Kenneth Ward Kyle
1959 - 2013
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Kenneth Ward Kyle Kenneth Ward Kyle was born in Gold Beach, Oregon on June 26, 1959; he passed away tragically on November 5, 2013. Kenny attended school in Eureka at South Bay Elementary, Jacobs Junior High and Eureka high schools. He also attended College of the Redwoods and was a mainstay on the 1978-79 Corsairs football team playing offensive guard Kenny lived in Eureka and surrounding areas for most of his life including Hoopa Indian Reservation from 1980-1990 and a small stay in Gold Beach, Oregon with his grandparents, Leslie and Hazel Kyle working in the restaurant industry. Kenny also followed in his dad's footsteps racing hydroplanes and belonging to the Cal-Ore Boat Racing Association. Kenny was smallish in physical stature but larger than life in heart and fighting tenacity. Kenny maintained a rigorous self-developed physical fitness regime, he tested his mental and physical endurance by performing river crossings in swift dangerous waters and swam in Humboldt Bay daily until stopped by a shoulder injury. Kenny was quite the outdoorsman and spent many a day and night in some of the most remote areas in Humboldt and Curry counties; he loved Mother Earth. Kenny had a special way to communicate and never had a harsh word or negative comment in the 52 years I knew him. Kenny was keenly interested in his tribal heritage and had spent many long hours discussing and recording historical information with his great grandmother Matilda Marshall and Maggie Hostler. More recently Kenny was known as the "Recycling Guru" of the greater Eureka area and touched and impressed many lives. Kenny's one-of-a-kind blue Nissan recycle truck was a fixture in the Eureka-Arcata area for the past 15 years and he was referred to by customers and the recycle community as "the hardest working man in Humboldt County" He served 100 businesses and normally worked 12-15 hours a day. Kenny was the recipient of the Humboldt County Waste Reduction Award for the "Best Individual Waste Reduction Effort." In 2005, Humboldt State University filmed the video "Mercy Me" about Kenny that was entered in the Humboldt Film Festival. The students went on to establish their own film business called Mercy Me Productions, after one of Kenny's favorite exclamations as he worked at those 100 businesses every day. Kenny was a "hero." Kenny also was caretaker for his ailing mother for the last several years and cherished that role dearly. After regaining her health from a serious illness this past year, Kenny's mom would frequently get up at 3am to go with him on his recycling route, they could often be seen around town in the blue Nissan recycle truck. Kenny took the passing of his mom especially hard and could not overcome that heartache. Kenny is already and will be greatly missed by many. We love you brother. A quote by my dearly missed mom she gave us growing up reads: "The battles in life don't always go to the bigger, stronger man but sometimes to the man who thinks he can." Kenny was kind, honest.simply a good human being who lived his life with respect and consideration for others always. Kenny's family already misses him; we know he will be missed by his recycle friends and customers as well. Kenny is survived by his father Delmer Kyle; brother Timothy Kyle (Karen), his nieces Natasha Kyle(baby Michael) and Faith Kyle, his nieces Deshonia and Chwa:kin, aunts and uncles: Ramona and Larry Pelletier of Eugene, Oregon, Richard Kyle of Gold Beach, Oregon. Michael Melendy (Darline), Deirdre Young (Geno), Kathleen Carpenter, Mary Britton (Roger), Patrick Melendy (Andrea), Rochelle Encinas, Jamie Melendy, Laura Maloney, Lizabeth, Kevin (Sugar), Wanda, Brenda (Jim) and "Fidigoss" (Gloria) Latham. Great-aunt, Mary Dawn Cunningham of Eureka. Kenny was preceded in death by his mother Sandra Kyle, brother Michael Kyle, his uncles Don Kyle, Timothy K. Melendy and Rob Roy Latham Sr., he was the grandson and great-grandson of Edward and Matilda Marshall, Mary Ross Melendy of Eureka, Lester Sr., and Norene Latham of Hoopa and Ward Tinker Melendy of Salem, Oregon, Leslie and Hazel Kyle of Gold Beach, Oregon. He is survived by many cousins and extended family in Hoopa, Eureka and Oregon. Special thanks to the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the businesses and recycling community of Humboldt County, "Injun Bill" and all who have called, visited and extended a helping hand during this difficult time. A potluck memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 1:00pm at the Tsewenaldin Inn conference room in Hoopa, CA. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, you make a small donation in Kenny's memory to your local recycling center. Please sign the guestbook at and click on obits.

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Published in Times-Standard from Nov. 15 to Nov. 16, 2013.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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30 entries
January 18, 2014
Oh I just found this an I'm so sorry for the family. I worked for Kenny at ,gp an champion .he was a good guy. He inspired me
Steve Hayden
December 13, 2013
I'm very sorry to learn of Ken's passing. We were neighbors growing up on Humboldt Hill. My best wishes to the rest of the family at this sad time.
Dana Beards
December 13, 2013
Lot's of love to the family!!! Such a great loss!!
