Lee Hunsaker, former Machinists rep, 1923-2011

Lee Hunsaker, a former business representative and 69-year member of the Machinists Union, died Nov. 11 of age-related causes. He was 88.

Lee G. Hunsaker was born March 28, 1923, in Dillon, Mont., to Isaac and Laura Griffith Hunsaker. He married Margaret “Mickey” Mickelson on Nov. 20, 1942, in Eugene.

Hunsaker began his career as an apprentice saw-maker at Spear & Jackson, Inc., the charter shop of Machinists Paradise Lodge No. 1311 in Eugene. The shop made circular saws and bandsaws for mills. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he returned to Spear & Jackson to complete his apprenticeship.

He worked as a journeyman sawmaker until he was elected business representative for Santiam District Lodge 163, which was comprised of Machinists locals in Cottage Grove, Eugene, Corvallis, and Salem.

After District 163 was merged with District Lodge 24, Hunsaker continued as a business rep until his retirement in 1978.

Hunsaker held several offices in Lodge 1311. He also held delegate positions to the Lane County Labor Council, the Linn-Benton-Lincoln Labor Council, the Oregon Machinists Council, and the Oregon AFL-CIO during his career.

In recent years, Lodge 1311 was merged into Lodge 1432. Hunsaker was a member of Lodge 1432 at the time of his death.

Hunsaker is survived by his wife; a son, Richard of Springfield; a daughter, Nancy Van Buskirk of Eugene; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Nov. 17 at Lane Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home in Eugene.

The family asks that remembrances go to the Lane County chapter of the American Red Cross.

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