Lifelong Washougal resident to celebrate 100th birthday

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photoVernon M. Campen

A lifelong resident of Washougal, Vernon M. Campen, will celebrate his 100th birthday Saturday, Sept. 22.

After Campen graduated from Washougal High School in 1931, one of his first jobs was working in the Vancouver prune packing plant. That was where he met his future wife, Helen Newby. They married on Feb. 15, 1936. He said she married him for his money because at the prune plant he made 35 cents an hour and she only made 25 cents. They were married for 68 years before she died in June 2004.

He worked at several other places during his life including the Kaiser shipyards and three different stints at the Pendleton Woolen Mill. In 1945 he bought a farm east of Washougal and ran a dairy until it burned down in 1956. He rebuilt the farm in 1958 continued in the dairy business until he sold it in 1965.

He and his wife liked to travel and visited all 50 states and had been to Europe and Africa.

He has a daughter, Norene Hohensee, who lives in Oregon City, Ore., and a son, Lowell, who lives in Washougal. A son, Gary, was killed in Vietnam in 1968. He also has 11 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

On Saturday there will be a family-only birthday gathering and an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 at Bethel Community Church, 1438 B St., Washougal.