Moria Spaulding
November 28, 2013
Bless this man's soul & may we all continue living Life in his inspiration. No doubt he is now part of the Comet ISON approaching the sun.
Sherry Skillwoman
November 20, 2013
Kenny was such a vibrant soul! I met him about 10 years ago in a dark alley in Eureka late at night. Guess what he was doing? That's right, working his tail off with a smile on his face and a friendly welcome. I only saw him about once a year but he always remembered my name and Kenny had nothing but positive things to say about his life. I think he was a Zen master in disguise. I'm truly sorry to see this Eureka icon pass. Kenny, you were an amazing dude! I miss you! RIP buddy.
Jeff Bue
November 17, 2013
He was kind, respectful, hard working and the kind of person the world desperately needs more off. I'll always remember his big smile. We have all suffered a huge loss. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Isaac Mosgofian
November 17, 2013
Old Town won't be the same. Ken was always cheerful, calling out my name as he drove by, sharing stories of cold-water swims, a kind presence in our lives. RIP, Ken.
Barry and Louisa
Barry Evans
November 17, 2013
A personable kind human being. That would always remember and call you by your name. He truly was the hardest working man I have ever met. I know you are probably still working Ken, but you can take a break now bud.
Justin B
November 17, 2013
I will truly miss seeing this scrappy gentleman on the road. We have crossed paths for a decade or more; and it always happened with smiles exchanged. He remembered people's names immediately I think ,because he respected their place in his unique and accepting heart, and it was important to him to acknowledge that. We should all try to be more like Kenny. Our world would be a better world.
john thomas
November 16, 2013
So loved Me Wiss. He was kind, he was humble, he was smart. To be continued ....
Jo 5:28,29.
Auntie Mary Britton
November 16, 2013
Mercy Me is a short documentary about Ken and his passion for hard work to honor Ken, the Hardest-Working Man in Humboldt County.
November 16, 2013
Goodbye Kenny. You have been an inspiration to me since my 20's and I'm sad to see you go.
Chad MacDonald
November 16, 2013
Dear Family: Our condolences and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time. We are also thinking of Kenny who is at peace now and in the arms of Sandra and Michael Pat.
Auntie Mary Dawn and Cousin Katy
November 16, 2013
It is hard to think about a Eureka without Kenny and his mom. Two more kind, honest, sincere people would be hard to find...they asked for little, they gave a lot and made our lives richer, more loving and caring. Our family won't be the same without them. Rae never told me "goodbye" when we parted or ended a was always "bye for now"....Bye for now, Wiss.
Auntie Boo Boo
November 16, 2013
No man has ever been so well beloved by so many. Rest in peace brother.
Bob Huck
November 16, 2013
RIP Mr. Recycling Man...Thank You for your great efforts in helping Humboldt.
November 16, 2013
Much Love' and memories of Ken. and his Family remain in our hearts 'a great loss ..
The Shaw Family
November 16, 2013
R.I.P. Kenny Kyle. I like many others who have known you for the last 20 years or more will miss you.I'll miss seeing you on your route, seeing you around town and listening to your stories. I always smiled when I would see your truck on the road and how it morphed over the years.It would make me think of the clampetts :) I was always amazed how you would swim across the rivers at flood stage for a hobby. And how you lived on peanut butter and bread. your daytime trading endeavor and your tulip project. One thing is for sure. Your memory will stay alive with me and I will think of you a lot.
Tim Arbuckle
November 16, 2013
Im glad i had the pleasure of knowing this wonderful human being .....what a life he lived ....always positive ....always friendly to everyone ....mercy me kyle'll be missed
mike carlson
November 16, 2013
Ken was a great role model and self made gentle-man. Thank you for the service to our community. Rest now.
Stephany Joy
November 16, 2013
You will be truly missed Ken. You were always a bright spot in the day. I have never seen someone work so hard for so little, and be so happy to do it. Rest In Peace buddy.
November 16, 2013
Good thoughts to a guy who always remembered my name from day one and is also the only person I ever met who invented his own sport-High Water River Forging! We miss you bro.
Juan Gagne
November 16, 2013
We will miss you at the Lost Coast Brewery. You always had a smile on your face and brightened our day.
Barbara Groom
November 16, 2013
Remembering Ken as a kind, energetic, hard working individual. One of a kind, not to be forgotten. Rest is peace, Ken Kyle.
Crystal Rivera
November 15, 2013
I'll miss your smile
Kathy Anderson
November 15, 2013
Bill Eskes
November 15, 2013
Bonafide "good people." Never had a conversation with Kenny I didn't enjoy. A tireless and thoughtful individual. Sleep well my friend.
Raul Rojas
November 15, 2013
My condolences.
November 15, 2013
The pain is over now brother, you will forever be in our thoughts. Until we meet again....our precious memories we had together will fill the void in our hearts.
Tim n Karen Kyle
November 15, 2013
I remember Ken from boat racing days, such a nice guy. But I had no idea that he was the great RECYCLING guy. What a trooper. He will be greatly missed by the community! Blessings to his family and friends.
Suzanne Perry Murphy
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