John Ralph Kaiser, 71, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in Lakeview.
He entered the world on the 4th of July 1948 to Patience Hope and Henry Ralph Kaiser. He was born the youngest, preceding him were his sister, Gloria and brother, Nick, both of whom were very dear to him. They were joined during their teen years by his sisters, Katy and Annie, both sources of great delight and pride to him as well as life-long friends. John is remembered by his siblings as a rambunctious and happy child, who loved to laugh and spend his free time in those early years in his mother’s store in Corvallis. An old-fashioned town where John said a dime bought him a coke, popcorn and the movie ticket and it still left him enough to get an ice cream afterward.
In John’s teen years he was involved passionately with the Boy Scouts of America where his love for the outdoors and the natural world was nurtured. He attained Eagle Scout, the highest rank given in the BSA. He was also honored with becoming a Vigil member in the Order of the Arrow, again the highest achievement. He did not stop or rest on his laurels, he took what he learned and had gone through, including losing his mother at age 12, and went forth to better the world. He took the oath of Boy Scouts and helped others always.
John was a patriot in every sense of the word. At age 17 he joined the United States Navy as a hospital corpsman. He worked in New York City at the military hospital taking care of vets returning injured from the war in Vietnam. They always liked him, he always said, because he took them around town and looked after them including pushing them in their wheelchairs around the city to all the various places an injured war vet would want to go.
After the Navy he went to college at Oregon College of Education and met his wife, Cheri Jefferson. They got married and had a son named Michiah. Three years later they were living in Corvallis where their next son Dakota was born. As he worked in the valley hauling corn and hay, he finished his degree in Archaeology at Oregon State.
He bought a house with his wife, Cheri in New Idaho where his devotion of service extended into his choice of career with the USFS as the Fremont Winema Forest archaeologist. He enjoyed his long career and his coworkers during that time immensely. A decade younger than his older brothers, John had his youngest son, Isaac. His kids grew up, his oldest becoming a teacher and his two others going off to the military and college.
John kept busy, continuing chasing his dreams and in areas of service which included volunteering as a Scout Master, a little league coach, a mentor, and EMT. He managed the Passport in Time Program, fought wild fires. He travelled all over the world to Israel, Egypt, and Europe. He took a small boat to Peru, went to Ecuador, Machu Picchu and as always, his “second home” Big Island, Hawaii where his sister Gloria lived for 50 years. He took his family to the Grand Canyon, and George Washington’s homestead. He loved life and enjoyed the many things it had to offer. He was a wonderful and extraordinary human being and by losing him the world got just a little smaller. Keep John in your prayers and know he is listening with a friendly smile and a glow of love.
John was preceded in death by: his father, Henry aged 95; his mom, Hope, when he was a young boy; and sister, Gloria aged 72.
He is survived by: his wife, Cheri; sons and daughters-in-law, Michiah and Kyra and Isaac and Maria; his son, Dakota; brother, Nick; sisters, Katy and Annie; two grandchildren, Dayton and Elan; and his many dear extended family members and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Dornebecker Children’s Hospital, PO Box 4100, Portland, OR 97208-9908 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Desert Rose Funeral Chapel has charge of the arrangements.