Leroy “Sonny” Paul Kitzman, 63, passed away April 21, 2014, in Hood River, Ore. Sonny was born in Yakima, Wash., on Oct. 2, 1950, to Paul and Ramona Marcella Kitzman. He attended schools in Washington, Oregon and Missouri and moved to Hood River with his parents in 1965.
Sonny loved the outdoors and earlier in his life he was an avid hunter and fisherman. In his late teens he worked for the Forest Service planting trees. He worked in local mills and numerous construction jobs including windmill installation projects.
The last several years he worked as a flagger on road construction jobs. Many of his flagging jobs were in Newport, Ore. Newport was his favorite coastal town but he always came back to Hood River where he lived since he was 15.
He was an avid reader of the Bible. He was especially interested in Bible prophecies, and how they apply to the world we live in today, the resurrection and God’s promised World Tomorrow. He and his sister Carol would talk at length on these subjects, reaffirming each other’s faith.
Sonny is survived by his son, Eric Baird, Eric’s wife Stephanie and their children, Mandy and Tyler, all from Portland, Ore.; his eldest sister, Beverly Dexheimer, and her son Johnny Norby, also from Portland; his sister Carol Wells and her husband Bernie, from Hood River, and Carol’s son Michael Mills, from Milwaukie, Wis.; aunts, uncles and cousins living in Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas; and his friend Karen Bowie, of Hood River, who was always there for him.
The last two years he lived in a park-like setting in his travel trailer with views of Mount Hood and the valley, on Carol and Bernie Wells’ property. He watched the birds, deer and other wildlife roam through his surroundings and paid special attention to the new feral kittens each spring when they were old enough to venture out from the rocks.
He was a man of little worldly goods but he loved this valley and spent hours driving around enjoying its beauty, watching the eagles from the marina, eating in local diners and coffee shops and visiting with new and old friends.
He will be laid to rest, with his parents, in the Pine Grove Cemetery in Pine Grove, Ore. He will be missed dearly by his friends and family.
Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life, and everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
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