John  Kirkland
John  Kirkland

Obituary of John Kirkland

Born January 31, 1926 and raised in Portland, John Kirkland graduated from Franklin High School. He was anxious to take part in the great fight and signed up early, finding himself on the USS Ommaney Bay in the Pacific at the tender age of 18. His ship was sunk January 4, 1945 by a Kamikaze and John made lifelong friends with his fellow survivors. Many years later finding camaraderie and solace with his shipmates at survivor reunions across the country.

After the war, John returned home to Portland where he served the city he loved by joining the Portland Police Bureau. He served with distinction for 32 years, as an Officer, Detective and Investigator for the Multnomah County District Attorney.

John met and married Helen Frydendall and they spent their lives together raising a family and rejoicing in all that ‘family’ means. They honeymooned in Long Beach Washington which was the beginning of a lifelong love of the coast and all activities whether on sand or water. Together they created a lifetime of fun memories and laughs at their cozy cabin in Long Beach, which the family still enjoys.  John and Helen would have celebrated 70 years together on May 6th

An avid fisherman, John had lots of fish stories to tell and was known among family and friends as a gentle giant, armed with a great laugh and many good practical jokes. Proud of his Scottish heritage, John traveled to Scotland a few times where he loved the pubs, the people, and the countryside, but especially reconnecting with his cousins.

John passed away peacefully on April 30th with his wife Helen, his son Jim Kirkland and daughter Suzanne Kirkland by his side. The family is comforted knowing that with his passing, he was greeted by his eldest daughter Katherine Brown. He is also survived by his sons in law Jeff Alstot and Allyn Brown, his grandchildren Ian Bald, Jenny Digby, Jonathan Kirkland, and his great grandson Lelan Digby.

The family would like to thank Legacy Hospice for their incredible care and tremendous commitment especially during very challenging times. 

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