April 3, 1935—July 30, 2019
Kenneth O. Dahl, 84, of Longview passed away July 30, at the Community Home Health & Hospice Care Center in Longview.
Ken was born April 3, 1935, in Monroe, WA. He graduated from Bothell, WA, High School in 1953 and received an Associates Degree from Everett Junior College, where he met his soon-to-be wife, Rosemary Ryan. They married in 1954 and later moved to Long Beach, CA, where Ken attended the California College of Mortuary Science.
The couple moved to Kelso in 1957 and Ken began working at Ditlevsen-Moore Funeral Home. He became a partner in the business in 1967 and later became the President and owner of what is now Dahl-McVicker Funeral Homes. Ken retired and sold his interest in the business in 2015 after 60 years of serving families in Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, Lewis and Clark Counties.
Ken and his wife Rosemary were deeply committed to serving their community and were very active in their support of various organizations and causes. Together, they were members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees).
Ken was a Cub Scout Pack Leader for several years and served on the Boy Scout District Committee. He was an early member of the Kelso Recreation Council and along with a select few other business leaders, was instrumental in the purchase and development of what is now Tam’O Shanter Park. Ken served on the council, supporting youth recreation in Kelso for over 40 years. He was a Life Member of the Kelso-Longview Elks, serving more than 60 years. There, he was an active Lodge member and served on many committees and fundraisers. He organized the annual Elks Memorial Service for decades. He was twice awarded the Elks Citizen of the Year Award and also received the Spirit of Elkdom award in 2015.
Ken was also a life member of the Order of Masons and was an AFIFI Shriner. He was an active and supportive member of the Moose, Eagles, American Legion, the Longview Yacht Club and the Longview Country Club. He was a 50-year member of the Kelso Lions Club and served as King Lion. He was a member of the Kelso First United Methodist Church, where he served on the Board of Trustees for several years.
Through his business, Ken served thousands of families in their time of need and he was deeply involved in developing hospice resources for residents of Cowlitz County, helping to create and fund Community Home Health & Hospice at its infancy. He continued to support CHHH for many years, serving on the Board of Directors and as a member of the Hospice Foundation Board. He also strongly supported the development and growth of the Cowlitz County Chaplaincy program, hosting numerous seminars and trainings for the Chaplains and the entire local faith community.
Ken’s legacy of selfless service to individual families as well as the entire community as a whole is well-known and appreciated. For that, he will be sorely missed.
Ken was a strong family man and was deeply committed to his wife and children, as well as his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Together, they enjoyed snow skiing at White Pass, Mt Hood, Mt Bachelor, Sun Valley and many other destination resorts. In the summer, they camped, boated and water skied on Spirit Lake, Silver Lake, Lake Chelan and Mayfield Lake, where he developed the family Lake House property for all to enjoy.
He was an avid fisherman in his younger years and boasted of many trips and big catches in Puget Sound, in Alaska and out of Ilwaco and Long Beach. Crabbing and clam digging were other favorite pursuits.
In recent years, Ken much enjoyed trips to Cabo San Lucas as well as winters spent with friends in Yuma, AZ.
Ken’s wife of 62 years, Rosemary, passed away in 2015. After her death, he shared time with his widowed sister-in-law, Carol Ryan, until her death in 2016. In 2017, Ken reconnected with a special friend, Jeanne Steiner and they happily shared their lives until his passing.
Ken was also preceded in death by his daughter, Julie Dahl-McCaskey; his parents, Olger K. and Beatrice “Billy” Dahl; and his sister Virginia Baxter.
He is survived by his three sons, Steve (Debbie) of Kelso, Mike (Paula) of Battleground and Rob (Pam) of Longview; a sister, Marge Huff of Redmond, WA; 10 loving grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be held at Dahl Funeral Home in Kelso on Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, August 9, at 11 a.m. at the Kelso United Methodist – Presbyterian Church. A reception will immediately follow at the Kelso-Longview Elks Lodge, 900 Ash St, in Kelso. Private family entombment will be held on Saturday.
Donations in Ken’s memory can be made to either Community Home Health & Hospice in Longview or to the Kelso-Longview Elks “Tall Elks” program.
Dahl-McVicker Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.