Kai Arnold Bodtker

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Memories & Candles

“Man, I can still remember the days at Crater Lake like they were yesterday. You are a very special person that I will never forget. ”
1 of 2 | Posted by: Vicko - Tigard, OR

“Kai, you have left us too early, but I will remember you by the work you left behind. Sleep well. ”
2 of 2 | Posted by: marsha - OR


Bodtker, Kai Arnold 45 2/9/1964 2/26/2009 Kai died in an auto accident Thursday night, Feb. 26, 2009, in Portland. Kai was born in Bloomington, Ind., and graduated from Sprague High School in Salem in 1982. He attended Evergreen College in Olympia for a couple of years. While there he was the driver of a rebuilt school bus which he and 20 other students used as home during a cross-country tour following the Grateful Dead for six weeks, though he insisted he was never a Deadhead. In 1970-'71 Kai spent eight months going to school in Denmark and four months camping through several countries in Western Europe with his parents and sister. This experience contributed to his appreciation of other cultures and love of travel. He had made several trips to Mexico, and visited the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu and most recently New Zealand. For several years he participated in the Country Fair in Veneta. However, in the last five years Kai has made annual pilgrimages to the Burning Man festival in the desert of northern Nevada, where he could be creative and enjoy the wild creativity of his friends. Early in life Kai started collecting comic books. He became a knowledgeable resource about all aspects of comics - the artists, the production, and the history of comics. He maintained an extensive collection. Kai spent much of his adult life in Portland where he was an independent contractor, maintenance man, painter and all-around handyman. He also spent several years as a cook in Salem, Crater Lake National Park, and at Government Camp. He married Sally White in 1996; she preceded him in death. While he took care of the houses of his family and friends he also took care of their lives, always coming to the aid of one or the other who needed encouragement, or a hot meal, or a drink with a friend and a long talk. He had such good stories that our problems seemed far away. Where will be without our family storyteller? He is survived by his parents, Egon and Diana Bodtker; sister, Ingrid Bodtker, and her partner, Walker T Ryan; his nephews, Ian Baber and Emmett Baber; niece, Katharine Ryan; uncle and aunt, Harry "John" and Beth Wright; and cousins, Derek and Kristen. There will be a memorial service for Kai at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7, 2009, in the Eliot Chapel at the First Unitarian Church of Portland, 1011 S.W. 12th St. Contributions can be made to your local humane society.

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