Grady J Waxenfelter
February 6, 2014
Grady was a Clackamas County Weighmaster that was fatally shot while doing his job.
|Grady J. Waxenfelter
(January 28, 1967 - February 6, 2014)
Estacada resident Grady Waxenfelter, died Thursday, February 6, 2014. He was 47 years old.
A funeral service will be held at 11am on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Estacada First Baptist Church 29101 Eagle Creek Hwy. Grady Jess Waxenfelter was born January 28, 1967 in Salem, Oregon to Richard and Joella Waxenfelter. They lived in various states across the US before settling in Oregon City where he attended high School. He entered the US Army in 1986 and married Tedra Mock on October 11, 1986. While stationed in Germany, they had their first child. After his discharge, Grady and Tedra moved to Estacada in 1996. He worked for Clackamas County Road Department where he worked until his death.
Grady enjoyed anything to do with automobiles, including drag racing, and especially riding his Harley. He also enjoyed working in his yard and being with his family and friends. He was a member of the Estacada First Baptist Church where he held the position as an elder for many years.
Survivors include his wife, Tedra Waxenfelter of Estacada; son, Austin Waxenfelter; daughters, Alissa (son-in-law Zachary) Cole, Jeslyn Waxenfelter; parents, Richard and Joella Waxenfelter of Berryville, Arkansas; brothers, Royce Waxenfelter of Tualatin, Oregon and Aaron Waxenfelter of Oregon City.
Contributions may be made to: Estacada First Baptist Church
|From The Oregonian oregonlive.com
Grady Waxenfelter's love for people shows as more than 700 people attend shooting victim's funeral
By Molly Harbarger
on February 15, 2014 at 3:27 PM, updated February 17, 2014 at 9:53 AM
It’s rare that a person gets to crack up an audience of about 800 people at his own funeral. But, that’s the kind of kind of guy Grady Waxenfelter was.
After a slideshow of Waxenfelter in a cowboy suit as a kid, slinging snowballs as a teen, riding his motorcycle with one of his three kids or his wife on the back, a video of Waxenfelter’s first sermon -- which he started with nearly a full comedy routine about clergy trading cards -- at the Estacada Baptist Church sent the sanctuary, the overflow room and the classrooms full of friends and family into stitches.
“Dude, that was Grady all the time,” said the Rev. Masami Yamamoto, one of the lead pastors at Estacada Baptist, where the service was held.
His stories and jokes often stretched the biweekly meetings of church elders -- Waxenfelter served on the leadership team, doing fellowship and welfare outreach -- from two to three hours into four or five. But, the punchline always made the build-up worth it, Yamamoto said, laughing.
Waxenfelter’s oldest daughter, Alissa Cole, said his “long, sometimes rambling” phone calls are something she cherished. “I’ll miss his humor and how he could make me laugh with a story he already told 10 times.”
Waxenfelter, 47, was shot in the head Feb. 6 after he stopped a man driving an O’Malley Brothers Trucking pickup hauling a load of firewood. Waxenfelter, one of two weighmasters with Clackamas County, was on duty in the Estacada area when he was shot.
Micah Feil, a young man who grew up playing with Grady’s son Austin, was riding with Grady when he was shot. Feil recalled, in a written statement for the funeral, the day as wonderful before the gunshot. They just talked about life and laughed as Waxenfelter drove around the county doing his work.
“I had the gift of being with Grady until the end,” Feil said. “If God had do-overs, I would be there one more time.”
Despite the violence and horror of Waxenfelter’s death, Feil said he felt privileged to be able to provide comfort to Waxenfelter’s family that he was there.
Feil was one of many people Waxenfelter took under his wing. Several people who knew him well noted that his circle of influence was huge. Men in three-piece suits sat next to guys wearing hunting-orange sweatshirts and mud-kicker boots, encapsulating the rural community Waxenfelter inhabited for more than a decade.
A procession of hauling trucks, maintenance trucks, cars and motorcycles preceded the 11 a.m. ceremony. Waxenfelter began work for Clackamas County in 1997 as a mechanic. He was promoted to senior mechanic in 1999 and served as weighmaster since 2005.
He loved getting greasy around cars and motorcycles out of work, too. Waxenfelter was always happy to put a friend or family member’s car up on blocks and help where he could, said several speakers at the service.
