverton in 1969, when Herb accepted a position as a correctional counselor at the Oregon State Penitentiary. In 1971 he joined the staff at MacLaren School for Boys in Woodburn as a Program Executive, later becoming an Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of both MacLaren and the Hillcrest School for Girls in Salem. In 1996, Herb retired after 27 years with the Oregon Youth Authority.

Herb and Bee lived for 52 years in Silverton before moving to Mount Angel Towers in 2021. After retirement, Herb  and Bee enjoyed traveling and served as Oregon State Park hosts at various campgrounds and historic sites.  In Silverton, Herb and Bee are members of Silver Creek Fellowship and Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Herb is survived by his wife Bee; their children, Steve Lay (Julie) of Terrebonne,  Mark Lay (Karla) of Scotts Mills, Kathie Enstad (Pete) of Scotts Mills, and Jonathan Lay (Julie) of Beaverton; 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren; and his brother, George Lay, and sister, Connie Elmore, both of Meadow Vista, California.

A visitation at Unger Funeral Chapel, Silverton was held on March 3, followed by a memorial service on March 4 at Silver Creek Fellowship. Arrangements by Unger Funeral Chapel – Silverton. 

If you would like to make a gift in Herb’s memory, please consider a donation through Silver Creek Fellowship to Mission of Hope, a mobile food bank and food pantry serving Silverton and Southeast Salem.

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