Lawrence (Larry) John Blus


Lawrence (Larry) John Blus of Portland, Oregon. passed away on Thursday, July 2, 2020 in Portland. He was 86. Larry was born December 23, 1933 in Tilden, IL to Frank Blus and Anna Lentkis Blus. Larry was one of eight children: Siblings: Anne (Pete) Novack; Mary (Louis) Luketich; Frank (Jr.) (Willa) Blus; Joe (Jane) Blus; Bill (Dorothy) Blus; Ray (Betty) Blus; Barbara Jean (Mervil) Franklin.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents and all siblings and their spouses except for his sister Barbara Jean Franklin of Fairview Heights, IL.
Nieces and nephews (deceased): Gloria Jean Novack, Jamie Luketich Jr., Andrew Blus, and Lucille Luketich.
Surviving nieces and nephews: Cindy (Steve) Meyer, Debi Jo (Roger) Urbani, Joyce (Kenny) Clare, Jill (Jim) Webb, Joni Blus, Paul (Ann) Luketich, Louie Luketich, Dr. James (Christine) Luketich, Dennis (Julia)Franklin, Evelyn Franklin, and many great and great-great nieces and nephews survive Larry.
Larry married Donna Darlene (Weil) Blus , April 25, 1964 in North Platte, NE. The couple celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2014 by renewing their vows. They were married 56 years.
Larry and Donna have three children: Denise (Kevin) Cossa Tigard, OR; Emily (Kenneth) Tantare Portland, OR; and Daniel Blus Salem, OR. Larry is survived by grandchildren: Sarah Tantare Seattle, WA; Julia Tantare Portland, OR; and Caitlin Cossa Tigard, OR.
Larry attended Tilden Illinois Elementary and graduated from Marissa Illinois Township High School, Class of 1951. He served in the US Army from 1953-1955, earning the rank of corporal. He moved on to college, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL in 1959; followed by a Master’s degree in 1963.
Larry joined the Army during the Korean War and used the GI bill to enroll at Southern Illinois University where he became the first person in the Blus family to get a college education. Immediately after he obtained his bachelor’s degree, he studied and got his master’s degree. He used these degrees in Zoology and Botany to study birds, working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a leading biologist researching how DDE and DDT affected the eggshells of brown pelicans. He was published in countless books and papers and testified before Congress against the use of certain toxic pesticides that eventually contributed to restrictions on the use of DDT. He published nearly 100 papers in scientific journals and chapters in scientific books.
Larry began his professional work experience as a research biologist for the Nebraska Fish & Game Commission 1963-1966. He worked as a wildlife research biologist 31 years for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from 1966-1997.
Larry was part of a large number of civic and religious organizations including Toastmasters 1975-1977; Branch President Thrivent Financial 1988-1998; Western Hills Kiwanis 1998-2004; Board of Directors OSU Music Association 1998-2004; Benton County Democratic Party, Precinct Committee Vice Chair 1999-2001; Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Laurel, MD 1966-1977; Grace Lutheran Church, Corvallis, OR 1977-2004; St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Portland, OR 2004-2020.
He worked as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Corvallis, OR 1998-2004; Raleigh Hills K-8 School, Portland, OR 2005-2010; Habitat for Humanity; OSU Crossroads 1984-2004 .S. Fish and Wildlife Retirees Association, Portland, OR 2004-2020.
Larry was highly respected by his peers at Patuxent and worldwide; he was a pioneer. He was well-loved and revered by his colleagues, friends, wife, children, and relatives, and he was adored by his grandchildren.
He was an avid philanthropist contributing to: Trumpeter Swan Society, Audubon Society, World Wildlife Federation, Amnesty International, Doernbecher, Doctors without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, Luther World Relief, Medical Teams International, National Wildlife Federation, Oregon Wildlife, Special Olympics, St. Joseph Indian School, St. Labre Indian School, Southern Illinois University Foundation, and many more.
Favorite hobbies: spending time with family, watching birds, reading, playing games, singing, attending church, listening to his wife sing in the church choir, watching his children and grandchildren play sports and perform.
Larry never let a person pass without reaching out for a handshake or hand hold. He was welcomed into Heaven, with angels singing, “Well done.”
A memorial service will be held at a date to be determined. His remains are interred at Oak Lawn Memorial Park, Corvallis, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift of remembrance of Larry to the National Wildlife Federation, the Macular Degeneration Association, Sarasota, FL or St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Beaverton, OR. Please leave condolence messages for the family at