Leo Charles ÒDuceÓ McKrola, 88, of Prairie City died Jan. 14 at Blue Mountain Nursing Home.

Jan. 28, 1914 - Jan. 14, 2003

Leo Charles "Duce" McKrola, 88, of Prairie City died Jan. 14 at Blue Mountain Nursing Home.

He was born Feb. 28, 1914, to Charles Henry and Dora Augusta (Frey) McKrola at the family ranch near Mt. Vernon. He was the last surviving grandson of Grant County pioneers Karl and Fredricka Frey who homesteaded near Mt. Vernon in 1869.

He attended Mt. Vernon school and graduated from Prairie City School in 1932. He was active in sports and music. He played and traveled with the Prairie City Town Band for many years. He worked the hay fields of area ranches and one summer buckarooed horses for Niles Sproul in Bear Valley.

He attended the University of Idaho southern branch in Pocatello, where he lettered in football, track and basketball.

After returning to Grant County, he was employed by Edward Hines Lumber Company at Seneca. He was a truck driver and spent most of his career as a timber faller.

On Sept. 5, 1937, he married Kathryn Elizabeth Kempfer in Weiser, Idaho. They lived at Seneca and in 1942 moved to John Day.

He was active in scout leadership, PTA, the local union, Masons, Eastern Star, Rainbow Advisory Board, Grant County Sportsmen, town team sports and St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

Mr. McKrola enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also played the piano and entertained family with his talent. In 1976 after his retirement, Mr. McKrola enjoyed gardening and bowling and was involved in his grandchildren's activities.

In 1998, he and his wife moved to Valley View Assisted Living Center. He had resided at Blue Mountain Nursing Home since October 2001.

Mr. McKrola is survived by his son, Daniel McKrola of Portland; daughters and sons-in-law, Beth and Jim Spell of John Day; daughter-in-law Mary McKrola and her husband, Scott McNeeley of Eugene; grandchildren and their spouses: Jason McKrola of Portland, Shane and Laura Jane Spell of Beaverton, Sara McKrola and her husband, Andy Dey of Eugene, Colby Spell of Dundee, Mikaela and Jerry Cloyd of Aloha; and great-grandchildren, Alcina, Natasha, Matthew and Logan Cloyd, Summer and Kara Spell and Charles McKrola-Dey.

He was preceded in death by wife Kathryn, three brothers, and two sons, Michael in 1938 and Dale in 1996.

Funeral services officiated by the Rev. Canon Douglas Hale were held Jan. 20 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Interment officiated by the Masons followed at Prairie City Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Shriner's Hospital for Children or to the St. Thomas Episcopal Church for Cove scholarships in care of Driskill Memorial Chapel, which was in charge of arrangements.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.