Cover photo for Kenric  Kemps Jones's Obituary
Kenric  Kemps Jones Profile Photo

Kenric Kemps Jones

January 26, 1933 — June 7, 2014

Kenric Kemps Jones, age 81, of La Grande, died June 7, 2014 at a local care facility. A memorial service will be held on July 23 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, the details will be published later. Those who wish may sign the on-line guest book at

Kemps was born on January 26, 1933, the son of Arthur Dent Jones and Mary Louise (Hubbel) Jones in San Francisco, California. His parents divorced when he was very young and his mother moved with him to Portland where she met and married a Russian agronomist named Misha Keck. This man became his beloved father figure as well as made him the older, highly regarded big brother to his half sisters, Lalla and Anna. Sadly, Mr. Keck died in a plant explosion when Kemps was 12 years old. Mary moved the family to a 150-acre farm in Newberg, Oregon where they raised wheat, fruit and filbert nuts. Around that time Mary met and married Sam Diamond. Kemp's baby sister, Susan Diamond, was born when he was 14 years old.

In 1950 he graduated from Newberg High School. He went on to support himself while studying pre-med at Oregon State University. After completing his courses in 3 years he was accepted to Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine. In the spring of 1957, at age 24, he graduated with his degree in Medicine. He married Nancy Ellen Pierson and they moved to Philadelphia, to complete his internship at Temple University followed by a year working as an emergency room physician in Lower Buck County, PA. He then served as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy as a medical doctor for the Navy and Marines from 1959 until 1961 working as a physician, including time on a submarine.

Upon completion of his military service the family moved back west where he finished his medical training at OHSU and the Veterans Hospital in Portland. He opened his first private practice in Internal Medicine in Ashland, OR immediately after his residency. He practiced there for 5 years before moving his family to La Grande and was part of a group of internal medicine physicians. He and Nancy divorced in 1980.

In 1986, he and his partners built their own office known as the Fourth Street Clinic where he could walk or bike to work for many years. After retiring from full-time practice he continued his passion for medicine and teaching by working as an assistant professor for OHSU for 15 years, mentoring Nurse Practitioners in rural medicine, and was involved with the opening of the Elgin Clinic and the Union Clinic.

He married Susanna (Moll) Ogston of Baker City on Valentine's Day 1987. Together they enjoyed traveling the world. They attended many family reunions in Europe and hosted reunions at the Oregon coast. They spent many winter months savoring the tropical paradise of Molokai, Hawaii. They enjoyed skiing and camping together.

Kemps was an avid fisherman and enjoyed golfing and gardening. He had the uncanniest sense of humor and prided himself on coming up with the most ridiculous puns in the world. He enjoyed good food, wine, beer, company, dessert and a hot cup of coffee.

Survivors include his wife, Susanna Ogston of La Grande; his children Bryn and Chester Nakamura of Rochester, NY, David and Jane Jones of Portland, Derek Jones of Spokane and Sarah and Rendall Farley of Spokane; step-children, Gundula O'Neal of Baker, Kai and Michelle Ogston of Spokane, Jon and Karla Ogston of Lopez Island, WA and Andrea Ogston of Seattle; sister and her husband, Susan Diamond and Allen Moles of Modesto, CA, 14 grandchildren; many nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by sisters, Lalla Lepeschkin and Anna Keck Tomasso.

Those who wish may make contributions in memory of Kemps to the La Grande Neighbor to Neighbor Food Bank or to Oregon Public Broadcasting in care of Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 7th Street in La Grande.


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