Al Kington

Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Al Kington

Al Kington, 80, of Helena, Montana, passed away peacefully on April 16, 2022. He was born Sept. 29, 1941, to Lewis and Mae Kington in Dillon, Montana, and joined older siblings Jim and Katherine. Lewis passed away in 1946 while working a railroad job and Mae remarried, providing Al with two younger siblings in Carolyn and Elmer Young. The family moved a fair bit and Al graduated from Dawson County High School in Glendive, Montana.

In 1964, he graduated from University of Montana with a BS in Forest Management. He told stories of riding the rails and rodeoing and his adventures were often wild and full of fun. He married Janie Collins of Libby, Montana, in 1965, and their courtship included a stolen pig story where Janie was the getaway driver. Their first daughter, Rebecca Lynn, arrived in October 1965 while Al was working as a Forester for the Department of Natural Resource & Conservation. He became a Vietnam combat veteran in 1966-67 serving as a survey party chief and running the materials testing laboratory. His performance evaluation states: “KINGTON accomplishes his assigned tasks and duties with extremely effective and reliable results with a minimum of supervision, and handles his men commendably, getting the best results.” And “KINGTON, although only rated at the E-4 level, is accomplishing work assigned, compatible to a much higher rate level and is continually striving to improve the ability of his men and the organization.”

He returned to Montana and fathered daughter number two, Stephanie Ann, in 1969. Al was diligent and passionate about industrial forest industry efforts, managing logging programs for the State of Montana, Horner Waldorf/Champion International, and Wickes Corporation before striking out on his own with Kington Management Systems as a forest management consultant. He continued to fight for logging in Montana through his membership and leadership in many organizations and assisted private landowners and small businesses with successful logging decisions. On the home front, he embraced his cowboy skills, buying ponies and horses for the daughters, supporting their rodeo activities, coaching some high school rodeo and breeding a few horses with his eye on the racetrack. Many a weekend was spent at Helena Downs, and plenty of local rodeos were enjoyed as a family. Later in life, his attention turned to golf and Al hit the links frequently, eventually bringing Janie into the sport. He enjoyed having his classic cars restored and usually had a German Shepherd dog around. Al’s sense of humor was greatly appreciated by many and a cornerstone in his life. His inner circle may not have been large, but loyalty was steadfast, fun was present, and generosity known.

Al is survived by his wife of 57 years, Janie Kington of Helena; daughter Becky Kington (Pete) of Twin Bridges; daughter Stephanie Gannon (Pat) of Great Falls; grandsons Ryan Gannon of Columbus and Chase Gannon of Missoula; sister Carolyn Young of Dillon; brother Elmer Young of Two Dot; sister-in-law Fran Kington of Kennesaw, Georgia; nephews Mike (Barbara) and Vic Parmenter of Butte, Kenn Kington (Heather) of Kennesaw, Georgia; Dennis Kington of Kingman, Arizona; and niece Lori Flynn (Todd) of Weston, Florida.

He is predeceased by brother Jim Kington; sister Katherine Parmenter; and niece Mary Ivie of Idaho Falls.

We have collaborated with the Montana Wood Products Association to develop and implement a scholarship fund for those going into the industrial forestry logging trade. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Al Kington Industrial Scholarship Fund, c/o MWPA to P.O. Box 1967, Missoula, MT 59806.

A graveside service with military honors will be held on May 18, 2022 at 11 a.m. at the Mountain View Cemetery in Dillon, Montana.