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Kent "Kelly" Dwight Van Gilder

July 26, 1926 March 21, 2010
Kent "Kelly" Dwight Van Gilder
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Obituary for Kent "Kelly" Dwight Van Gilder

Kent (Kelly) Dwight VanGilder was born in Kemmerer, WY on July 26, 1926 to Harry and Edith (Cox) VanGilder while they were on a short visit in Kemmerer. He passed away at a local care facility on March 21, 2010, at the age of 83 years. His early years were spent with his parents, an older brother, Kenneth Lavern VanGilder, and extended family in Arapaho, Oklahoma. His mother and father divorced while he was still very young and he, his brother and father worked in coal mines in Colorado and did mule logging in Wyoming. The three of them eventually made their way to Oroville, CA where the family began a rice farm, which is still in the family today. Shortly afterward, his father married Letha Walls and during the years he acquired three half-brothers and one half-sister: Dallas, Wayne, Virgil and Enid and one step-sister Dorothy. In 1944, Kelly enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in the Asiatic Pacific until 1946 as a Coxswain. He returned home and on April 20, 1947 married Barbara Jean Kincaid. They were married until October, 1960 and had four children: Charlene, Dwight, Vickie and Steve. He loved his wife very much, but suffered greatly from post traumatic stress and was unable to cope with his responsibilities. He spent the remainder of his years as quietly as possible and with his children and their families as much as he could and has lived in Brookings since 1979. He was preceded in death by his two sons; Dwight David on May 13, 1974 and Steven Lloyd on February 9, 2005; also one granddaughter, Sarah, on December 23, 1983. He is survived by his two daughters: Vickie of Brookings, OR and Charlene Mikkelsen and her husband Alfred of Brookings, OR. Kelly had three grandsons and one granddaughter, nine great- grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren: John Hornecker and his wife, Debbe, of Powell, WY and his children: Taylor and Buddy John; Kenneth Hornecker and his wife, Kandie, of Brookings, OR and their children: Brooke, Harley and Jordon; Billy Casteel and his wife, Desiree, of Brookings, OR and their children: Andrea and Tyler; Rebecca Haskins and her husband, Jason, of Medford, OR and their children: Hunter and Rylan. He also wished to acknowledge John and Marie Musser whom he met while working on their ranch and whom he considered part of his life and family. No services will be conducted per Kelly’s wishes. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friends of Curry County Hospice, PO Box 382, Gold Beach, OR 97444.

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