Lauran Aldophus Kittle

Lauran A. Kittle of Kamiah died at 94 Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, at Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino after a long fight against prostrate cancer.

Born in Loma Linda, CA, Sept. 8, 1914, to Orra and Laura Kittle, Lauran spent most of his childhood exploring the wonders of nature. His parents enjoyed hunting, fishing and photography, and instilled their passion for the great outdoors in Lauran and his eight brothers at an early age.

During the summer break of his junior year at Pacific Union High School, Lauran worked as a ranch hand in Cheyenne, WY. Days were spent tagging cattle, calving and haying; nights were devoted to embellished tales shared with other cowboys over a bottle of whiskey and some grub. The experience would have a lasting impact. After graduating from high school, Lauran went on to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Husbandry from Oregon State University.

In 1935, after graduating near the top of his class, Lauran and his brother, Val, started a fishing business in Punta Rayas, Costa Rica. Initially, the business flourished, as the low cost of operations translated into big dollars in the U.S. fish market. However, a devastating hurricane wiped out all but two of the boats; fortunately, one of the surviving vessels contained Lauran and his brother. After barely escaping with their lives, the brothers sold off what was left of the business and moved back to the States.

Years later, Lauran found himself working in Los Angeles as an aviation engineer for Douglas Aircraft; a vital role during World War II, but one which he considered unpleasant due to its sedentary nature. After a disappointing two years, he received an invitation from his uncle, Ernie, to visit him in Idaho for a hunting trip. Uncle Ernie took Lauran and his brothers on a three-week excursion through the back woods to hunt the mighty Idaho elk. The experience awakened the woodsman within and shortly after the trip, he returned to Los Angeles, quit his job, packed his things and moved to St. Maries to buy a tree farm. He had rediscovered his passion for the outdoors and spent the next 30 years living his wilderness dream.

After selling his business, Lauran retired from tree farming, but not his life as a woodsman. He spent his time hunting, building furniture and crafting Indian artifacts, many of which were used in local Pow Wows and are currently on display around Clearwater County. Another of his pleasures was wine making. Wines from “Kittle’s Kitchen” earned him several county fair awards and undoubtedly served as the inspiration for his off-the-wall toasts, such as “Viva Mexico. Viva Pancho Villa”.

Lauran lived out his last days in Orofino, not far from his beloved Kamiah, hiking the trails along the Clearwater River. He loved the people, the land and the enchantment of Native American culture and would not have had it any other way.

Lauran is survived by his daughter, Saundra and her son, Shaun; his niece, Paige and her husband, Tom.

Please join us in a memorial service celebrating Lauran’s life on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 11 a.m. at the Kamiah River Park followed by a potluck luncheon at noon. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Prostate Foundation.

courtesy of

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