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Cloverdale Cemetery ~ Oran Benjamin Robertson ~ part of the Marion County Cemeteries of Oregon
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Robertson, Oran Benjamin
LAST: Robertson FIRST: Oran MID: Benjamin
BORN: 19 Sep 1917 DIED: 15 Aug 1999 BURIED: 
BIRTH PLACE:  Turner, Marion Co., Oregon
DEATH PLACE: Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon
NOTE - He has a marker, but is not actually interred here.

Name of father Benjamin E. Robertson
Maiden name of mother Nora Hester Woood
1930 OR CENSUS - Oran B. Robertson, age 12, age 12, b. Oregon, is enumerated as step-son of identified as step-son in the home of Edward Hessman, age 55, no occupation listed, b. Indiana, and his wife Nora H., age 39, occupation hotel chambermaid, b. Kansas.
Fred Meyer Chief To Retire
After 43 years with Fred Meyer, Oran Robertson will announce his retirement from the chairman and CEO posts he’s held since 1976.
By Donald J. Sorensen of the Oregonian staff
Oran B. Robertson, board chairman and chief executive of Fred Meyer, Inc., who guided the company into nearly $2 billion of annual sales, will announce his retirement Wednesday, the Oregonian has learned.
The announcement is scheduled to be made at 9 a.m. in the Westin Benson Hotel, sources said.
Efforts to reach Robertson or others at the company late Tuesday were not successful.
The retirement will end a 43-year active career with the company for Robertson, 70. He will continue as chairman of the executive committee, but will turn over operational responsibilities to a successor who will be named at the Wednesday event.
Robertson has been chairman and chief executive of the northwest’s largest general merchandising company since 1976; when he succeeded its founder and company namesake, Fred G. Meyer. The two are the only chief executives the company has had.
Robertson’s career with Fred Meyer, Inc. began in 1945 when he joined it as standards coordinator, or director of the company’s engineering department. This gave him responsibility for laying out new stores and remodeling older facilities.
He was credited with having a major role in selecting sites for stores and laying them out for the convenience of customers. Through the years, he also picked up merchandising techniques developed by Meyer.
Robertson moved up steadily in the organization, becoming a vice president in 1959 and named first vice president in 1972. The next year, he was elected vice chairman of the board, the first to hold this position.
Since becoming chief executive, Robertson has watched the company grow from $645 million in annual sales to $1.8 billion last year and has led it in an aggressive expansion that has carried it into new states with huge one stop shopping center stores.
His time as chief executive also has been enlivened with controversy, legal fights, and court cases. In 1980, there was turmoil over Fred Meyer Savings and Loan Association, which involved Robertson and Gerry Pratt, who was president of the thrift, which later was sold.
In 1981, Robertson was a trustee to settle Fred Meyer’s estate, which led to lawsuits and court appearances for the four trustees. Controversy also arose at times over zoning changes for prospective Fred Meyer stores.
Robertson also saw the chain taken private in a leveraged buyout by Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts, then took part in restoring it as a publicly owned company.
In 1979, when the company first topped $1 billion in sales, it had 63 stores in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Montana. Now it has 99 stores in six states, adding Utah and Idaho. Part of this expansion came with the acquisition of Grant Central stores in Idaho and Utah. The company recently announced plans to enter California.
While heading Fred Meyer, Robertson also found time for community activities. He carried on a tradition established by the founder of contributing groceries and other needs to the Salvation Army and the Sunshine Division during the Christmas season. This has been a tradition for Fred Meyer for 45 years.
Last year, Robertson received the Institute of Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee for the company’s employment and social responsibilities.
In presenting the award, Gov. Neil Goldschmidt said there were “hundreds if not thousands” of events and causes that Robertson and the company support because they are convinced “they make a difference.”
In 1985, Robertson was honored by the Urban League of Portland for community service and contributions. He made “equal opportunity more than just a worn saying,” said Herb Cawthorne, Urban League president at the time, in presenting the award.
The Oregonian 18 Apr 1988
Oran B. Robertson
A memorial service will be at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, 1999 in the Agnes Flanagan Chapel of Lewis & Clark College for Oran B. Robertson, who died Aug. 15, at age 81.
Mr. Robertson was a retired chief executive officer for Fred Meyer stores. A full obituary ran in Monday editions of The Oregonian.
The family suggests remembrances to a favorite charity. Arrangements are by Caldwell’s Colonial Chapel.
The Oregonian 17 Aug 1999 pg B14
A Place to Remember Father
Known & Loved as O.B.

Oran Benjamin Robertson
Born In Turner to Nor & Harley
Sept. 19, 1917 – Aug. 15, 1999
1930 OR CENSUS (Marion Co., Salem, ED 65, sheet 13A)
The Oregonian 18 Apr 1988 
The Oregonian 17 Aug 1999 pg B14
SPACE: 1-5-2  

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