Kenneth Randolph Corliss Sr.
Ken Corliss passed away peacefully at home on November 1, 2007 with his family by his side at the age of 82.
Ken was born Kenneth Randolph Corliss on February 10, 1925 to Harold H. and Zella Marie Corliss in Phoenix, Ore. He was raised on the family farm and pear orchard on Pioneer Road between Phoenix and Talent, until the family moved to Holly Street in Medford in 1939. Ken graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1942 and then served his country in WWII as an infantryman with the 44th Division. Ken was awarded the Silver Star and was held as a POW near the end of the war in Europe. After the war, while stationed in Fort Smith Arkansas, he met Addie Anita Dorrough, his life-long partner and the love of his life, at a USO dance. The following year, in 1946 they were married in San Francisco, then they returned to Medford, Ore., to raise their family. Ken and Anita celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary this year on March 15.
Ken has been active in the Medford community and in serving his church in the Knights of Columbus, and singing in the Sacred Heart Church choir for many years. Ken also coached grade school sports at St. Mary's for many years. Ken loved to take his family on Sunday car rides after church, and to pan for gold in the Applegate area. He was a tinkerer and a fixer; he never threw out anything if it could be repaired. He loved all animals and was a true friend to all those in need. Early in his professional career Ken was an Insurance Salesman for Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. and then purchased the Bartlett Street Bookstore in 1975 while also employed at Boise Cascade in White City. Ken and the Bartlett Street Bookstore have been the subject of numerous special interest articles written in local newspapers over the past 30 years. Ken continued to operate the Bookstore until illness this past year forced his retirement at the age of 82.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Guy and Bob, and his sisters, Effa McBeth and Phyllis Walsh. Ken is survived by his wife Anita; his three sons, Kenneth R. Corliss Jr. of Tucson, Ariz., Dorian Corliss of Pasco, Wash. and Phil Corliss of Gold Hill, Ore.; his five daughters, Anita Heggen of La Quinta, Calif., Nancy Corliss of Anchorage, Alaska, Sally Smedal of Walnut Creek, Calif., Cynthia Corliss of Bozeman, Mont., and Victoria Miller of Medford, Ore.; 18 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and by his faithful dog Duke.
A funeral service will be conducted at the Eagle Point National Cemetery on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 2 p.m. with Conger Morris in charge of arrangements. A reception for family and friends will follow at the Corliss residence in Medford.
This obituary was originally published in the Mail Tribune.