Earl William Kellenbeck
Earl Kellenbeck, 87, passed away at his home Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 1:35 a.m. of natural causes. He was the loving and devoted husband of Denise Lovelace Kellenbeck and beloved father of Mark Kellenbeck, Cynthia Howard, and Heather Parker.
Earl was born in Flagstaff, Ariz. June 5, 1928. His family moved to Medford, Oregon when he was six months old. In 1940 Earl and his family moved to Grants Pass.
Earl was a member of the Grants Pass High School Class of 1946. He was inducted into the Grants Pass High School Hall of Fame July 13, 1996.
In March 1946 Earl joined the U.S. Navy and served as a hospital apprentice caring for the servicemen who returned home from the war.
He married Denise Lovelace December 23, 1953 in Drain, Ore. He moved his family to Grants Pass in July 1960 and started Kellenbeck Construction Company. Earl’s company built about 1,000 homes and apartments, several churches, and other commercial buildings throughout southern Oregon.
He helped restart the local Home Builders Association, serving as its President for several years. He was the president of the Oregon State Home Builders Association in 1970. Earl is credited with starting the annual Parade of Homes for the Home Builders Associations and The Portland Parade of Homes, which became the annual “Street of Dreams.” Earl served nearly two terms on the Grants Pass City Council. He also enjoyed being involved in all his childrens' activities.
He loved the outdoors, was an avid fisherman, enjoyed hunting, and was a wonderful gardener. Earl also loved the desert and went south every winter for 27 years. In addition to his love of square dancing and round dancing with his wife, Earl loved to sing. He sang in church choirs and a men’s quartet.
Earl’s generosity will not be forgotten. He opened his heart and home to many. He gave homes to a number of family members over the years and helped several young men get started in life. After retirement, Earl continued to serve his community. He was interested and involved in the Development of Three Rivers Hospital.
Earl is survived by his beloved wife, Denise; son, Mark Kellenbeck; daughters, Cynthia Howard and Heather Parker; seven grandchildren, Betsy Cole, Phillip Kellenbeck, Julie Roach, Jessica Olsen, Anna Owens, Alicia Gallo, and Mitchell Adair; seven great-grandchildren, Aaron, Ryan, Madison, Miles, Lucas, Caius, and Abram. He was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Clara Kellenbeck; three brothers, Verne, Oren, and Bob; and two sisters, Hazel and June.
A celebration of life will be held at 11: 00 a.m., Saturday, May 21, 2016 at Hull and Hull Funeral Home, 612 N.W. A Street, Grants Pass, Ore. Pastor Denny Davis will officiate. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park. A light lunch and reception to follow at Grace Bible Church, 1555 N.E 10th Street, Grants Pass, Ore.
For those who wish, they may donate in Earl’s name to Three Rivers Community Hospital Family House, 2600 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford, Ore. 97504; Josephine County Educational Fund, P.O. Box 908, Grants Pass, Ore. 97528; or Lovejoy Hospice, 939 S.E. 8th Street, Grants Pass, Ore. 97526.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Timothy Roberts, Home Instead Senior Care, and Lovejoy Hospice for their wonderful and loving care in our time of need.