Kenneth Harrison Hemmerling

Kenneth Harrison Hemmerling

Kenneth Harrison Hemmerling

Ken was born July 8, 1918, in Elsmere, Nebr., and died in Medford, Ore., March 23, 2008.

He grew up in Nebraska on farms and ranches, living several years in a sod house. After moving with his parents to

Medford, he served in the U.S. Navy and then the Army from 1941 to 1947, with European service. He joined the Oregon State Police with initial posting as the sole officer in Curry County, the toughest post in Oregon. He soon gained the

respect and affection of the residents for his firm and fair

approach. His courage and resourcfulness in deadly

encounters was well known. A OSP officer remarked, "They still tell stories about Ken in the State Police."

In 1950 Ken married LaVonne Ruud from North Dakota. They adopted her niece and nephew, Diane and Westley Lerum. He faithfully cared for LaVonne through her long

illness until her death in 1992.

In 1975 he retired from OSP and successfully pursued a

number of business ventures, making many friends.

He married Cleo Willard in 1993 and became a beloved

second father to her family. Ken and Cleo traveled

extensively in their RV until their health declined in 2006. Ken was full of humor and was always ready for a game of pinochle. Ken was steadfast in his Lutheran faith. He served his country, was a brave officer of the law, a steady provider, and a loving husband and father to an extended family. He spread his joy in life and his cheerful handling of adversity to all of us. He was all that a man needs to be and an example to which we aspire.

He is survived by his second wife, Cleo, his brother, Gifford, and a large and close extended family.

Services will be at the National Cemetery, Eagle Point, at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 27, 2008, Pastor Hunkler


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