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Kenneth Jagoe-Seidl

May 14, 1951 - April 14, 2018


In the 12th century, a mystic offered this:  “The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw – and knew I saw – all things in God and God in all things”.  This obituary is written in loving memory of Ken, who helped us understand the immensity of God’s love for everyone and everything. 
 
Kenneth Edward Jagoe-Seidl, age 66, transitioned peacefully from this life, back to the great All on Saturday, April 14, 2018.  At the time of his passing, he was residing in Harmony House, an Alzheimer’s care home in Salem, Oregon.  Ken, his wife Melissa, son Gabriel and daughter Sophia are former residents of McMinnville. 
 
Born in Chico, California on May 14, 1951, Ken was the third child of the late Edward Seidl and Bernice Lair Seidl.  He attended Immaculate Heart of Mary elementary school in Belmont, California and was a graduate of Junipero Serra High school in San Mateo, California. Ken studied forestry in college and developed a passion for gardening and landscaping as a young man.  Ken enjoyed working at the formal gardens at Filoli, an estate in Woodside, California, integrating his love for gardening and sense of beauty into daily life.
 
Many people who knew Ken experienced his beautiful heart, gentle spirit, loving presence and deep relationship with God.  In 1979, he joined the Order of Cistercians at the Abby of New Clairvaux, as a Trappist monk.  In the solitude and silence of the monastic community, Ken experienced Love in a profound way.  Throughout his life he remained deeply connected to living a spiritual life. We are all the richer for his time spent there.   
 
In 1985, Ken felt called to explore God’s call, outside of monastic life and joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) in Seattle, Washington.  It was there he met Melissa.  Ken’s dedication to social justice and compassion for the poor was prophetic. 
 
Upon moving to Oregon in 1987, Ken worked at Hyland Vineyards tending grapes.  When asked once by a family member if he ever got tired of pruning rows after row of plants, he said “I just do it for God”.  Ken was earth-centered and saw beauty and God in nature and throughout all seasons.  He was dedicated to recycling and organic gardening.  Ken also loved music and had a great talent for the guitar, harmonica and singing.
 
Ken worked with Yamhill County Health and Human Services Abacus and Bridges programs for several years and was a groundskeeper at Linfield College for nearly 20 years. He was very fond of people he met in these places.
 
Ken is survived by his wife of 30 years, Melissa Jagoe-Seidl, of Trumbull, Connecticut and their two children, Gabriel Francis Jagoe-Seidl of San Mateo, California and Sophia Louise Jagoe-Seidl of Fordham University, Bronx, NY.   Other family members who will greatly miss Ken include his brother Frank Seidl and his wife Gina Seidl of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, sister Cathy Seidl of Portland, Oregon and sister Michelle Seidl of Seattle, Washington.  Melissa’s parents, Mary Louise and Russell Jagoe also of Trumbull, Connecticut will miss him dearly.  Ken has many cousins, nieces and nephews and other extended family members who he loved and who will miss him.
 
Our family is grateful to our friends in Yamhill County who remained close and helped Ken and our family throughout his arduous journey with early-age onset Alzheimer’s. These include Shirley Kimball, Paul and Joan Kushner, Nancy Skowrup and Melissa’s women’s group to name a few.  Our family is grateful to the exceptional care giving that was provided to Ken at Harmony House Alzheimer’s Care Home in Salem from January 2014 through his passing.
 
Friends are invited to meet directly at St. Joseph the Worker, Catholic Church, 2310 S.E. 148th Street, Portland, Oregon on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 10:30am for rosary and a Mass of Christian Burial.  A reception will follow in the church hall.  Family asks that donations in his memory may be made to Harmony House Attention: Michele Nixon,  3062 Hyacinth Street NE Salem, OR  97301 and the Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org.
 
 

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This is beautifully written and highlights so many of the wonderful things about Uncle Ken. He made a lasting and positive impression on everyone that he met, and I know that my faith is deeper for having known him in my life. I’m sorry I can’t be in Oregon on Thursday but will be thinking of and praying for the Jagoe and Seidl families. Love, Allison



Sophia: Your dad was an amazing man and one who I would have loved to meet and spend time with> I'm sure I saw a lot of your dad in you and he will be here as long as people remember him and all that he gave everyone around him. Good families don't happen by accident. Your mom and dad did a great job!!



I had the great fortune of being a housemate of Ken and Melissa's as Jesuit Volunteers at Cherry Abbey in Seattle, WA. It would be hard for me to overstate the impact Ken had on my life.  During that time, I worked at an overnight shelter.  Each morning when all was still dark, I would return home and notice the smell of incense and a small light emanating from Ken's room. His prayerful witness, peace-filled and joyful demeanor, and kind spirit helped our home be a true sanctuary. Holiness and goodness emanated from him - not because he had been a Trappist, but because this is who he was at heart. His presence was a balm.  And what a twinkle in his eye and joy in his spirit! It's heartbreaking to know that he endured early Alzheimers. May Ken's soul soar on the wings of angels. And may Melissa, Gabe, and Sophia feel the love of God surrounding you as you remember your beloved one. You are in my prayers with love, Sue Koehler-Arsenault



Dear Melissa and family, just a note to say that I am holding you all in my heart as you mourn Ken's transition. I did not  know until recently that he had passed, but in fact had an intuition of it on what turns out to have been within a few days of his passing, so looked online to find that was in fact true. The obituary is beautiful, just beautiful. Bless you all.