Lifelong Longview resident Jonathan Lee Kell, 70, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep Oct. 15, 2023.
He was born Feb. 4, 1953, in Longview, to Jesse Lee and Mary Ellen (Robbins) Kell. He graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1972.
Jon transitioned from the Boy Scouts to the Marines, where he served as a corrections specialist and drill instructor. He retired as a staff sergeant after 20 years of service from Camp Pendleton, Calif. He received the following commendations: Rifle Sharpshooter, National Defense Service Medal (1 Star), Humanitarian Service Medal (1 Star), Certificate of Commendation, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (1 Star), Navy Achievement Medal (2 Stars), Navy Unit Commendation, Combat Action Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal (3 Stars), and a Joint Meritorious Unit Award.
After retiring Jon worked as a farrier and as an environmental clean-up specialist for the military. He was a lifetime VFW member of Post #1045 and a member of Father’s House Church. Jon was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved building things and helping anyone who needed a hand.. He loved spending time with is brothers and loved dogs, especially Australian Shepherds.
Jon was proud to have been a Marine. His drill instructor voice remained after his service and his walk was often likened to a bulldog or Popeye. He had a big laugh, and a larger than life personality.
He met Linda Hicks on a blind date at a Marine Corps Ball. They were married Dec. 29, 1982, in Leavenworth, Kan.
Jon is survived by Linda, his wife of 41 years; a daughter, Debbie Poe (Amy Bond) of Lansing, Kan.; a granddaughter, Sarah Guse of Ontario, Canada; three brothers, Tom Kell (Rita), Bruce Kell (Susan) and Kenneth Kell, all of Longview; a sister, Sharon Adams (Dave Wells) of Longview; an aunt, Lassie Anderson of Longview; many nieces, nephews and cousins, including his “big sister” Jean Folkner (Dennis)of Blackfoot, Idaho; and his lifelong friends, Steve Flannery (Peggy) of Pacific, Mo., and Butch Wale (Kerry) of Longview.
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 27 at Steele Chapel with Pastor Steve White officiating. Full military honors will be observed. A reception will follow in the chapel’s hospitality room. Jon will be laid to rest at Willamette National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Rapid Response Charities, Veterans of Foreign Wars or the Humane Society of Cowlitz County.