It all began with Victor L. Moffitt.
Victor was one of the first maintenance supervisors for the newly formed Oregon Highway Department in the 1920s. He traveled Oregon, working primarily in the Willamette Valley and Oregon coast, leading road building crews, inspecting work, paving and carving out highways from what once were wagon trails.
The love of road work, being outdoors, working with a close-knit crew, having adventures and serving Oregon was in his blood. Victor’s wife Paralee worked as a truck driver for Victor during World War II, and they apparently passed those qualities on to their children and grandchildren. Together, the Moffitt family has provided nearly a century of service to the Oregon Department of Transportation and the citizens of our state.
The pride in a career serving Oregon is something many families pass down from generation to generation. The Moffitt family may be somewhat unusual, however, because of how many of them have worked for ODOT.
Victor’s sons, Johnny, Richard and Ted, having grown up traveling the state with their parents, all ended up working as Maintenance supervisors, completing 30 to 40 year stints with the agency from the late 1940s into the early 1980s.
John started working on an oiling crew, then went work on the Seaside Maintenance crew, was a foreman at Newberg and retired as foreman of Astoria Maintenance.
Richard started on the ‘extra gang crew.’ Extra gangs were traveling groups of workers who built culverts, paved roads, repaired slides and performed other work to keep Oregon’s transportation system growing. He then went to the Stayton Maintenance crew, became foreman for Dallas Maintenance and retired as foreman of the Salem Maintenance crew. Richard’s sons Bob and Jack worked a short time for ODOT in the 1970s. His daughter Connie retired from the Oregon Department of Revenue.
Ted began his career in 1948, working on an ‘extra gang.’ Ted moved to Silverton in 1958 when he became a foreman for the crew there. He went on to lead crews in Corvallis, among other places, before retiring as an extra gang supervisor in 1983. During his career, Ted, his wife Bev and their young family sometimes camped at State Highway Department compounds or ‘sheds’ as they called them, joining other ODOT families in the lifestyle that often comes with maintaining Oregon’s rural highways.
Ted and Bev’s children, Danny, Janice, Dale and Judy, all have worked for ODOT. Danny worked on the landscape crew, the Woodburn Maintenance crew and an electrical crew, before retiring after 32 years of service. Janice started working at Aeronautics, before leaving ODOT and moving t on to State Building Codes in Astoria and Salem before retiring with 19 year of state service. Dale retired with 30 years, serving on a landscape crew in Albany, the Salem Maintenance crew, as an extra gang member and retiring as a transport crew member.
Daughter Judy Marston continues the tradition of Moffitt family service today. She’s worked for the agency for 28 years, beginning her career on a rest area crew, then working on landscape and sign crews and in the sign shop. Judy is currently a property specialist with the ODOT Storeroom in Salem. She helps keep employees statewide supplied with the tools and materials they need to do their jobs.
Perhaps members of the Moffitt family really are destined to work for ODOT. It’s clear the Moffitts have helped shape Oregon’s transportation history. We thank them for sharing their story with us and for serving our state for nearly a century!