Saying goodbye to a Hyrum historian

98-year-old Ted Kindred, who made his home in Hyrum, passed away on Jan. 3. He will be remembered as an avid Cache Valley historian. 

Cache Valley lost a historian on Tuesday, but Ted Kindred’s legacy will live on.  Kindred, a resident of Hyrum for nearly 50 years, passed away on Jan. 3, at the age of 98. He will be remembered this weekend during a Friday evening viewing from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Nelson Funeral Home on 162 E. 400 N. in Logan. A memorial mass will take place on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, located at 725 S. 250 E. in Hyde Park.

Once nicknamed “the valley’s historical conscience,” Kindred played an instrumental role in many projects aimed at preserving Cache County’s heritage, and he loved the small-town atmosphere of Hyrum City. The recipient of the 2003 Cache Valley History Award, Kindred spearheaded the restoration of Hyrum’s Elite Hall, petitioned to preserve the city’s pioneer cabins on Main Street and was involved with the development of Salt Hollow Park. A WWII Navy veteran, he was also an antiques aficionado, and his home was filled with books, artifacts and memorabilia. One of his favorite pastimes was sharing stories and memories with his friends.

“Ted had a lot of knowledge in a lot of different areas and he had quite a collection of everything, really,” said Shane Zilles, who knew Kindred well. “To me, Ted was a happy guy who wanted to preserve families and genealogy. He was so concerned about preserving information. He loved to make history known to people, but he also wanted to make it last.”

Zilles, a former deputy with the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, lives in College Ward and became acquainted with Kindred when he answered a medical call at the elderly gentleman’s home three years ago. Kindred had fallen and, during the course of the incident, expressed to Zilles that he was lonely. Several days later, Zilles followed up with Kindred off-duty, initiating what became a lasting friendship. In the ensuing years, Zilles and his wife, Lauralee, stopped by Kindred’s home on a daily basis, providing him with regular care.

“We just started visiting him,” said Zilles. “It was cleaning, showering, taking him for walks. We just tried to help him out.”

Kindred was a man who likewise provided service. The Hyrum Museum’s new reading room will bear his name in tribute to his community involvement.  He was a Cub Scout leader, the director of the Hyrum Museum, an American Legion commander and much more. He was involved with numerous oral history projects, and he and his wife, Pat, who passed away in 2000, were known for opening their home to guests from around the world.  Stan Leslie, who worked with Kindred on special projects at Thiokol, remembers his colleague as a truly upstanding man.

“I really admired his integrity,” said Leslie. “If Ted said something, it was as good as gold, and if we had a world full of Ted Kindreds, we wouldn’t have anywhere near the problems that we have today.  ‘Just a great all-around guy. Fun to be with. You can’t help but miss him.”

Jami Van Huss, current director of the Hyrum Museum, agrees.

“Ted really was community minded,” she said. “He was involved in so many things and always seemed to enjoy what he was doing. Whenever I worked with him on a project or visited him in his home, he’d just get this look on his face and say, ‘Oh, it’s been a wonderful life.'”

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