Clinton Patrick (Skip) Walchli, age 80, passed away Friday, September 20, 2019 at his home which was filled with his loving family and many friends. Comfort and grace was given to the family when Skip chose to accept Baptism before he passed. The 5th child of Swiss immigrants Ernest and Pauline (Federer) Walchli, Skip was born at "the old home place" on South Edwards Rd., Stanfield, Oregon, on August 27, 1939. He spent his childhood and teen years rising early to milk cows, attending school, excelling in numerous sports, completing evening chores and working towards his lifelong ambition of establishing Walchli Farms. During his senior year at Stanfield High School his football team went on to compete in their first ever Class B State Championship game, resulting in a tied score of 6 to 6 with Culver. After graduation, at the age of 17 years, Skip took out a modest bank loan and started farming watermelons on his own, never dreaming of the future world-wide popularity of those award winning sweet melons. That very same summer, being the avid athlete he was, he challenged himself further by playing in the East-West Shriners Football game.
Soon, Skip met and married the love of his life, Sherry Lou Vernon, and they started their family. In 1972 they purchased a home on Loop Road where they settled and raised their family of 7 children, instilling in them a hard work ethic, enabling the farm they established to prosper and grow. Skip's farm office walls are filled with numerous awards and recognitions; a few being sponsorship of the Umatilla County Fair Association, the Pendleton Rodeo Association, Happy Canyon, Ducks Unlimited, Hermiston Future Farmers of America, Pendleton Grain Growers, and HHS Booster Club. He received countless thank you acknowledgments from community groups. Skip was awarded an Honorary State Degree from the Future Farmers of America and special recognition from the United States Department of Agriculture for good practices and handling of his crops. He was particularly pleased by the recognition awarded him by the Oregon Potato Commission in 2002. The award placed him in the Potato Grower's Hall of Fame. In January of 2004 Skip and Sherry's farm was selected as Business of the Year during the Hermiston Distinguished Service Award Banquet. Due to his extremely generous nature, never can it be said that any person or community organization who approached Skip asking for support or a donation ever went away empty handed. All the accolades were wonderful and greatly appreciated but what Skip loved was having his home filled with romping children, grandchildren, and dogs. And he relished the aroma of fresh, sweet smelling hay covered with the early morning dew.
Skip is survived by his beloved wife: Sherry; sons: Bob (Rachelle), Patrick (Nancy), Donnie (Karie), Dannie (Karen), and daughters: Sherie (Marty) Britt, and Judy (Curtis) Pederson; grandchildren: Lacey, Leah, Lindsey, Mindy, Mandy, Courtney, Heidi, Kalee, Garrett, Katie, Brenna, Jared, Luke, Marty, Cody, Jaylee, Sidney, Shandie, Michael, Johnny, and Preston; and 13, (plus 2 on the way!), great grandchildren; sister Betty (Ron) Furrer; sisters-in-law: Marge Walchli and Irene Walchli; and countless cousins, nieces and nephews. Skip was preceded in death by his parents, brothers George and John, sisters Margaret and Mary Ann, and daughter Cindy.
Visitation will be held on both Friday and Saturday from 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. at Burns Mortuary Chapel, Hermiston, Oregon
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Sunday, September 29, at the family farm, 32697 E. Loop Rd., Hermiston, Oregon, at precisely 12:26 p.m. immediately followed by a luncheon. At 4 p.m. all are invited to take part in the procession forming at the farm and proceeding to Skip's final resting place and burial at Hermiston Cemetery.
The family requests that those who wish to may make a donation in Skip's memory to the - Skip Walchli Memorial Fund,for Hermiston FFA c/o Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, P.O. Box 289, Hermiston, Oregon.
Please share memories of Skip with his family at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.