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obit - ORLOFF, Monford (1914-2000)

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obit - ORLOFF, Monford (1914-2000)

Posted: 1173377871000
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Orloff, Diamond
Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) - February 15, 2000, Edition: SUNRISE, Page: B09:

BUSINESS EXECUTIVE MONFORD ORLOFF DIES

Summary: The former president of Evans Products was also a supporter of the arts community in Portland

Monford Arthur Orloff, who built Portland-based Evans Products into one of Oregon's largest publicly held corporations and guided it through rough financial times, died at home Sunday, Feb. 13, 2000, apparently of a heart attack. He was 85.

Mr. Orloff had been chief executive of Aberdeen Plywood & Veneers Inc., which merged in 1961 with Evans, then based in Plymouth, Mich. Soon after the merger, he became president of the new company and moved its headquarters to Portland.

The company quickly grew as Mr. Orloff led its combination of retail building-materials stores, home finance, building and wood products, railcar and trailer manufacturing, equipment leasing and home building.

In 1974, interest rate increases and cuts in housing starts brought big losses to the company, which saw its stock fall from $13 a share to $2 a share. Mr. Orloff, who had relinquished top duties less than two years earlier, returned to the helm.

He immediately shed the company's money-losing sectors, and investors showed faith in his ability to beat adversity. Evans' share price rebounded and the company rang up its highest annual sales -- $1.5 billion -- in 1979.

Mr. Orloff also was a major supporter of Portland arts. His company donated about $3 million for a performing arts center to the Oregon Community Foundation, of which he was the president in the early 1980s.

He also served on the boards of Reed College, the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Symphony and the Oregon Public Broadcasting Foundation. He received the Governor's Arts Award and Lewis & Clark College's Aubrey Watzek Award.

Born March 29, 1914, in Omaha, Neb., he spent most of his childhood in Nebraska and New York and completed high school in Vancouver, British Columbia. He graduated from Stanford University in 1937 and Harvard Law School in 1940, then established a private practice as a lawyer in Bellingham, Wash. In 1941, he married Janice Diamond.

During World War II, Mr. Orloff was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, and at the war's end he was part of the occupation force in Berlin.

As he resumed his practice after the war, one of his clients was Mt. Baker Plywood, a worker-owned company facing bankruptcy in 1952. Moved by sympathy for the workers, according to his wife, Mr. Orloff signed on as general manager and successfully turned the company around.

In 1959 he bought the Aberdeen (Wash.) Plywood Co., which merged with Evans in 1962. Evans was taken over by Victor Posner, a Florida-based investor, in 1983, and Mr. Orloff continued to work with the company as a consultant until 1985.

He is survived by his wife; sons, Jonathan H. and Chester L.; daughter, Carole S.; and 11 grandchildren.

A private memorial gathering will be held. Disposition was by cremation. Arrangements are by Finley's Sunset Hills Mortuary.

The family suggests remembrances to the Oregon Historical Society or a favorite charity.
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SSDI:
MONFORD ORLOFF 29 Mar 1914 13 Feb 2000 (V) 97205 (Portland, Multnomah, OR) (none specified) 017-18-9438 Massachusetts

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