He loved riding just as much. Waxenfelter organized a group of church friends to go on long weekend motorcycle rides along rarely used back county roads, said the Rev. Brent Dodrill, senior pastor at Estacada Baptist and Honda bike rider.
“He particularly enjoyed his motorcycle with his sugar mama right behind him,” Yamamoto said during his eulogy at the service.
Tedra Waxenfelter was Grady’s love since the age of 16. She accepted the flag draped over his coffin, after it was folded by two soldiers to commemorate his service with the United States Army. Both Oregon natives, he was stationed in Germany when Tedra had their first child. They decided on Estacada to grow their family when he left the Army.
They lived within a short drive of his brothers Aaron and Royce Waxenfelter, who teased their brother fondly during their speeches.
“Grady wasn’t perfect, but I also admired the way he admitted his flaws,” Aaron Waxenfelter said.
Grady Waxenfelter’s faith shone as much as his commitment to building strong relationships with everyone he knew. He often stopped in the middle of gardening with friends to marvel at God’s hand he saw in nature, or reminded his church colleagues to be diligent about family devotionals.
His faith also is keeping his family’s heads up while they deal with the sudden loss of a father, and a hero, as his daughter Jeslyn Waxenfelter called him. She said, just last week, Grady Waxenfelter told her he had the perfect life and wouldn’t trade it for the world. “Well, Dad, thank you for making my life perfect to,” she said.
Both daughters signed off their eulogies -- as much letters to their father as memories shared with the crowd -- with the word he attached to the end of all his text messages to them, “lovey.”
|From The Oregonian oregonlive.com
Estacada shooting: Clackamas County weighmaster Grady Waxenfelter was active in church, community
By Molly Harbarger
on February 07, 2014 at 4:23 PM, updated February 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Police have identified the Clackamas County weighmaster fatally shot Thursday as Grady Waxenfelter of Estacada, a church leader and active member of the motorcycle racing community.
Police also distributed photos of the suspect's getaway car, a silver 2004 Mercedes 320 with Washington license plates ANB-7070. The killer remains at large.
Waxenfelter, 47, was shot in the head Thursday after he stopped a man driving an O’Malley Brothers Trucking pickup hauling a load of firewood. Waxenfelter, one of two weighmasters with Clackamas County, was on duty in the Estacada area when he was shot.
He began work for Clackamas County in 1997 as a mechanic. He was promoted to senior mechanic in 1999 and served as weighmaster since 2005.
"The sheriff's office offers its deepest condolences to his family, friends and co-workers," said Lt. Robert Wurpes, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office spokesman, adding that law enforcement agencies across the region have launched a manhunt.
Waxenfelter was active in the Estacada Baptist Church for at least 12 years, and served on the leadership team, doing fellowship and welfare outreach.
Lead Pastor Brent Dodrill said Waxenfelter was a “tough and tender guy.”
He rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and pulled together a group of friends from church to go for rides on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Dodrill rode with Waxenfelter, even though he is a Honda man, himself.
Waxenfelter also raced his ’85 Chevy S-10 truck at the Woodburn Dragstrip during Friday Night Fun Drags, earning him a spot with the 100 mph club in 2012.
Waxenfelter was married to Tedra Waxenfelter for at least 20 years. They had two daughters, one married last year and the other a senior in high school, and a son in his late 20s.
He had two younger brothers, Royce and Aaron Waxenfelter.
"They’re all supporting and being close to one another right now," Dodrill said.
Dodrill said Waxenfelter easily engaged anyone he talked to with jokes and stories, making people laugh. "Just a wonderful person and had a great love for the Lord," Dodrill said.
Waxenfelter never threw his authority as a weighmaster around, Dodrill said. “If he could get away with giving a warning, he’d try to do that."
So, Dodrill was shocked that Waxenfelter was killed during one of those stops.
“For his life to end in a violent way is quite a paradox because he was just a very lovable endearing man that people just loved,” Dodrill said. “They loved Grady."
The suspect, Dirck Morgan White, 41, has a long criminal record in the Seattle-Tacoma area and goes by a long string of aliases. Eric Wahlstrom, supervisory deputy U.S. Marshal for Oregon, confirmed that the Fugitive Task Force has joined the manhunt but declined to elaborate.
