Joseph Gaylord Kikendall Sr. passed away at Montana Veterans Home of Columbia Falls on Oct. 29, 2018.
Joe was born on April 17, 1927, in Lansing, Michigan, to parents Gladys and Gaylord Kikendall.
His parents separated, and Joe came to Montana with his mom and two sisters when he was just 4.
Life was not easy in his youth. Joe did a lot of hunting and fishing to help put food on the table. Joe attended school through eighth grade, but left academics behind to become a local truck driver, delivering freight to local stores.
When old enough, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was sent to Germany for the last few months of World War II. Because he knew a lot about driving trucks and big machinery, he was made a sergeant in short order, overseeing the big machines used for reconstruction work.
Shortly after his return stateside, he married Gladys Irene Wise. Together they had four children. Gladys watched over the kids and kept the house neat and tidy, while Joe continued to drive a local delivery truck. He drove local delivery for 50 years, and received a commendation for driving over 2 million miles without an accident.
Joe loved all things “truck,” and started collecting miniature trucks (Some people would refer to them as toys, but Joe called them mementos). Joe also enjoyed camping (in his later years he would come up to Joe Jr.’s camping site at 6 a.m. ready for bacon, eggs and coffee), boating in Bigfork bay and Thompson Lakes, water skiing (taking off from shore on a solo ski), hunting and fishing.
He made the most effective fishing lures for the waters of the Flathead Valley. He loved being on time for events, which created a desire to make clocks.
Joe was preceded in death by his mother, Gladys; father, Gaylord; two sisters, Maxine and Margarite; his wife of 62 years, Gladys Irene “Sis.”
Joe is survived by his son, Joe (Diana); daughter, Rachel; daughter, Pam (Wes) Holmquist; all of Kalispell; and daughter, Jackie (Mike) Hunter of Medford, Oregon; grandson Brian (Connie) Kikendall and great-grandsons, Colby and Skylar; grandson Jeff Kikendall (Chelsea) and great-granddaughter Abby; granddaughter Joylene Olson (Kirk) and great-grandson Josh, and great-granddaughter, Shayla (Zach); grandson Marty (Ginger) Olson, great-grandson Ryan, and great-granddaughter Sydney; granddaughter Teri (Duane) Dierenfield, great-grandson Adam (Celeste); great-granddaughter Jessica (Zach) Levitt; great-granddaughters Jelisa and Madeleine; granddaughter Lynda (Ty) Fried; great-grandsons Brady and Evan; grandson Travis (Debbie) Holmquist; great- grandchildren Izzy, Katy, Austin, Katelyn, Cody and Justin; and four great-great-grandchildren.
The family would like to send our sincere thanks to all those that worked with Dad at the Vet’s Home. Knowing Dad was watched over with love and compassion means more than you’ll ever know.
In lieu of flowers, we family ask that you make donations to Montana Veterans Home, Memorial Board Foundation, P.O. Box 250, Columbia Falls, MT 59912.
Services will be held 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at Bible Baptist Church, 64 Dove Lane (off Hwy. 2 E., behind Evergreen Pharmacy/Compounding), Kalispell.