Who Was Gale F. Fletchall

The Founding Father of the Scandinavian Festival:DSC_0548

In 1955 Gale F. Fletchall and his wife move to Lane County, drawn here by a general practice internship offered at Sacred Heart Medical Center. He opened his practice in Junction City in 1956 and became the town’s doctor. After the opening of the I-5 corridor, Fletchall watched his beloved town slowly die out as businesses closed up due to lack of traffic. That is when he had the idea that would define him for the rest of his life.

His solution for a dying town was to bring everyone together to celebrate the town’s Scandinavian Heritage. Fletchall wanted a quality festival not a carnival, a safe place for families and friends to gather and enjoy good food and good company. Dr. Fletchall served on the Festival Board as President for many years, and even after he retired continued to serve as a vital part of Festival. His lifetime services to the community are still honored each year with the giving out of the Dr. Gale F. Fletchall Award to worthy individuals and/or organizations that continue his legacy.


This Year’s Award Winner: Rod Lemhouse

The Gale Fletchall Award Recipient

By Debbie Lemhouse


The Scandinavian Festival Association is proud to announce this year’s Gale Fletchall Award winner, Rod Lemhouse. This Award is given to those who have given a lifetime of service to the Scandinavian Festival, without these wonderful volunteers the Festival could not succeed.

Rod has been involved in the Festival since he was very young. He started folk dancing in the 5th/6th grade as part of an after school activity and performed at the Festival. He got away from dancing as he grew older then began dancing again in 1985. He has continued dancing and performing with Skandia Leikarringen since that time. His dancing experience has also included square dance, ballroom dance, contra dance and Scottish country dance.

Rod’s service to the Festival has included being President of the Scandinavian Festival Association, 1st Vice President, and 2nd Vice President. He served seven consecutive years as President, the only other person who had served more years was Dr. Gale Fletchall.

While he was President, many projects were accomplished during his tenure. Some of those projects include: building the handicap ramp into the hall, designing and building a door into the Festival Park sound shack, and replacing the wood on the Mall Platform. He was also instrumental in approving and assisting with Two Girl Scout Gold Award Projects and several Boy Scout Eagle Scout projects. Rod was also involved in boosting the Board’s members. When he first starting serving on the Board, there were only 8 members and when he left, there was a full board of 15 members.

Although he is no longer on the board, he still continues to be involved with many aspects of Festival including set-up and tear down. He has helped build the Mall Platform, construct booths, put up the Archway Stage and shade cloth, operate the forklift, and many other chores that need to be done. It would not be unusual to see him (and other dancers) in costume on Wednesday night working to get things ready for Thursday’s opening day of Festival.

Rod is well known for many things including his dependability, hard work, and humor. If he volunteered to do something, it would get done. Current president, Mathew Nelson says, “Rod is always able to give advice or knowledge from past presidents or Festival tradition”. He would stay late to accomplish goals and always did so with humor. In fact his sense of humor included making up words when the specific word escaped him!

Some of Rod’s favorite things about the Festival are festival performances and Community Dance. He says, he “enjoys the camaraderie of the dancers” with whom he performs twice daily during Festival.

The Board will thank and present Rod his award during opening ceremonies on Thursday, Aug. 11th at 10:00am on the Festival Park Stage. Please assist us in honoring him for his service.


Past Fletchall Award Winners


  • Verne & Alves Andresen
  • Helga & Hans Rasmussen
  • Viola West
  • Christine Nielsen
  • Marv & Mary Krenk
  • Vard & Peggy Nelson
  • Fran Wilger
  • Jock Loths
  • Walt Peterson
  • Jeri Beard
  • Wayne & Gretchen Leiberg
  • Brad & Dee Lemhouse
  • Karen McCumsie Nielsen
  • Karsten Rasmussen
  • Chuck & Sandy Toftdahl
  • Dean McKay
  • Jack Dutchess
  • Mike Curley
  • Pacific Power
  • Nadine & Mitch Wiles
  • John & Polly Gunson
  • Joanne Hunt
  • Gay Blankenship
  • Joen N. Bodtker
  • Theodore E. Jensen
  • Roy Chapman
  • Dorothy Young
  • Victor Nielsen
  • Arnie & Elaine Anderson
  • City of Junction City
  • Jo Brown
  • Sue Huntley
  • Tom Johnson
  • Helen Sill
  • Fred Peterson
  • Vard Nelson
  • Elmer Borgaard
  • Bing Nelson
  • Russell Jones
  • Karl Pedersen
  • Gale Fletchall
  • Carl & Enola Nielsen
  • Russ, Marla, Julie & Jon Weber
  • Orine Brunscheon
  • Kathy May
  • Fred Barden
  • Don & Carol Nielsen
  • Jamie Hooper
  • Tom & Brenda Peterson
  • Kay Slaton
  • Junction City Fire Department
  • Junction City-Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce
  • Brett & Laura Lemhouse
  • Glenna Barker
  • Jerry & Mary Lou Finigan
  • Taryl Perry