Clackamas County sheriff's deputies believe White, 41, of Edgefield, Wash., used a handgun to fatally shoot the weighmaster in the head at the intersection of Oregon 224 and Southeast Amisigger Road, just south of Damascus, at 10:48 a.m. Witnesses told The Oregonian that the weighmaster had stopped a driver after a pursuit.
Wurpes said Waxenfelter was unarmed.
Police later tracked the O'Malley Brothers pickup to company headquarters north of Estacada and later determined White sped off in his Mercedes.
Wurpes said White is considered to be armed and dangerous. He cautioned against approaching White, urging anyone who spots him to instead call 911 immediately.
A memorial service for Waxenfelter is scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 15 at the Estacada Baptist Church. This Sunday's service will also be focused on Waxenfelter and encouraging his friends and family to be strong during their mourning.
|From Law Enforcement Today lawenforcementtoday.com
In Memoriam Weighmaster Grady Waxenfelter
Patrick Sharkey On February 12, 2014
On February 6, Clackamas County Oregon Sheriff Lt. Robert Wurpes, has reported that Weighmaster Grady Waxenfelter, 47, was shot and killed while making a traffic stop.
Waxenfelter attempted to stop a pickup truck from O’Malley Brothers Trucking Company that was hauling firewood. Following a short pursuit on Oregon 224, the driver of the truck stopped near Southeast Amisigger Road south of Damascus about 10:48 a.m. When Waxenfelter approached the driver, he was shot in the head and killed instantly. The pickup truck sped off. A young ride-along with Waxenfelter witnessed the shooting.
Other witnesses also reported the shooting and an investigation followed. Waxenfelter was unarmed as was the other county weighmaster who was also working in the Estacada area.
Deputies tracked the pickup truck to the trucking company headquarters. Company officials assisted deputies and identified the suspect driver as Dirck Morgan White, 41.
When officials attempted to locate him on company grounds, they learned that he fled the facility in his silver colored 2004 Mercedes sedan. All local law enforcement authorities are searching for Morgan as well as the U. S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force.
Waxenfelter began working for Clackamas County in 1987 as a mechanic. He was promoted to senior mechanic in 1999. He started working as a weighmaster in 2005.
Weighmaster Waxenfelter was active in the Estacada Baptist Church, devoting his time to the fellowship and church welfare outreach. He was also an avid motorcycle enthusiast who started a church motorcycle club.
The Clackamas County Peace Officers Benevolent Foundation has set up a fund at the Clackamas County Federal Credit Union to assist the Waxenfelter family with funeral expenses.
The Clackamas County Sheriff Department has offered a reward of $5000.00 dollars for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. The O’Malley Trucking Company has also added $2,500.00 to the reward fund.
Weighmaster Grady Waxenfelter is survived by his wife of over 20 years, Tedra, two daughters, and two brothers.
Weighmaster Grady Waxenfelter, gone, but never forgotten. EOW: Thursday, February 6, 2014.
|From KOIN TV 6 koin.com
Weightmaster family in shock over murder
By Chris HolmstromUpdated: Friday, February 7, 2014, 5:42 pmPublished: Friday, February 7, 2014, 3:42 pm
ESTACADA, Ore. (KOIN) — The family of Grady Waxenfelter is in shock after the Clackamas County weightmaster was shot to death along Highway 224 near Boring Thursday.
Waxenfelter pulled over a pickup truck and trailer loaded with firewood because the truck did not have a license plate when the driver shot him. The driver was identified as Dirck Morgan White, who remains at large.
Though Waxenfelter’s family declined to speak with KOIN 6 News, their pastor at Estacada First Baptist said he was a caring man and respected church leader.
“He was always welcoming and kind, one of the guys you felt comfortable around,” said Pastor Brent Dodrill.
Waxenfelter was well known throughout town and had been working for the county since 1987, first as a mechanic and later as the weightmaster.
Dodrill said there was no connection between Waxenfelter and White.
At this point, he said the main focus for the family is grieving.
“Hoping and praying, obviously, the man will be brought to justice, but that’s obviously out of their hands,” Dodrill said. “They don’t seem to be overly concerned about that right now.”
The manhunt for White, 41, from Edgefield, continues. He is considered armed and dangerous and may be driving a silver Mercedes-Benz with the Washington license plate ANB-7070.
US Marshals are also involved in looking for him, but the snow has hampered efforts.
The Waxenfelter family is currently planning the funeral service, set for next Feb. 15.