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Kenneth A. Van Cleave

July 7, 1937 - October 15, 2018


Kenneth Allen Van Cleave (81) went home to heaven on October 15, 2018, in Dallas, Oregon.  Ken was born in Salem, Oregon on July 7, 1937, to Doris (Fox) and George Van Cleave.  He was the second son in a family of five children.  He graduated from North Salem High School and married Renee Bertsch on December 27, 1958, in Salem, Oregon.  They celebrated 59 years together last December the day before Renee’s passing.

Ken is survived by his son Kyle Van Cleave (Brenda) and grandson Austin, daughter Kari Hiebenthal (David) and grandsons Joseph (Ashley) and Joshua, brothers Donald, Sherman and Duane Van Cleave, as well as many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his wife Renee, oldest son Michael,  sister Sharon Ransom, and parents.
 
Kenneth served in the Army National Guard for 8 years as an Engineer Equipment Mechanic and was very proud of his service.

Ken was an avid bowler and drag racing enthusiast beginning in high school and throughout his life.  His passion led him all over the country and Pacific Northwest to racing events.  He was very proud of his involvement in the Woodburn Drag Strip and raced the “Screaming Yellow Demon” in the pro stock class and a dragster during his career.  He was on the cover of the May 1973, Car Craft magazine which was a highlight.
 
He was a jack of all trades and could fix almost anything. Dad always had rough cut hands from working on projects, we learned the tools of the trade and how to use them from his teaching and example. His work ethic was incredible.  Ken retired from truck driving and their retirement years were spent partially in Yuma, Arizona enjoying time with friends and family.  They especially enjoyed watching their grandson’s grow into wonderful young men.
 
Ken was lovingly cared for by his wife, Renee, until her passing in December 2017, and Dallas Retirement Village, Memory Care Center.  The family wishes to thank their family, friends and DRV for all of their loving support over the years.

Services will be held at Salt Creek Baptist Church, on Thursday, October 25, 2018, at 1 p.m..  15075 Salt Creek Church Road, Dallas, Oregon 97338.

 

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It was an honor to know Ken. I always enjoyed my conversations with him. I wish I had known about his car racing adventures as I would have loved to hear his stories. As a fellow veteran, I wish you "Fair Winds and a Following Sea" in the oceans of heaven.  Rest in peace Ken.  Allen



Our condolences for the loss of your father.  Although we never met him we have seen the product of his love in his children and grandchildren.  May he rest in eternal peace.
 



A great patriarch whose light lives on. Kyle, Sara & I offer our love & prayers for your family during this time of remembrance and celebration of life. God bless & keep you! Beau & Sara Webb



I believe this photo is Michael, Kyle, and Kari, with Shelly, Tam & Dave with our grandma Doris Fox Van Cleave, Ken’s mom. I’m so sad this day is here, but I want to say Uncle Ken & Aunt Renee made a wonderful family. They are so proud of you and I am so happy to be part of their family. They are such kind people! I really enjoyed my visits to their farm as a child.  Everything was so interesting! I really appreciate Kens visits to our house in Seattle and seeing my mom.  May we forever remember him with such joy!