Pepper Eugene Kirkendoll, 83, rode off into the morning sun on Aug. 26, 2023. He was born Nov. 18, 1939, at his grandparent’s home on the prairie near Toledo, Washington, to Darrold and Loretta Kirkendoll. Following his father's death in a 1954 logging accident, he was fortunate to have Joe Fanning enter his life as a stepfather and friend.
Pepper was a 1958 graduate of Mossyrock High School. He spent the early years following high school in the logging industry before working construction on the Mossyrock Dam. After completion of the Mossyrock Dam in 1968, he traveled to Oregon to learn the farrier trade. He enjoyed working with horses for several years, eventually moving to Nampa, Idaho. During this time, he competed in numerous bronc riding and roping events.
In 1980, he returned to the family home in Mossyrock and eventually started his own construction business. He had a lifelong passion for horses and all things outdoors. In later life he enjoyed farming, raising cattle, camping, gardening and canning with his wife, Clarice, who was “a damn good cook.”
Describing himself as a descendent of tough pioneer stock, he was one of the last of a generation who lived life on their own terms. Pepper was hard-working. He enjoyed hunting, a good drink, supporting the NRA and voting Republican. He could be ornery as heck and as stubborn as an old cork boot.
He was a stern but loving father to Karena and Kain. As teenagers, he would shake his head at them and say, “Please God, let them be taxpayers.” As adults, he enjoyed their respect and friendship. Pepper will be remembered by his children for many things, including crisp fall mornings outside by a blazing fire having buttermilk pancakes with homemade huckleberry sauce, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and hot coffee.
Pepper is survived by daughter Karena, son Kain (Melinda), grandchildren Kolton and Kaya, his sister Vivian, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, and many friends. He was predeceased by his wife of many years, Clarice, his parents, two sisters, and his faithful (terrifying) dog Bullet. Pepper is also fondly remembered by Clarice’s children, Jess Nelson and Jamie Wallin, and their families, and Melinda's children, Zach and Jeffrey, along with numerous family friends and neighbors. Honorable mention goes to the Pioneer Tavern, his trusted Nissan “Rice Burner,” his long-suffering housekeeper, Teresa, Heritage House Assisted Living and Assured Home Health & Hospice.
Oh, the last goodbye’s the hardest one to say… And this is where the Cowboy rides away. - George Strait
A memorial luncheon will be held at the Mossyrock Grange on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, from noon to 3 p.m. to celebrate the lives of Pepper and his brother-in-law, Cleve Hunt, who passed away earlier this year. All family, friends and neighbors are welcome and encouraged to bring a dessert of their choice. Private interment will be at Doss Cemetery in Mossyrock.