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Kelmar LeMaster

June 17, 1931 – December 17, 2023

Our wonderful father, uncle, grandfather, colleague and friend passed away on December 17, 2023 at the age of 92. Kelmar (Kal) LeMaster was born in Seattle to Kelmar K. and Lila J. LeMaster. The family soon moved to Portland, Oregon where Kal grew up as a child of the Depression. His father served as a war correspondent in Europe during WWII, while Kal and his mother held down the home front. He attended Lincoln High School in Portland, and then went to Oregon State University in Corvalis. He was a business major and member of the Air Force ROTC program. 

Kal met his future bride, Merlene Johnson, on a blind date at Oregon State. The two were married in 1953. Kal served 2½ years as a lieutenant in the Air Force. After he was honorably discharged in 1956, Kal began his 30-year career in accounting with the phone company. 

Kal, Merlene, and their 3 children relocated many times for his work, living in Oregon, California, New Jersey, and Washington states. When he retired, they made Bellevue, Washington their home. Kal served on the Bellevue Parks Board for many years, contributing to the successful development of the Bellevue Downtown Park. 

He was an avid bridge player and had his private pilot’s license. Kal enjoyed the outdoors, climbing most of the Cascade volcanoes and hiking well into his 70’s. Kal’s woodworking skills were incredible, ranging from carpentry to fine furniture, from grandkids’ toys to interior finish work. He and Merlene loved to travel, and they were long-time members of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. Kal was on the church finance committee, and in his later years, he worked at their thrift shop.

A good man with a quick wit, Kal loved his immediate and extended family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Merlene. He is survived by his children Julie (Tom), Laurie (Scott), and Jim (Ruth), his grandchildren – Chris, Rebecca (Wyatt), Rachel (Nathanael), Micah (Maddie), and Anna (Noah), plus great-grandchildren Eleanor and Oliver. He will be missed by all of us.

Please join us to celebrate Kal’s life and say goodbye. Memorial Service at 2 pm on February 17, 2024 at Saint Margaret’s Episcopal Church – 4228 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue, WA 98006. The service can also be live-streamed at Click on the “Live and Recorded Worship” box, then go to the “Live” button.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to Saint Margaret’s Endowment Fund (, or to Door of Faith Orphanage (

Sign Kal’s guest book below in Comments.


I miss you, Dad. Please give Mom our love.

Laurie Vette

It was an honor to get to meet you and spend Thurs evenings with you, Kal! What a wonderful life that you lived. Will miss seeing you on Thursdays. May you rest in peace <3.

Nancy Lee

Wonderful photos with Kal's great smile! We loved having Kal join in for the air show and croquet picnics. A good man with a quick wit, indeed.

Richard & Diane Nichols

Thanks for this beautiful obituary. Grandpa Kal was an extremely funny, talented and generous person who is loved and missed by so many. I cherish all my memories with him - he was the World's Best Grandpa and we are poorer without him.

Rachel Vette

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