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Al Kuykendall


1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Al Kuykendall Obituary
Al H. Kuykendall M.D.
1931 - 2018
Al H. Kuykendall was born on August 20, 1931 to Hazel Holland and Merle Kuykendall, in White Deer, Texas. Al grew up on a farm homesteaded in 1896 by his grandfather Ace Holland. 1931 was the start of The Great Depression, and the Texas panhandle was the epicenter of the Dust Bowl. In 1943, Al's family moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Al graduated from high school there and attended the University of Tennessee on a track scholarship. He was captain of the cross-country team, and they were SEC Champions. After graduating with a degree in teaching and US history, Al enlisted in the Air Force. In 1955 he married Carolyn Temple. While he was in the Air Force, Al decided to become a doctor, and he received his medical degree from The University of Tennessee at Memphis. He then did his internship at the University of Chicago, and graduated first in his class. He chose Oregon Health Sciences University to do his residency in neurosurgery. On his way out west, he passed through Boise and simply felt that this was where he would like to practice neurosurgery. There was only one other neurosurgeon in Idaho at that time, so Al was quite busy.
In 1969, Al and Carolyn adopted a boy, David.
For 23 years, Al practiced full time neurosurgery in Idaho and during this time also received a degree in US History from Oxford University in England. Health issues cut his practice short, but he continued to do consultation and a clinic at the Veteran's Administration Hospital. In 1987, he and Carolyn were divorced. Two years later, he married Berit Engebretsen. In 1996, Al had early symptoms of Parkinson's and his disease progressed until his death in 2018.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Joy Huffstetler, and his son David. He is survived by his wife, Berit, nieces Kae Robbins and Lise Blakely, his grandson Montgomery and a great-grandson Solaris.
Many thanks and deep gratitude to Tammy and Gilbert of C.A.R.E.S. for the skill and kindness they have shown Al over the last years of his life, as well as to Dr. Derec Patterson and the team from St. Luke's Hospice.
Private services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please give to a .
Published in Idaho Statesman on Jan. 10, 2018
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