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Young, Kenneth Gordon – Obituary

Kenneth Gordon Young, 74, of Cove died March 13 at Grande Ronde Hospital of heart failure. Gravesite services will begin at 1 p.m. May 24 at the Cove Cemetery. Friends and relatives may sign the guest registry at

Kenneth was born May 24, 1933, to Fred and Laura Ackerman Young in Baker City. He lived in Sumpter during his childhood and completed his junior high and high school education in Baker City. He completed a bachelor of science degree at Eastern Oregon University and a master of arts degree at Colorado State University.

He served in the Navy from 1953 to 1957, primarily in the Pacific. He later taught English for the University of Maryland Overseas Program traveling throughout Europe and Asia. He then taught literature and creative writing and served as chair of the English and Foreign Language Department at Portland Community College. He retired to Cove in 2001.

Those who knew him say Gordon was keenly interested in classical music and enjoyed playing the piano during his young adulthood. He was an extensive reader who took great pleasure in becoming well informed in local, national and international affairs.

He enjoyed sailing his boat with friends and his dogs, Hanzi and Tigger, on the Columbia River. He was also interested in geology.

He particularly enjoyed being with his family members and took pride in helping publish his father’s book, “Home in the Blues.”

He is survived by his sister, Louise Young Van Schoonhoven and her husband John of Cove; sister-in-law, Marion Young of Idyllwild, Calif., brother-in-law, Charles Gildersleeve of Spokane; five nieces; a nephew; and many cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Paul Young; and sister, Kay Gildersleeve.

Donations may be made in honor of his niece to the Susan Michelle Van Schoonhoven Scholarship Fund for the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) Program at The School for International Training. Checks can be made to “CONTACT Program” and mailed to SIT, P.O. Box 676, 1 Kipling Road, Brattleboro, Vt. 05301. For more information about the program, call 1-800-257-7751 or visit
La Grande Observer – Obituaries for the week ending March 22, 2008

Submitted by Dixie Ricker

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