Beloved father and husband, William Gary Kinnett, went to his eternal rest on Oct. 5, 2021, at the age of 81.
Gary was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, on July 26, 1940, to Howard and Betty (Miller) Kinnett. In his early years, Gary was a dedicated member of the Boy Scouts of America, earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Gary spent two years in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer, before receiving his B.S. in Biology from Illinois College. Eventually, Gary worked at the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, Illinois, where he met the love of his life, Cheryll (Cheri) Oberg. Gary and Cheri married Aug. 18, 1968, and began their family a few years later. After previously spending summers as a fire lookout in the Pacific Northwest, Gary was captivated by Oregon's beauty and transplanted his young family there, where he and Cheri raised their three children and spent the next four decades on four and a half beautiful acres along Deer Creek, in Dixonville.
Gary gave to his community, dedicating a combined 20 years of service on both the Glide and Douglas Education Service District school boards, where he supported student achievement locally, regionally, and statewide. By trade, he was both a draftsman as well as an educator, primarily self-employed with Kinnett Drafting Service, and helping others through the Umpqua Community College JOBS Program. He loved and respected nature, his country, and was a skillful wood craftsman — many who knew him were gifted beautiful bird houses and bird feeders. One of his favorite places to be was working their land, puttering away and beautifying the property.
Gary is survived by his wife Cheri of 53 years; son Chad (Amy) of Billings, Montana; son Ryan (Karen) of Salem, Oregon; daughter Kristana (Bill) Becherer of Roseburg, Oregon; and seven beloved grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.
Gary was a caring and giving man, and will be missed dearly by his family and friends. Our memories of happy times with him will always be a joy, and he will live forever in our hearts, and in the songs of the birds.
There will be a private family memorial at a later date.