Kenneth James Tuning passed into the arms of his Savior on March 4, 2020, at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Corvallis, Ore., of heart failure. He was 52.
Ken was born Nov. 16, 1967 in Boise, Idaho. Shortly thereafter, he was adopted by loving parents James and Roberta Tuning. He was joined by two brothers, Nathan Duane, Nov. 22, 1969 and Kevin Miles, Nov. 16, 1972. They lived on a farm at Woodland. Ken learned a variety of skills on the farm and in his dad’s mechanic shop that prepared him to carry out his desire to help others. He attended grade school and high school in Kamiah. After high school, he attended ITT Technical Institute in Boise to study electrical engineering.
Ken joined the army and graduated from basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. in 1988. He served this great country in the 3rd Armored Division as a Tank Driver and Mortar Artilleryman while in Germany for two years.
Following his military service, he returned to Idaho and worked as a long-haul truck driver and in CB radio shops in Kamiah and Ontario, Ore., selling, repairing and installing CB radios. He co-owned the Kamiah CB Radio Shop. He was able to continue his expertise in electronics via Ham radio and was instrumental in starting Ham radio clubs in the Clearwater area. He was president of Three Rivers Amateur Radio Club and coordinator for the Amateur Radio Emergency Services providing communication between the police, medical personnel, and first responders for search and rescue and safety communications for boat and bike races and for government agencies from Homeland Security to Salvation Army. During that time, he saved lives and brought people together who were lost or couldn’t communicate with loved ones and even played Santa over the radio.
Ken held an Amateur Extra Class Ham Radio License and enjoyed conducting the tests for others to become Ham radio operators. During the 2015 fire at Woodland, Ken’s communication ability and equipment at his house were a great asset for the fire crews for communicating with other firefighters in different areas where normal radio signals were inaccessible. The firefighters parked two water tankers and crews there to protect his home and property because it was so important to them.
Ken married Linda Tuning in 1993 and they later divorced. Ken began a relationship with Korina Vermilya in 2001 and parted after 10 years. In late 2019 Ken met Elisa Martel and they became engaged shortly thereafter. They shared a dream of helping displaced veterans and by starting an organization called Tuning Veterans Mission to assist them with a variety of needs. Elisa plans to continue to work toward this goal and fulfill this dream for Ken.
Family and friends are constantly saying how much Ken enjoyed helping and giving to others. Despite his physically weakened heart, he gave his all to love and care for many friends. Around 2015 he received a Doctor of Religious Studies Degree from World Christianship Ministries and became an ordained minister. He performed several weddings, and many people were blessed by his services and ministries. He truly taught all of us the importance of being thankful and positive and seeing some humor in most any situation.
Kenneth is survived by his mother Roberta, brothers Nathan and Kevin, stepchildren Tina Cardosa, David Shorb, and Melinda Rustimier and their families, aunts and uncles Ernie and Diane Tuning, Steve and Gwen Tuning, and Mary (George) Skinner.
He was preceded in death by his father James, grandparents Ray and Violet Tuning, grandparents Arden and Hazel George, uncle Leetus George, and aunt Dorothy (Tuning) Grove.
A service to honor Kenneth’s life will be held on March 14 at the Woodland Friends Church at 11 a.m. followed by a graveside service and military honors at the Woodland Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers may be given to the family expenses or the American Bible Society which gives Bibles to servicemen and women in the military. Arrangements are by Trenary Funeral Home, Kooskia.