Kenneth O'Leary

Obituary of Kenneth L. O'Leary

Kenneth Leroy O'Leary was born on Feb. 27, 1936 at a mid-wife home in Grants Pass, Oregon to his parents Leo Harold and Viola Amelia Augusta Meisner O'Leary. He was their 3rd child. Throughout his school years in Grants Pass, Ken had a job delivering Oregonian newspapers by bicycle. Ken had many other jobs including working at Sprouse Rites stores stocking shelves and logging with Carothers Logging Co. After graduation in 1955 in Grants Pass, Ken went to work at Rouge River Hardware sheet metal shop. This included driving from Grants Pass two days a week to attend trade school in Medford, OR. to receive his journeyman's card. In May of 1958, Ken married his high school sweetheart Juanita "Dale" Pernell, and was drafted into the US Army June of 1958. Ken trained at Fort Ord, CA. and was shipped to Korea for one tour where he worked in the supply depot. In June of 1960, he went to Fort Bragg NC., for discharge at which time he divorced and returned to Grants Pass and completed getting his journeyman's card. From 1961-1968 he was married to Lois "Arline" Adams and had two children Laurie Ann and Jay Patrick. In 1964, he went to work for Majors Well Drilling. In 1968, accepted a job for Gorge Contractors Well Drilling Co. in Goldendale, WA. From 1969-1972 he was married to Lynn Garner with whom son Kirt William was born, and began his own business: O'Leary Well Drilling Inc. that same year. He served on the WA. State Well Drillers Association Board for two years. In 1973, Ken married Merle Ann Read with daughter Kathleen Ann. In 1987, Ken sold the well drilling business and began a career in excavation work. Ken and Merle divorced that year. Ken had a drilling career that lasted 25 years, drilling 1000+ wells from Southern Oregon to the Canadian Border. Including 42 wells drilled on the reservation in Okanogan and 50 wells on the Warm Springs reservation. In 1994, Ken formed O'Leary and Son Excavating Inc. with son Kirt and his son Jay would work intermittently with them, as well. As general contractors they built homes, shops, barns, installed septic systems, pit set manufactured homes, land clearing, hauling top soil and rock, dug water and powerlines, etc. Ken served two years on the advisory board for the Klickitat County Health Dept. In 2002, Ken re-married his first wife Dale in the same church on the same day 45 years from their first marriage. Ken leaves behind his children Laurie O'Leary of Bingen, WA., Jay of Centerville, WA., Kirt (Lisa Bean) of Centerville, WA., Kathleen (Dan Wedgwood) of Goldendale, as well as 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Leo & Viola O'Leary, grandson Cameron, brothers Dwight, Dennis, and Harold, as well as his sister Charmaine. Ken always had a smile and a wave to those he knew and respected. He will be surely missed. Please join us for a celebration of life at 2 p.m. on January 3rd at the Centerville Grange with deserts and beverages, where he will be receiving military honors.
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Memorial Service

2:00 pm
Friday, January 3, 2020
Centerville Grange
2288 Centerville Highway
Centerville, Washington, United States