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Bernard Joseph "Joe" Ouellette, Jr.
June 21, 1946 ~ November 23, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Bernard “Joe” Ouellette passed away after a brief illness on November 23, 2023 in Hillsboro, Oregon. He was a long-time resident of the Portland Metro Area and the second of seven siblings, five of whom survive him. Starting with his childhood in Lakewood, Washington, Joe exhibited a fascination with science and technology, one that would persist for his entire life. He constantly tinkered with electrical devices and built gadgets that always amazed his brothers and sisters--and the neighborhood kids as well. His grasp of math and electrical theory far exceeded his chronological age.
When the Vietnam War started, Joe joined the Navy as a raw recruit and his technical aptitude was quickly recognized. He was pulled out of boot camp and received advanced training in electronics, which led to an offer from the National Security Agency to work servicing cryptographic equipment worldwide. In this capacity, he spent time under the Barents Sea, in the deserts of the Middle East and remote regions of the Aleutian Islands, among other places.
When he left government service, Joe returned to Portland and took a position as an engineer at Electro Scientific Industries, where he worked for a number of years before starting a successful consulting business specializing in computer-controlled devices and laser systems.
He was one of those rare individuals equally competent with both hardware and software and the relationships between them. Aside from a brief marriage early on, Joe was a lifelong bachelor who took great delight in his nine nephews and nieces. He was also renowned for his great friendship with the local squirrel population. No matter what the season, Joe always had a bag of walnuts handy to share with his little pals. A private celebration of Joe’s life will be held at a later time.
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