Timothy Ray McLeod, known as “Sunny Tim” to friends and coworkers, died March 12 after surprising doctors and surviving for 11 years with multiple myeloma. Tim could well have been one of the most affable humans on the planet, even while he had a fatal disease.

“He stopped everywhere he went to talk to everybody, even people he didn’t know,” said his tearful wife, Lorelei.

A funeral is set for Saturday, March 26, 10:30 a.m. at Holy Family Church, 7525 SE Cesar Chavez Blvd. in Portland. A reception at Celebration Hall across the street from the church will follow. Deacon Tim Dooley will preside.

Tim, an estimator and planner for Oregon Catholic Press since 2007, built a community of bicycle commuters at the nonprofit, joyfully riding dozens of miles out of his way to accompany a new rider. In his neighborhood, he would walk his dog and greet everyone, remembering their kids’ names and life details. He would invite people to dinner frequently.

Tim was quietly heroic. During a drive down Macadam Avenue in Portland, he saw a car and driver plunge into the Willamette River near the Sellwood Bridge. Tim rushed to the scene, dove in and made the rescue. Those who rode bikes with him saw him stop to help people who had fallen or push a stalled vehicle.

Once, when he found a man who had stolen his bicycle, Tim waived off the advice of friends who told him to press charges and instead gave the thief $100 in return for the beloved conveyance. Just a few years ago, a motorist slammed into a cycling Tim, bending his bicycle. Instead of suing or even filing a claim, Tim simply asked for $250 to make repairs, hardly enough to cover the damage.

Born in Puyallup, Washington, he moved as a boy with his family to Salem. His father was part owner of a printing business, and young Tim learned the trade.

At McKay High School in Salem, Tim was an exceptional runner, a fabulous trumpet player, excelled in math and was on the state math honor roll on his senior year. He attended Bartlesville Wesleyan College and two years at the University of Oregon.

As a young man, he traveled to Greece, Mexico and Latin America.

“He was always kind, but this made an impact on his life,” his wife said. “It opened his horizons about different cultures and different peoples.”

He returned to enter the printing business, first with his father at Lynx Group in Salem and then on to Times Litho of Forest Grove, KP in Salem, Graphic Arts Center in Portland and then Oregon Catholic Press.

In his work at OCP, Tim saved tens of thousands of dollars for the nonprofit by being a tough but fair negotiator.

Many OCP workers counted Tim as a friend.

“Tim always saw the best in people and always assumed positive intent,” said John Vogler, a former OCP worker. “He was loved by all for his gentle nature and sunny outlook.”

Judy Heisler called him “Pumpkin.” He would return business notes with pumpkin emojis.

“Tim asked so little of others, and gave so much of himself,” said Carol Percin, a longtime OCP staffer.

“It is a big empty space he left,” said Rocio Rios, an editor in worship publications at OCP.

Tim was anchorman on OCP running teams and cycling groups.

“Our Hood to Coast Relay team called him 'Sunny Tim’ because of his sunny, eternally positive disposition,” said Deacon Dooley, a fellow runner and longtime friend. “Like Will Rogers, he never seemed to meet anyone that he didn’t like. A great guy indeed.”

Even when ill, Tim could outride most of his biking pals.

“I’ve always been in awe of Tim, his perseverance, his resilience and toughness,” said Wade Wisler, a biking buddy and publisher of Oregon Catholic Press. “Some of us used to joke with him about how his illness only slowed him down to the level of the rest of us mere mortals. He really operated at a higher level.”

In his last months, Tim would talk to front desk worker Mary Velazquez about life, death and heaven.

“He was aware on a higher plain,” Velazquez said.

As a husband and father, Tim was “just incredible, the best — kind, fair, happy, fun,” his wife Lorelei said. He read for hours on end to his daughter Isabella, who learned to read young and is now an accomplished writer.

“He was humble,” Lorelei said, “grateful to everyone he met.”

In addition to his wife and daughter, Tim is survived by his parents Tom and Carlotta McLeod, brother Andrew and sister Jana.

Friends have established a GoFundMe account for Lorelei and Isabella:

gofund.me/23aa6ede