Banks, COMMUNITY, Gales Creek

Banks American Legion Post renamed in honor of longtime member John Kalmbach

John Kalmbach

BANKS – The Banks American Legion officially changed its name to John Kalmbach Post 90, Banks, in memory of the longtime member who passed away April 21, 2019 at his home at age 83. 

John Kalmbach American Legion Post 90 Second Vice Commander Jack Holland said Kalmbach forever reshaped the local legion. 

“He brought the Banks (legion) post back from inactivity and then rose to the rank of Oregon Department Commander, and also became well known within the legion’s national organization,” Holland told the Post via email. 

A statement released by post 90 said throughout his years of service as a Legionnaire Kalmbach ensured members’ standards and respect remained as high as possible for Banks, as well as the U.S.  

“It was his uncompromising principles and leadership that led all who knew him to have the utmost respect for him,” the statement said. 

Kalmbach also championed the Children and Youth pillar of the American Legion, including the oratorical competition, boy’s state, and American Legion baseball. 

The executive committee of The American Legion, National, also approved a resolution saluting Kalmbach’s life.

Kalmbach, originally from Gales Creek, graduated Forest Grove High School in 1954 and served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956. 

Below is his full obituary.

JOHN EDWARD KALMBACH was born August 1, 1935 in Hot Lake, Oregon, the son of the late Jesse Nicholas Kalmbach and Edith Marie (Miles) Kalmbach. He was raised in the communities of LaGrande, Oregon and later Vanport, Oregon, until his family moved to the Gales Creek community. John attended Gales Creek Elementary School and Forest Grove High School, having been a graduate of the Forest Grove High School Class of 1954.

He was a Veteran of the Korean conflict, having joined the United States Army on October 1, 1954 at Fort Lewis, Washington. John served for two years in the Company C 39th Infantry, until receiving his honorable discharge at the rank of Command Sergeant Major of his Infantry Division. 

John was united in marriage to Ellen Marie Duncan on August 27, 2007 in Reno, Nevada. They celebrated their 11th Wedding Anniversary this past August. Following their marriage they made their home in the Banks community.

He had owned and operated K & L Interiors in Aloha for several years. John later owned and operated SWR Construction Company for many years, until he retired.

John was a longtime and active member of the American Legion Post #90 in Banks, having served as the Post Commander for four years. He also served as Department Commander of the American Legion for the State of Oregon from 2009 to 2010. He was also an active member of the Sons of the American Legion – Squadron 104, a longtime member of the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Roy and a member of the Beaverton Elks Lodge #2440 and a member of the 40 and 8 – Bay Area, E9 Association of Oregon.

Among his special interests, he enjoyed hunting, salmon fishing, golf and horses. He was one of the original members of the Maverick Horse Club in Washington County and the Dory Fleet in Pacific City, Oregon. Within the community, John served as a mentor to our younger citizens by serving as Baseball Coach for ten years, Boy Scout Leader, Honorary Board Member of the Portland Community College and local school board. As a self-employed business man, John found time to serve as President and Chairman of the Floor Covering Association and Chairman of the Floor Covering Association Apprentice Program. 

John had a special love for his faithful dog, “Roscoe”.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Edith Kalmbach; his two sisters, Marie Kalmbach and Mary Gobel and his five brothers, Nick Kalmbach, Richard “Dick” Kalmbach, George Kalmbach, Robert “Bob” Kalmbach and Jim Kalmbach.

Survivors include his wife, Ellen Kalmbach, of Banks, Oregon; his four children and their spouses, Michael Kalmbach, of Cornelius, Oregon; Karen and Wayne Redding, of China Spring, Texas; Roxanne Moultrie, of Portland, Oregon and Katherine “Bunky” Kalmbach, of Forest Grove, Oregon; his four stepchildren and their spouses, Rick Baker, of Beaverton, Oregon; Sharon and David Umbarger, of Hillsboro, Oregon; Michael and Sally Goodrich, of Forest Grove Oregon and Rod Goodrich and Lisa Logan, of Scappoose, Oregon.

Also surviving are his seven grandchildren, Joshua, Chad and Branson Redding; Robert Kinman; Mark Kalmbach; Mercedes Spencer and Andrew Siemiller; his two great-grandchildren, Emma and Cameron Kinman and numerous step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

The family suggests that remembrances may be contributions to the Child Welfare Foundation, c/o of the Oregon American Legion, P.O. Box 1730, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070, in his memory.

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