Kenneth Gordon Calhoun, Sr.
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Sept .14, 1925 – Jan. 23, 2013
Kenneth ("Papa") Gordon Calhoun Sr., passed away, peacefully, surrounded by his loving children, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at Rideout Hospital in Marysville following a brief bout with pneumonia. He was 87.
Ken was born in Alameda, on Sept. 4, 1925. He led an exemplary life. Having grown up in the Depression he worked very hard to make a comfortable life for his family. In 1945 Ken became a Class 45C pilot in the Army Air Corps, earning his wings on May 23, 1945. Following WWII he attended San Jose State University majoring in ag business and playing football. It was in an animal husbandry class, that he met the love of his life, Vivian Brizee, thanks to dear friend Mern Arkley.
Ken and Vivian were married on Nov. 25, 1953, in San Francisco. They settled in Yuba City where they raised their four children, during which time Ken became the head of field operations for Hunt Wesson Foods in Northern California, until his retirement in 1991, after 42 years.
Our father was a very civic-minded man. A loyal member of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Yuba City, Rotary Club of Yuba City-District 519 for 58 years, the Middle Mountain Foundation-Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust, the Citizen's Advisory Committee for flood control in Sutter County, the Madison River Foundation, Ennis, Mont., and he played an extremely active role as a trustee for the Mary M. Aaron Memorial Trust-Scholarship Fund.
Throughout his life he was an avid hunter, fly-fisherman and photographer. It was 47 years ago that Ken and Vivian began piling the kids into the family vehicles for the long day and a half drive to West Yellowstone, Mont. This is where fly fishing, friends, photography and Yellowstone became the annual summer pilgrimage. Following Kens retirement he built his dream cabin, overlooking Hebgen Lake, where our family will continue to vacation every summer with gratitude.
Ken and Vivian traveled extensively through much of the world. A favorite destination was England where Vivian's family is from. He was a huge San Francisco 49er fan going back to the days at Kezar Stadium. He loved watching golf, playing poker and watching 49er games with his good buddies. He will be fondly remembered for his generosity, kindness, his huge, infectious smile, his beautiful photographs of the Sutter Buttes and his knack for being a little intimidating at times!
Ken is survived by Vivian, his beautiful wife of 60 years. He is also survived by sons Kenny Calhoun (Lisa) of Woodland, Jeff Calhoun (Mary Mendivil) of Visalia; daughters Cindy Miller (Troy) of Bozeman, Mont., and Becky Foster (Harold) of Yuba City. Grandchildren include Leslie Calhoun (Chris Camp) of Oakland, John Calhoun (Amanda) of San Jose, Callie Bassett (Brandan) of Bozeman, Max Miller of Bozeman, Kelsie Foster of Yuba City and Amie Wallace of Woodland. His greatest joy, recently, was his great-grandson, Benjamin, "The King," Calhoun, son of John and Amanda. He sadly leaves behind his beloved brother Wayne Calhoun of Livermore, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and many dear friends.
A celebration of life will be held at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 1390 Franklin Road in Yuba City at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 29, following a private interment. Donations in Ken's name can be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the charity of donors' choice. Ullrey Memorial Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published in Daily Democrat from Jan. 26 to Feb. 20, 2013