Floyd Clinton Purdy

March 27, 1935 ~ January 19, 2022 (age 86)


Floyd Clinton Purdy, known to all as either Clint or Clinton, passed away  Jan. 19 2022, in his home.

Clint was born Mar. 27, 1935, in Burns. He was the sixth and youngest child of Raymond George and Ruth Avalon (Howard) Purdy. They were well known ranchers in Silvies Valley.

Early education was started in a little schoolhouse along Trout Creek and attended high school in the Lincoln building.

He grew up on the ranch in Silvies Valley, helping out with all chores at an early age, as most children in that era did. He had stories of some of his adventures, such as pulling a dump rake with a team of horses at the age of nine when they spooked and ran away with him, not stopping until they hit a ditch. He miraculously escaped serious injury.

He was 17 when he moved to the Baker Place to help his brother George who had been drafted into the army and continued working the Purdy ranches while both his brother, George and Wayne, were serving their country. The Baker Place is east of Burns and had been purchased by his parents in the late 40’s, becoming the Burns Purdy Ranch.

After turning 18, he joined the Burns unit of the National Guard and served for nine years.

He married Dorothea Lorraine Howes on April 14, 1956. They had three children, Ronda Lynn, Tim Alan, and Kelly Jo.

They moved back up to the Silvies Valley in 1962 to ranch with his brother, Wayne on the Walter Cross Place. He supplemented their income by working on the Ponderosa Ranch in the Silvies Valley owned by Harry Pon. Clint fed buffalo and moved cattle and had stories of working around the exotic animals held there.

Clint worked on a thinning project in the woods at times with Dorothy and the kids in tow. He then worked for Woods Construction in Grant County building roads.

He later started out as a choker setter, to crew boss and eventually driving off highway log trucks and other equipment, building roads for Edward Hines Lumber Co., and later Snow Mountain Pine, and LT&L. Through the years, he had occasion to build cat lines for wildfire fighting and prevention.

Clint and Dorothy bought the Baker Place from his brother George in 1973. Still, supplementing their income working in the logging industry for many years. He worked for Ellett Construction building roads for big transmission power lines in Oregon, Montana, and West Virginia in the 1980’s. His son, Tim, took care of the ranch alongside Dorothea while Clint was away.

Returning home, he worked for Bob Otley Construction for many years doing different jobs. He then semi-retired due to health issues in his early sixties and he continued to help on the ranch when his son took over in 1997.

He loved to go  to brandings and never turned down an invitation to one, roping into his early eighties. One of his favorite outings was to go to Rome, Ore. with Mike Fine to the Dowell brandings. The rhubarb pie for dessert was something he looked forward to. When he was unable to attend the brandings anymore, he loved getting some of the pie sent home for him to enjoy.

One year, he agreed to entering team roping in the senior division at the Harney County Rodeo with Jack Drinkwater, where they won buckles.

He presided as Pioneer president at Pioneer Day in Harney County in 2017. He could tell you of the other pioneers in the area, who they were and where they lived.

His favorite hobbies were hunting, and fishing and he was very successful at both. He enjoyed keeping in contact with his elder generation relatives and took pride in his grandsons and great-grandsons.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Ruth Purdy; brothers, Mervin, George, and Wayne Purdy; sisters, Madora Pope and Donna Gilliland Jones.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothea; children, Ronda Purdy, Tim (Cindy) Purdy of Burns, and Kelly (Gary) Williams of Mountour, Idaho; grandsons, Nick Purdy of Port Orchard, Wash., and Derek Purdy of Reno, Nev.; great-grandsons, Cooper and Dane Purdy of Reno, Nev.; he also has many nephews and nieces.

At his request, there will be no services. There will be a get-together late spring to spread his ashes in the mountains where he spent most his life moving cattle, hunting deer and elk, and fishing.

Donations in his name can be made to Harney County Historical Society in care of LaFollette’s Chapel at P.O. Box 488, Burns, Oregon, 97720


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