Roy John Alder

Roy John Alder

Harbor, Oregon resident, Roy John Alder was a beloved partner, dad, and friend.  He passed away unexpectedly on August 17, 2021 at the age of 86.

Born and raised in San Francisco, the city provided the backdrop for his enduring ability to connect with people and make life-long friends.  One of his fondest memories as a child was walking across the Golden Gate Bridge on opening day May 27, 1937.

After graduating from Poly Tech High School Roy joined the U.S. Navy for two years.  You know the old saying, "Join the Navy and see the world,” well that statement held true for Roy. He often talked about all the places and wonderful people he met during his tour. After leaving the Navy, Roy, being an artist and wanting to perfect his skills, enrolled at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.  He returned to San Francisco two years later and worked in the financial district as a private contractor.  One of Roy’s best friends working on Treasure Island called and offered him a job as a private contractor for the Navy in Oxnard, California, where he worked for twenty years before retiring in 1988.

Roy decided he needed a new beginning and packed up and relocated to Minden, Nevada as a retiree, but that didn't last long.  Roy soon earned his real estate license and began a new career.  Because he was a believer in service to his community, he was a proud member of Sertoma and later in life the Brookings Elks Lodge. He loved living in Minden and on Friday summer nights he would have what he called his “Gutter Parties.”  These were so much fun!  Roy would hoist his garage door up and wait for all his neighbors to come home from work, offering them cocktails and snacks to celebrate the end of their work week.

Roy also loved just getting in his Jeep and hitting the open road in Nevada and making little stops to meet and talk with people.  With his uncanny gift as an artist, he would make memorable and unique sketches on the backs of cocktail napkins which in most cases got him free drinks.  Roy never knew a stranger. On one occasion he invited two pilots visiting from Hungary to stay with him while they were attending an air event at the Minden Airport.

Fortune struck once more when Roy met Jan Cessna, who was just getting ready to move from Minden to Reno for a job opportunity.  This is when life changed yet again and after two years Roy decided they both needed a new adventure.  This time it was searching the Great State of Oregon for a new place to live.  They landed in Harbor, bought a beautiful home, and the rest they say is history.  Roy's goal for his remaining years was to return to the ocean that he loved so much and with Jan at his side, his dream came true.

One of the most unique things about Roy was, as a graphic artist, he had an extraordinary sense of humor. He would often do original hand-designed cards for friends and family which always included imaginative puns.  Roy was indeed noted for his witty and dry sense of humor and many of these pieces are still treasured and displayed in the homes of friends.

 Roy has two daughters whom he took great pride in, Sierra and Amber. The joyful memories they made include creating the world’s best ice cream sundaes, going to “beanie weenie” BBQs at the naval base with their cousins always in tow, and spending a fun-filled day at a park.  Roy was also a dedicated son to his ma, Lila.  They were a dynamic duo and he included her in his adventures.  Memorably the two of them could frequently be found happily sharing a beer or two!  He also loved every kind of critter.  One of his later passions was feeding and watching the great variety of local wild birds that visited his backyard.  And most important, Charlie the poodle became his constant companion and favorite napping partner.

His family history comes from Finland and he took considerable jubilation in being a Finlander.  He pulled strength from his heritage and not only survived a heart attack in 2017, but came back stronger than ever walking 25 miles a week and changing to a vegetarian diet, adding years, happiness, and vitality to his life.

Roy is survived by his partner Janyce Cessna, daughter Sierra Alder, daughter and son-in-law Amber and Jarrett Virkler and granddaughter Megan.

Roy liked to call himself a "Gregarious Loner.”  We like to call him a creative and much beloved man who will be missed beyond words.  In lieu of fresh flowers please make donations to your favorite charities.

To plant a tree in memory of Roy Alder as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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