Meet the Board: Charles Luukinen

Charles Luukinen has spent a lifetime serving the community,
both personally and professionally. For more than 20 years, he served
Oregonians as a judge. He now works on behalf of public employee retirees as a
member of the OPRI Board of Directors.

Luukinen began his judicial career in 1986 as a District
Court Judge. He then went on to serve as a Circuit Court Judge until he retired
in August of 2010. He served as a trial judge for all types of cases, including
one of the first DNA murder cases in Oregon. He also served as a settlement
judge, and continues to do private mediation and arbitration since his

“I always liked trials,” he said. “The best part of being a
judge was being able to go to court every day and watch good lawyers work.”

After retiring, he joined the OPRI Board in January 2011. Luukinen
strongly believes in the work of OPRI. “OPRI works for the benefit of retired
public employees, most importantly the everyday public employees, like the
court staff, law enforcement, and related government personnel, who I dealt
with on a daily basis,” he said. “As a community, we owe it to those people who
have committed their lives to the public good to follow through with the
commitments made to them in exchange for that work.” 

He believes that OPRI’s greatest strength is the credibility
that has been established with the membership, future retirees and the

“OPRI has always attempted to work for the best interests of
its members and those with similar concerns, while being aware of the positions
of others, to achieve the best results for its membership,” he said. “The OPRI
Board is comprised of individuals from a wide range of public employment which
helps to make us all aware of those diverse perspectives in arriving at a plan
that works for the best interests of all public employees.” 

Outside of his professional career, Luukinen was a high
school and small college basketball referee for 35 years. He served as the
Salem Area High School Basketball Officials Association commissioner and
assigner for 5 years and still works with various referee camps and training
opportunities. He and his wife, Valeria, have also been involved with the
HOOPLA 3×3 Basketball event each summer since it began 19 years ago.

Charles and Val Luukinen have been volunteers at Hoopla since it’s inception in 1999.

Luukinen was born and raised in Astoria. He and Valeria will
celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary this October. They
currently live in West Salem and have three children and four grandchildren.
They continue to be involved in several local organizations and activities.

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