Regional community mourns loss of local historian, former West Linn mayor

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After serving West Linn and the broader Clackamas County community for nearly 50 years, former West Linn Mayor Larry McIntyre died Wednesday, Jan. 17 of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 81 years old.

McIntyre, who served as mayor from 1983-1986, was a stalwart of the local historical community having worked with the West Linn Historical Society, Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation and Clackamas County Historical Society. He was famous for portraying Robert Moore, the founder of Linn City (which later became West Linn), in historical reenactments.

“Always a man of action, he worked tirelessly on everything he set his hands and mind to and I am pretty sure he inherited the Gaelic storytelling gene that brought us all closer to Robert Moore,” West Linn Historical Society co-President Beth Smolens said. “We were truly blessed with this romantic, gentle giant, whose love of tradition and history made an indelible contribution to the betterment of all that is West Linn.”

Roger Shepherd, the other presidential half of the West Linn Historical Society, said McIntyre was the first recipient of the society’s John Klatt Award in 2022. The award is given to a group or individual for their significant contributions to celebrating and preserving the history of West Linn. He also won West Linn’s Robert Moore award for community service in 2017.

“We will miss his positive personality and his insight into West Linn’s past,” Shepherd said.

McIntyre moved to West Linn’s Bolton area in 1975 and quickly became involved with the city, joining first the planning commission, then City Council in 1979, before eventually winning the mayoral election.

“Larry was a mentor of mine and so many others: an example of integrity, unselfish service and barrels of fun,” former Oregon City Mayor Alice Norris said. “We worked together on the Oregon Trail Pageant, many community events and finally I had the pleasure of joining two other mayors (Doug Neeley and McIntyre) in a fun presentation Larry wrote for Dr. John McLoughlin and Robert Moore.”

Current Oregon City Mayor Denyse McGriff called McIntyre’s death a “loss for the community and everyone.”

McIntyre’s mayoral predecessor Alan Brickley, who served as mayor during McIntyre’s time as a councilor, said it was a privilege to serve with him.

“I considered him a friend. In addition he was a creative, thoughtful and hardworking member of the City Council,” Brickley said. “He cared for the city and the people who lived in it.”

McIntyre was active in more than local politics. For many years he was an integral part of the West Linn Old Time Fair, serving on the fair board and acting as emcee during the fair court coronation ceremony.

He was also a docent, or volunteer teacher, at the Museum of Oregon Territory in Oregon City and worked with Rivers of Life, a nonprofit in Clackamas County that trains at-risk youth to become stewards of the environment. McIntyre founded the organization’s first-in-the-nation polystyrene recycling program.

“(McIntyre was) an incredible leader of community events, both in Oregon City and West Linn, and a person who worked with our youth in our tourism guiding and hospitality program,” Rivers of Life President Jerry Herrmann said.


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