Clair Rothberg Killen, 92, passed away December 12, 2012, at his home in Ashland. He was born July 27, 1920, in Windsor, Ontario, the son of Sonia Rothberg Killen and Clair Campbell Killen who had met while jailed for protesting WWI. Clair and his sister, Lilli Ann, continued in their parents' footsteps, championing the underdog and on many a picket line.
Clair was self-taught and excelled in many areas; he was not afraid to make mistakes. He loved the challenge of high-risk projects that stretched him mentally and physically. He was a machinist and foreman in a defense plant during WWII, and he faced down workers who did not want the plant to be integrated. He backpacked the Sierra mostly solo for many years; he created and operated several engineering businesses, was a neo-Reichian therapist, and designed and built a 30-sided house overlooking the historic town of Buncom. He created and operated C. K. Tiffin's restaurant and The Conference Center, wrote several volumes of poetry, and enjoyed doing modern dance almost to the end. Many will remember his willingness to offer insight and encouragement.
Clair was the father of four, the husband of five, and friend and counselor to many more. Survivors include daughters, Dana Black (Rick) and Julie Robbins (Dick); sons, Jeffry Killen and Lars Killen (Becky); seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and longtime partner, Jonnie Zheutlin. His sister, Lilli Ann Killen Rosenberg and granddaughter Melisa Morris passed away last year.
The family is grateful for the loving care of Michael Stone, M.D. and the nurses of Ashland Hospice.
A joyful, non-religious celebration of Clair's life will be held Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. at Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Avenue, Ashland, Ore.