Kendall Leon Burkhead

March 18, 1935 ~ March 29, 2021 (age 86)


Kendall L. Burkhead passed in his home in West Linn, OR March 29th 2021.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Geri, and his 7 children (Laurie Burkhead, James Burkhead, Richard Burkhead, David Burkhead, Steven Burkhead, Mikel Burkhead and Karin Allen), as well as his brother J. Dean Burkhead. He is also survived by their 7 grandsons, 7 granddaughters and 2 great grandchildren.

Ken was born in St Helens, OR on March 18th 1935 to James Kendall Burkhead (passed 2006) and Beryl Imogene (Messinger) Burkhead (passed 2002).  He was the oldest of three children.  He had a younger sister, Carolyn, passed 2011.

He graduated from St. Helens High school in 1953, then spent 2 years at Oregon State University.  He studied at Portland State University after that, then studied at Northwest Radio and TV school.  He then took a job in Butte, MT at KXLF TV as cameraman.  After meeting in 1954 and courting for 2 and a half years, Ken married the love of his life, Geraldine Marie Jacobsen, in 1956, in Butte, MT.  She relocated to Montana, where they lived for about a year and a half, then moved back to West Linn where he took a job at First National Bank.  He worked for the bank 18 years.  Then after a short time working in real estate and insurance sales, he took a job with the Oregon State Department of Veterans Affairs where he worked from 1975 until his retirement in 1999.

Ken’s greatest passion was family. He loved spending time with his children, then grandchildren, and finally his great grandchildren in the last years.   During a recent hospitalization he kept telling the doctors and nurses he needed to get out to get back to his “redheads,” referring to his great grandchildren he loved to play with. Every kid that knew him remembered him for the acrobatic circus tricks and flips he’d treat them to and his harmonica serenades.

He was deeply loved by all who knew him and never failed to bring laughter to a conversation with his quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. Ken had a way of making everyone feel comfortable and welcome; there was no doubt he loved you when he gave you a personalized (and often nonsensical) nickname, a clear sign of his affection.

Ken enjoyed the outdoors his entire life.  He loved hiking, fishing and backpacking the Cascades.

He also spent a great deal of his free time gardening and out in the yard.

The last 14 years or so, he began spending a large amount of time painting pictures as well and it turned out he had real artistic talent.  His home, childrens’ homes and grandchildrens’ rooms are all decorated with his originals.

A memorial service will be held Friday, April 2,, 2021 at Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud, 715 7th Street, Oregon City, followed by a graveside internment ceremony at Mountainview Cemetery, Oregon City, and finally a friends and family memorial reception. 

You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Burkhead Celebration of Life
Time: Apr 2, 2021 10:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 976 3632 4372
Passcode: hhbw

The Zoom password is hhbw.  

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kendall Leon Burkhead, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
April 2, 2021

11:00 AM
Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud Funeral Service
715 7th St
Oregon City, OR 97045

April 2, 2021

12:30 PM
Mountain View Cemetery, Oregon City

© 2021 Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud Funeral Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy