SALEM – Kenneth L. McTeague passed away peacefully on September 1, 2011, in the embrace of his family after a cardiac arrest.
He was born in Hampton, Iowa, and lived there with his maternal grandparents until he was 10. Kenneth then lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his mother, Jean, and his stepfather, Jay McTeague. He married high school classmate Dorine Hagen in 1952, and they began their family of five children. Ken graduated from Hamline University and first taught band in Boyden, Iowa. He later taught in Freeborn and Bricelyn, Minnesota, where he led award-winning bands. In 1965, Ken went back to school at the University of Minnesota and began working toward a master’s degree. He then taught orchestra in Mankato, Minnesota.
In 1969, Ken and Dorine, along with teacher friend Lee Asche drove an old red truck packed with all their belongings to Oregon and a teaching job with Salem-Keizer public Schools. There, Ken taught orchestra and strings to area students until 1988, when he retired on a disability after surviving several heart surgeries. Ken is well remembered by many of his former students, even some of his early students from Minnesota who came to Oregon to visit him.
Ken was a life-long jazz aficionado and of all things musical. He played a variety of instruments from trumpet to bass fiddle, piano and most recently mastered valve trombone. Ken was a fixture with local jazz bands, playing at senior centers and other local venues. He could ad-lib or improvise with the best of them.
An avid outdoorsman, Ken knew well the many canoe routes of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe. Area — once canoeing solo until it snowed that October. His last trip with Dorine, their son David and granddaughter Brianna was in 2007. He also canoed and hiked with the Chemeketans and explored the lakes and rivers of Oregon and British Columbia. Ken successfully hiked all of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington, two-thirds of the trail in Oregon, and portions of the trail in California.
Ken loved working in his garden and swimming, especially up the Little North Fork.
He loved going to the Minnesota and Oregon State Fairs. Most of all Ken loved and doted on his nine grandchildren (Travis, Andrew, Brianna, Ian, Wynona, Bethany, Andre, Lukas and Elsa) and five great-grandchildren. Ken and Dorine also volunteered at their grandchildren’s schools, attended their programs and hosted “Grandchildren’s Days” every summer at their home.
Ken’s brother Richard and his daughter Michelle preceded Ken in death. He is survived by his wife, Dorine, children, David (Naomi), Denise (Steve), Kevin (Kate) and Sean (Elizabeth), his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A memorial and celebration service was held September 24, at John Knox Presbyterian Church in Keizer.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the Willamette Valley Jazz Society, P.O. Box 12141, Salem, OR 97309-0141, or to the Keizer-Salem Area Seniors, 930 Plymouth Dr., Keizer OR 97303.