POLSON — Gerald “Jerry” Clifford Keniston, 68, of Polson, passed away at his home on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. Jerry was born on May 1, 1949, in Portland, Oregon, a son of the late Harold Clifford Keniston and Hazel Viola Matt Keniston. Jerry was a proud member of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe.
Jerry was a U.S. Army veteran and spent two years plus on the Yalu River in Korea which left him with a disability. He attended Poly-Tec School in Portland, Oregon, when he was very young. His achievements were rated very high. Later, he took up cabinet making and was drafted back into the Army and was stationed again on the Yalu River. He returned to Portland after his honorable discharge. Jerry then worked for several years for Bob Nichols Boat Works in Hood River, Oregon, and helped build a large boat that is still in service in Portland, where it cruises the Columbia River.
His heart and desire was to be on his reservation here his mother and large family resided. Jerry loved the outdoors and only took what he needed for food and his appreciation of nature prompted him to work in fire control as well as firefighting. Jerry went on to work at the Salish and Kootenai College where he again excelled vibrantly at education. During his time at the college, he loved giving support to those who were encouraged to receive their GED. He did an excellent job and many parents as well as grandparents came to him with appreciation of the encouragement felt from his heart.
Besides his parents, Jerry is preceded in death by his son, David Tull, and a daughter, Misty Diana Sheridan.
Survivors include his wife, Betty Ennis Keniston; his sons, Randy Tull, Edward Tull; a daughter, Vickie Lane Tull-Miller; two sisters, Wynette Keniston-Johnson and Cathy Anderson of Polson, and Pam (Art) Galegos of Portland; a brother, Kenny Keniston of Polson as well as a large extended family locally.
Jerry said, “I want those who attend my funeral to celebrate my life and my accomplishments of living the American Dream and remember that I have gone to a better place to be promoted. Play music, eat and be merry and enjoy yourselves. I have always loved the greatest spirit of light forces, our Lord Jesus. I am not afraid to die — I am going to be with him.”
Friends and family may gather at The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory, 101 Sixth Ave. E., Polson, on Friday, Dec. 1, beginning at 11 a.m. Jerry’s funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. at the funeral home. Per his wishes, he will be laid to rest next to his father at Riverview Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.
Messages of condolence may be sent to the family online at lakefuneralhomeandcremation.com. The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory, Polson, is caring for the Keniston family.