Daniel E. Petrequin was born to Emil Louis Petrequin and Suzanne Alice Chiquet Petrequin on a Hillsboro farm on Easter Sunday, March 30, 1924. Dan’s father had been a Protestant minister in France. After doing missionary work in Africa, he returned briefly to France before going back to Africa to homestead. He’d lost two wives and had six children by the time he immigrated to this country, seeking a better life for his family. Dan’s mother, also from France, immigranted to the United States at the onset of World War I. Living with a sister in Chicago, she began corresponding through mutual friends with Emil. They “arranged” their own marriage, and she joined him and his family in Orenco, Oregon. They had two more sons, Dan being the youngest. The family later moved to east Portland, where Dan attended Russellville Elementary School and graduated from Franklin High School in 1942. Dan didn’t learn much of the English language until he attended school. His early years were lean as he helped his family in their efforts to eke out a living on their small farm. As a youth, Dan learned to thrive on hard work, a quality that paid off throughout his life. He realized that his own parents’ sacrifices in coming to a foreign country and working hard to scratch out a living had provided many opportunities he would not otherwise have had. Dan worked in the Portland shipyards after high school, then joined the U.S. Navy in 1944, but never boarded a ship. As part of the V-12 Naval Reserve Officer Training Program, he attended the School of Mines in Butte, Montana, and the University of California at Berkeley.
Dorothy Jean Calderwood was born February 28, 1922, and raised in Portland, Oregon. She was a member of an avid golfing family, playing competitively for a short time. After graduating from St. Helen’s Hall Junior College, she earned a degree in sociology at Willamette University in Salem. On September 8, 1945, Dan and Dorothy married in Portland, Oregon. Dorothy and Dan had gone to the same high school, but it wasn’t until they met in a youth group at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church in Portland that they got together. After Dan was discharged from the Navy in 1946, the couple moved to Corvallis, where Dan studied mechanical engineering and Dorothy worked in the business office. Dan earned his engineering degree from Oregon State University in 1949. Dorothy and Dan had three daughters, Vicki, Judy, and Linda.
Dan worked with R.C. Wilson Construction Co. from 1950 until retiring in 1984. What eventually became a multi-million dollar concern began by Dan and Bob building outhouses under contract for the government highway department. During his thirty-four-year career, Dan worked on projects such as Cheldelin Junior High School, Corvallis High School Library and Science Wing, Corvallis Clinic, OSU Federal Credit Union, Plaza Nine Shopping Center, PayLess and Citizen’s Bank on Circle Boulevard, US National Bank on Ninth Street, and many others. The professional project for which he was proudest was the reconstruction of the Methodist Church following a fire. But Dan was never comfortable being recognized for all the contributions he made to the community. He was much happier to turn the spotlight elsewhere, usually to his three girls.
As a member of Oregon Equestrian Trails, Dan served as the U.S. Forest Service Liaison and was active in the development of many trails and maintenance of existing horse camps. One of his and Dorothy’s most important achievements was creation of the Horse Camp Design Guide, which gives instructions on how to design a camp to withstand the rugged Cascade Mountain winters. Shortly after this was published, Kerry Knaus-Hardy, founder of the organization HORSES for the Physically Challenged, asked Dan to design barrier-free horse camp. Dan and Dorothy met with her at a remote camp, where she showed them with her wheelchair how barriers could be eliminated. They built a camp that was completely accessible, including a ramp that allowed someone in a wheelchair to mount a horse.
Dan died in a tractor accident on February 13, 1992. Dorothy and Dan had been married forty-six years. Following his death, one of Dan’s favorite destinations on family trail rides (McDonald Forest from Chip Ross Park ending at Dimple Hill) was named “Dan’s Trail” in tribute to him. Dan was also honored at the dedication of the Dan Petrequin Memorial Well at the Cultus Horse Camp, which he helped build. Contributions made in Dan’s memory established the Daniel E. & Dorothy J. Petrequin Fund. The fund provides scholarships for Oregon students studying Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University. When Dorothy died on January 6, 2003, a additional gift from her trust incorporated a separate subfund to benefit Adaptive Riding Institute, formerly known as H.O.R.S.E.S. Ltd., to support the equine assisted therapy services, personal development, therapeutic riding, and related services for people with disabilities.