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Lumber magnate Giustina dead at 87.

Byline: Joe Mosley The Register-Guard

Natale B. "Nat" Giustina of Eugene, who left a bold mark on the wood products industry as well as Oregon State University and the local golfing community, died Saturday of emphysema. He was 87.

Giustina was a retired, second-generation timber baron. He helped parlay a mill that was founded in 1934 by his father and three uncles into what is now a pair of family-owned companies with extensive timber holdings and a thick portfolio of real estate investments.

"I've known him for probably 40 years," timber man Robbie Robinson, owner of Cottage Grove's Starfire Lumber Co., said Monday. "I would say he was a man of great integrity. His word was always his bond, and he was a real credit to the whole forest products industry.

"These are the very best things you can say about anybody, in my opinion, and he was all of them."

Giustina was born in Portland on April 7, 1918, to Erminio and Irene Onorato Giustina.

Erminio Giustina and three of his brothers had emigrated from the San Vita di Cadore Province in the Italian Dolomite Alps during the early 1900s, and in 1934 founded the Giustina Bros. planing mill in Eugene. The brothers eventually also operated a green veneer plant, plywood mill, sawmill and stud mill on their property off West Second Avenue.

Nat Giustina became logging manager for the operation in 1941 - the year he graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in mechanical engineering - and took over as president and general manager of Giustina Bros. Lumber Co. in 1948.

Along with his brother, Ehrman Giustina, he headed the companies until he stepped down in 1985 and passed control along to his family's next generation.

"Nat and Ehrman became the leaders," said Paul Ehinger, a Eugene-based wood products analyst with a long history in the industry. "Ehrman was more active in plywood and timber, and Nat was more active in lumber. That was just what they gravitated to."

Several years ago, the Giustinas' companies were divided into Gius- tina Land and Timber, now headed by Nat Giustina's son, Larry, and Giustina Resources, headed by Ehrman Giustina's son, Dan.

"Both of them (Nat and Ehrman) are highly respected," Ehinger said Monday. "They were not always seeking publicity, but they were always there to do the things that needed to be done."

Nat Giustina served on the boards of directors of numerous state and national wood products associations and organizations, from Associated Oregon Industries to the National Lumber Manufacturers Association, as well as the National Association of Manufacturers. And he was active in local charities, including the Lane County Community Chest, now the United Way of Lane County.

He also remained true to his school, serving on the boards of OSU's Alumni Association, the OSU Foundation, the Board of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Trysting Tree Golf Club.

"For seven decades, Nat Giustina was involved in Oregon State University as a student, alumnus and supporter, and it would be hard to imagine our university having had a more faithful friend," OSU President Ed Ray said Monday.

Hal Salwasser, dean of the OSU College of Forestry, said that Giustina and his family have donated generously to the program, "requesting only that funds be used to provide the most possible help to the forest land owners of Oregon."

Giustina's donations and leadership were instrumental in OSU projects ranging from the LaSells Stewart Center, which features the Giustina Gallery, to the construction of Richardson Hall for the forestry program and the recent Reser Stadium expansion project.

He also was the driving force behind construction of the Trysting Tree Golf Club, one of three renowned courses in which Giustina had a hand. He built Tokatee Golf Club on 380 acres of family-owned land in the McKenzie Valley east of Eugene beginning in 1964, and helped to spearhead the 1967 redesign of the Eugene Country Club course by famed designer Robert Trent Jones.

Two years ago, Nat Giustina and his wife, Jacqueline, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary together with Ehrman Giustina and his wife, Lee, who also were celebrating their 60th.

Nat Giustina is survived by his wife; daughters Natalie Newlove of Eugene and Irene Goldbeck of Kirkland, Wash.; his son, Laraway (Larry) of Eugene; and by five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Mary Catholic Church, 1062 Charnelton St. Private interment will follow.
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Title Annotation:Vitals; The timber baron's legacy includes OSU, charity work and three local golf courses
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 16, 2005
Previous Article:This 121-year-old still going strong.

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