On October 29, 2017, Duane “Tom” Kittson passed away in the home of his ex-wife, Avis Kittson, surrounded by his two children Thomas Kittson and Rachel Kittson-MaQatish. Tom and Avis were married for 13 years and then divorced. Later when he suffered a massive stroke at the age of 52, his loving ex-wife allowed him to move into her home. She cared for him for the next 26 years.
Tom was born in Salem, to Fred and Edna Kittson. He was raised off and on in Sweet Home by his mother, Edna Kittson, in Salem by his grandmother, Mary Lewis and Uncle Orlin, and lovingly mentored by his Aunt Rose and Uncle Floyd. He briefly attended Foster grade school, later attended Salem school for the blind and finally returned to Foster grade school for fifth and sixth grade.
He grew up with his three brothers Steve, Jerry and Fred Kittson. His father later provided him two sisters he came to know and love as an adult, Kim Kittson-Morris and Julie Wardle. In the 70’s he started Sugar City Drywall and took great pride in his work. One of his greatest gifts to his children was teaching them the value of hard work and the satisfaction from dirt-stained hands.
He has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed watching the Packers with his great-grandson Dylan Lawrence, sitting on Avis’ front porch watching birds and people passing by, the company of his family and friends, and twisted tea at the Bo-Hunk. His greatest memories were of fishing in Alaska for halibut, mushroom picking, hunting, feeding the pigs and riding his Sportster Harley.
He attended the Sweet Home Christian Church and was baptized April 2016 by Pastor Dale Robinson.
His grandchildren and great-grandchildren will miss his chokehold forehead kisses, his candy jars and his fridge full of soda. The absence of his mouth-wide-open head-tilted-back laughs and his sense of humor will leave a void. Avis won’t know quite what to do without the constant holler of her name. Tom’s cute smile and his stroke restricted common responses of “Whatever” and “Beats the hell out of me!” will be missed by many. His stubbornness, fortitude, and generosity will live on embodied in his two children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, November 11 at 2:00 p.m. at the Pole Barn at Community Chapel in Sweet Home.