Memorial scholarship awarded to La Grande firefighter


CORVALLIS - An Oregon State University scholarship honoring Roseburg firefighter Rob Johnson will go to Andrew Diacetis, an OSU junior from La Grande.

Johnson was one of 14 U.S. Forest Service firefighters trapped and killed on July 6, 1994, by a fast-moving wildfire near Glenwood Springs, Colo. He was part of the Forest Service Prineville "hotshot" firefighting crew at the time.

Diacetis, a construction engineering management major and a 1994 graduate of La Grande High School, has worked as a Forest Service firefighter for two seasons.

"I'm aware of the history of this award, and it's an honor to receive it," Diacetis said.

Johnson was a 1991 OSU graduate. His parents, Gene and Marie Johnson of Roseburg, founded the Rob Johnson Memorial Scholarship to honor Johnson's life and provide aid to other OSU students who are also firefighters.

The perpetual endowment has been established with the OSU Foundation and earnings will provide support for the scholarship. Contributions are welcome. For information, contact Donna Vuchinich at 1-800-354-7281.

Johnson, a 1986 Roseburg High School honors graduate, studied accounting at OSU, Marie Johnson said. While he earned a bachelor's degree in business, Johnson had a lifelong interest in firefighting and worked on seasonal fire crews since 1987, she said.

Three of the fallen firefighters graduated from or attended OSU. John Roy Kelso, 27, a native of Prineville and a 1991 OSU graduate in wildlife science, and Terri Hagen, 28, an OSU senior in entomology from Dallas, Ore., also died in the blaze.