Richard (Kris) Ernest Kriesien, Jr. passed away January 28, 2024, at the age of 81, following a short but courageous battle with esophageal cancer, in the comfort of his home and surrounded by his family.
Kris was born in Burns, Oregon to Richard and Marion Kriesien on July 22, 1942, the second of their two children (Lynda Fitzgerald). He lived in Burns until he was 10 years old, when his family moved to Portland. He attended Lincoln high school, where he participated and excelled in swimming, both for his high school and the Multnomah Athletic Club.
After high school he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed on the Island of Hawai’i. He proudly served his country and developed life-long friendships and skills that would help shape his life in the years to come.
Returning to Portland upon completion of his military service in November 1966, he took a summer job as a cashier at Harrah’s Casino in Lake Tahoe, CA, where he met his future wife, Margaret (Maggie) Jean Gooding of Portland, who was working as a card dealer. They were married on June 24, 1967, and happily together for 57 years, living in the Raleigh Hills neighborhood of Southwest Portland, except for a two year period when the family moved to Mercer Island, WA.
Kris attended the University of Oregon and Portland State University, graduating with a degree in Accounting from PSU in 1968.
Following a short period of time working at JK Gill and Earth Stove as the company controller, he was a partner at Campbell Crane & Rigging for 26 years before retiring at the age of 62 in 2004.
Kris was a family man, first and foremost. He took great pleasure spending time with his three children, Brian, Kevin, and Sarah, and was immensely involved in the lives and activities of his eight grandchildren. He loved Black Butte Ranch in Central Oregon, vacationing there (with the family of course) every Thanksgiving and summer. After retirement, Kris and Maggie found a place of their own on the ranch, where they created countless memories with family and friends over shared meals on the deck, rounds of golf and after-dinner dice games of Left-Right-Center. One of his favorite spots was walking along the Metolius river with his wife Maggie and his dog Heidi by his side.
His other favorite spot was Palm Springs, CA. Having discovered the desert, Kris and Maggie eventually settled at Seven Lakes Country Club, where they would meet people who would become dear friends to them in this next chapter in their life. He loved the sense of community there; the people he would meet and chat with walking the dog or playing in the golf scrambles on Sundays. He was happiest tossing his grandkids around in the pool, taking them on golf cart rides to look for bunnies, and spoiling them at all his favorite spots… the Living Desert, the Air Museum, Tyler’s and frozen yogurt. At the end of the day, you could find him smiling while watching the kids play as the sun was setting behind the backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains.
A lifelong member of the Multnomah Athletic Club, he was a constant figure in the halls of the workout areas and a regular in the sauna, forging many friendships along the way. He was an early adoptee of jogging back in the 1970’s and enjoyed participating in the Hood to Coast Relay for many years. He loved golfing with his wife, family and friends at Portland Golf Club, where he was often seen working on his game, having dinner with friends on the patio or sharing ice cream with his one of his grandchildren by the pool. A game that was introduced to him by his grandfather when he was a teenager, he took great pride passing the lessons of golf and life down to his own grandchildren.
Kris is survived by his wife Maggie; sons Brian and Kevin and daughter Sarah Hodson; son-in-law Nick Hodson, daughter-inlaw Julie Kriesien, and grandchildren Walter, Dana, Savanah, Michaela, Alexa, Lucy, Jack and Joe. Preceding him in death were his parents, Richard Sr. and Marion; sister, Lynda Fitzgerald; step-mother Gladys Kriesien Eagleton.
The funeral mass will be held at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church in Southwest Portland at 11 a.m. Saturday February 10, 2024. A reception celebrating Kris’s life will follow directly afterwards until 4pm, at Portland Golf Club, 5900 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Portland, OR.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kris’s honor to the Oregon Humane Society, 1067 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR 97211. www.oregonhumane.org.