The Dalles businessman
Ed Urness dies
By Kathy Ursprung
The Dalles Chronicle, October 18, 2009
Longtime The Dalles
car dealer Edward Urness, 76, died Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 at Sloan Kettering
Hospital in New York City.
He and his brothers Jerry and C.R. Urness long operated Urness Motor Co.
in The Dalles, which was founded by their father C.H. Urness in 1946.
He was born at Emanuel Hospital in Portland on Aug. 14. 1933. He grew
up in Portland, attending Vernon Elementary School. The family moved to
The Dalles around 1946, when his father purchased the Studebaker franchise.
He graduated from The Dalles High School in 1952 and signed with the Boston
Red Sox organization later that year. He was one of the two Bonus
Babies signed at that time.
He played in the Red Sox farm system in Durham, N.C., the Coming Red Sox
in Coming, N.Y., and the Albany Senators in Albany, N.Y. An arm injury
ended his baseball career and he returned to The Dalles to become part
owner with brothers C.R. and Jerry Urness in C.H. Urness Motors, taking
on the Plymouth, Dodge and Chrysler franchise.
He married Marilyn Lundell on Aug. 7, 1953 and they had four children,
Mark, Tim, Mike and Mary.
He served in Nuremberg, Germany, for two years before receiving an honorable
discharge in March 1955. During that time, he worked as part of the Army
post office, but remained active in sports.
A lot of people dont know he was part of a traveling sports
team in Germany, where they would play athletics football, basketball,
baseball against other teams in Germany and across Europe,
said his son, Mike Urness.
Ed Urness was a member of The Dalles Kiwanis for more than 50 years, serving
as president and a state officer. He was a Wasco County Fair Board member
for 17 years. He served on The Dalles Parks and Recreation Commission.
He was a member of The Dalles Elks and The Dalles Country Club for more
than 50 years, and a member of Zion Lutheran Church since 1953, serving
on the church council and as an usher and adviser to Luther League.
He was named The Dalles Young Man of the Year in 1966.
He also managed and coached the American Legion baseball team here for
15 years, from 1960 to 1976. He and his brothers were the reason baseball
resumed in The Dalles after World War II.
His father was responsible for the reorganization of the American Junior
Legion Baseball program, even arranging for the old Vaughn Street grandstands
to be transferred from Portland to The Dalles Quinton Street ballpark.
Ed Urness was appointed Oregon State Baseball Commissioner for the American
Junior Legion baseball program during the 1970s.
He retired from the family business in 2000, but continued to play a role.
He enjoyed coming down to Urness Motors and interacting with his
past customers, but he turned over the duties of selling cars to us boys,
Mike Urness said. He didnt want to learn the computers.
He was also an avid golfer, playing as much as three times a week, and
enjoyed hunting and spending time at the family home in Pine Hollow.
Services will be held Saturday, Oct. 24, at 2 p.m. at St. Peters
Catholic Church in The Dalles.