Kenneth Tonge |

Kenneth Tonge

Kenneth Tonge

Kenneth Colwell Tonge passed away on May 9, 2013, at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital with his family by his side. He was 83.

No services are planned at this time. A traditional family memorial will be held at a later date.

Born Dec. 21, 1929, near Los Angles to Gilbert Tonge and Elsie Colwell Tonge, he was raised in San Francisco and then Santa Cruz.

After retiring from Eastman Kodak with more than 35 years of service, he and his wife moved to Grass Valley in 1993. He was longtime member of Alta Sierra Country Club and former member of Saratoga Country Club, and he loved his cardiac rehab and creative writing groups.

He loved lively political debates, the outdoors, camping, traveling, gardening, bad puns and clean blonde jokes, a thrift store bargain and a good yard sale, where he was known for his “book of books.” He had an extensive knowledge and memory of historical facts and politics.

His family and friends enjoyed his intelligence, quick wit, astonishing puns, his sense of humor and how much he knew about the strangest things.

He was known to his family as “The Come-Back King” because he survived so many illnesses that should have taken him earlier, but he always seemed to recover. The family is happy that he was able to come this far.

Ken is survived by his wife of 42 years, Carol, of Grass Valley; children Claudia (Charles F. Marangio) of Sonora, Calif., Jennifer Tonge-Martin (Les) of Florida, Michael Tonge (Marianne) of Montague, Calif.; stepchildren Karli Bruce of Aurora, Colo., Aaron Rosewater and partner Carrie Ann of Grass Valley, Dale Bruce of Soquel, Calif., and Dana Bruce of Grass Valley. He also is survived by two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his sisters Jeannette Rankin and Evelynn Urbina and brother Gilbert Tonge, all of Vancouver, Canada.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to Hospice of the Foothills, Grass Valley.

Private arrangements were made with the Neptune Society.

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