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Ejner Dinesen, Staff

Ejner Dinesen, former building maintenance staff member, August 21, 2007, in Portland. Born in Denmark, Ejner moved to Portland in 1953. He began his career at Reed in 1968. Towny Angell, director of facilities operations [1989–], recalls that Ejner did plumbing, electrical, and mechanical repairs all over campus, as the quintessential jack-of-all-trades. Ejner had a knack for extending the college's resources through innovative repairs, utilizing an odd assortment of parts to keep machines or equipment running. Notes Towny, “Long after he retired [1992], we would discover some piece of equipment that finally gave up the ghost, and it would be evident that it had been 'Ejnerized' at some point in the past.” Unable to find a part in the physical plant, Ejner found it in “the well”—his personal vehicle, which was filled to excess with “one spare of everything.” Towny says Ejner was soft-spoken, thoughtful, sensitive, independent, and capable and willing to take on any task that his job at Reed required. His mission was industry, activity, hard work, and repair, with strong connections to friends and family. In January, Ejner married his companion of 51 years, Martha Jasprica, who died in June. “Ejner,” says Towny, “was the kind of person the world could use a lot more of.” Survivors include his sister, and extended family members.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2007

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