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Kenneth “Ken” Nels Hedlund of Monmouth, Oregon; 10/18/52-5/9/19.

Ken unexpectedly went home to be with Jesus on May 9, 2019, from an unforeseen complication derived from an infection. 

Ken was born on Oct. 18, 1952, to Wes Hedlund and Ruby Crosley in Albany, Oregon. Ken was raised in Brownsville with his younger sister Lorena, until the family moved to Monmouth in 1961. It was at that time his father started his business for State Farm Insurance.

Ken was part of the first class to attend Talmadge Middle School and graduated from Central High School in 1971. During high school, he participated in numerous activities to include; orchestra, concert band, marching band, wrestling and 4-H. Ken was also active in his church as well as the youth group during his time in school. After high school, Ken attended Oregon College of Education for a short time where he started dating Kay Brown. Ken and Kay were married on March 9, 1974, and made their home in Monmouth. In 1977, their son Justin was born and later in 1980, their son Jonathan was born. 

Ken began his firefighting career with the Monmouth Fire Department in 1973. He remained there as a volunteer captain until 1993, when he retired from the later combined Monmouth Fire and Polk County Fire Departments. He was hired as full-time firefighter with the Salem Fire Department in 1976, where he progressed in his career to include his paramedic certification and ultimate advancement to captain. Ken retired from the Salem Fire Department as a captain in 2009, after 33 years of service. 

Ken was always active in his community throughout his life. These activities included involvement in his church, youth sports, emergency services, and the Monmouth City Budget and Planning committees. After his retirement, Ken began to volunteer with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, utilizing the skills he had developed throughout his career, as well as his love of the outdoors and desire to ride his 4-wheeler as much as he could. During his retirement, he and Kay began to travel and spend as much time with their grandkids as they could. They continued to be involved in their extended communities everywhere they traveled. Whether it was in their motor home or on a cruise ship, Ken would be involved in whatever he could. Any of you who know Ken, know he had never met a stranger and loved to visit with everyone he met, whether he knew you or not! 

Ken was preceded in death by his father, Wes Hedlund.

He is survived by his wife, Kay; mother Ruby; son, Justin, his wife Annie, and their children Hunter and Harrison; son, Jonathan, his wife Tiffany, and their children Jaxson, Jada, and Jase; his sister Lorena Teer, her husband Ted, nephew Kevin, his wife Tara; as well as a long line of extended family.

A celebration of life service will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at the Central High School gymnasium at 3 p.m. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in his name to the Monmouth Christian Church children’s ministry or to the Ronald McDonald House. Memories or remembrances can be left at

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