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Stephen Barrett Stout


Last updated 10/13/2016 at 12:48pm

Stephen Barrett Stout

Stephen Barrett Stout, also known as "Blueberry" or "Kindler" passed away July 27, 2016, at his home in Ashland, Ore. after a brief illness. He was born Oct. 9, 1943 in Iowa City, Iowa to Mildred Boehner Stout and Kemble A. Stout. At the age of 2, he moved with his family to Pullman, Wash. where he lived until he entered the University of Washington.

After graduate study in philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City, he hitchhiked across the country experiencing communes and a thriving counter-culture as he went. This trip through communal culture was formative and inspiring as he went on to experiment with communal living for the rest of his life. Kindler returned to the Northwest in the early '70s and made Ashland, Ore., his permanent home in 1988. As a life-long learner, he stayed youthful working with activists for social and environmental justice.

Known by many as a piano tuner and technician, Kindler was also an unyielding activist and an incredible father. After protesting the Vietnam War, he focused on educating fellow citizens about the dangers of nuclear power and protested clear-cut logging and deforestation. He gathered surplus food and delivered it to the hungry. He organized support for family farms and helped pass a landmark citizen's initiative to outlaw GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in Jackson County, Ore. He reduced before reusing - and ultimately recycling - nearly everything he touched. He would proclaim "there is no away for us to throw things."

He influenced many with his kind, gentle, generous, and altruistic manner. Buckminster Fuller had a way of silencing a room by asking the right question: "If the success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I would I be? What would I do?" Most would agree, we'd probably be a bit more like Kindler.

He is survived by three children, Asha Stout it Taos, N.M., Sarah wolf in Orlando, Fla., and Micah wolf in Maui, Hawaii; by the mother of his children, Devorah wolf in Santa Fe, N.M .; and by two sisters, Christie Stout Bruntlett in Cheney, Wash. and Diana Yates in Portland, Ore.

Kindler Stout was an amazing man. He had a heart that was endless, a kindness unparalleled, and because of these his impact was profound. Kindler will be greatly missed but never forgotten. His message lives on in all of us.

A celebration of Kindler's life will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 22, 2016 at Scenic Hills Memorial Park where he is buried near the weeping willow trees. All are welcome. There will be a potluck gathering from 3 – 6 p.m. at the Ellview Grange. Submit a friend request and watch Kindler's Facebook wall for updates.


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