Howard George Kinzey was born Jan. 2, 1925, in Kingsley, Iowa, and passed away in Hood River, Ore., at 92, of natural causes.
His parents were Marvin Leonard Kinzey and Erma Ella (Morris) Kinzey.
Though born in Iowa on a visit to his paternal grandparents’ home, Howard was always a Wasco County boy at heart. He enjoyed the view of Mt. Hood throughout his boyhood and from the final homestead his folks built in Wamic, Ore., to his retirement home in White Salmon, Wash. He loved camping and fishing all around the area. Fly fishing was a specialty with perhaps his favorite spot on the Deschutes River.
Howard graduated from Maupin High School in 1942 and joined the service soon afterwards. His fire suppression experience with the Forest Service landed him a spot in the Army Air Corps helping fight fires at United States air bases, where he served for about a year before being transferred into the infantry. A few weeks of additional training and he was on a ship to Le Havre, France, and quickly from there into Belgium where he arrived at the tail end of the Battle of the Bulge, following the German retreat across the bridge at Remagen and all the way into Berlin. He remained there as part of the occupational forces until 1946. Before returning home, he and a buddy took a six-week furlough into Switzerland where they found the prettiest girls they’d ever seen (until he met his wife Nancy, naturally).
Howard attended Oregon State on the GI Bill and obtained a Bachelor’s in Geology. He was always grateful for this opportunity and contributed to the OSU Alumni Association for the rest of his life. After graduating he worked for Shell Oil for 31 years in search of natural gas resources. In that position, he progressed through Washington, California, and Texas before retiring and finally achieving his goal of returning home to the Pacific Northwest. A geologist through and through, he always had something to share about the last million years of any place he ever went.
Howard married Nancy Ann Maxwell on Aug. 1, 1954, and they remained together for the next 62 years. Howard and Nancy had three sons, Douglas, Brian and Bruce, of which he was very proud.
He and Nancy took up square dancing while they were still living in Houston and joined the Columbia Gorge Plus Dancers in The Dalles after their move. They made many close friends along the way that they have retained to this day.
Howard is survived by his wife Nancy; his sister Barbara Frame; his sons, Douglas and wife Paula Olson, Brian, Bruce and wife Karen (Byrne); and a host of in-laws, nieces and nephews. He enjoyed great health throughout his life and always had a smile and a pleasant word for everyone, an apple for the horses next door and a handful of cracked corn for the quail out back. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.
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