LONGVIEW, WASH. — Edward Andrew Kirkland died on Jan. 27, 2007 at the age of 73 of esophageal cancer in Longview, Wash.

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dward was born on Nov. 8, 1933 in LaGrande to parents Cornelius Andrew and Edna Iva (Nibarger) Kirkland. He attended school in La Grande and graduated from La Grande High School. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

Ed and Gloria Rose Cutting were married on June 9, 1956 in Hermiston. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Dibble Point while fishing on the bank of the Columbia River in 2006.

In 1966, Ed and Gloria moved to Rainier. He worked as a heavy equipment operator for more than 50 years, retiring in 1994. Edward worked on several projects including Cabbage Hill, 15-184E and Highway 30 from Delena to the edge of Rainier. He also worked on establishing the road to the visitors' center to Mt. St. Helens, and dredging the Cowlitz River following the volcano eruption with his sons. He operated the Cat that helped clear the Rainier Hill.

Edward was an avid Dodge car lover. He completed the restoration of a 1968 Coronet R/T convertible and proudly showed his car in three local car shows. He was pictured with the car in the Wheels column in 2006 in the Daily News. He belonged to Local 701 Operating Engineers Union. Edward belonged to the Kalama Sportsman Club.

He was known to many as "Blue Ghost," his CB handle. Edward loved his CB radio and ham radio hobby. Nearly every morning he could be heard talking to his best friend "Digger" and many of his other good buddies.

Edward's passion was family, hunting and fishing.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria of Rainier; sons, Bradley Edward Kirkland, Sr., and Shawn Brian Kirkland of Rainier; and Merle Anthony Kirkland of Clatskanie; daughters, Kelly Ann Kirkland of Prineville and Kristy Lynn Kirkland of Long Beach, Wash.; eight grandchildren; and brother, Douglas Kirkland of Glendale.

The Kirkland family is thankful for the care given by Dr. Ellis Johnson and gentle care given by Hospice Caregivers of Longview.

Visitation will be held Sunday, Feb. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Haakinson-Groulx Mortuary Chapel at 215 C Street East in Rainier. Interment fill follow at Hudson II Cemetery in Rainier.

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