A 28-year-old Montesano High School graduate was killed Monday, May 20 in a tragic logging accident just west of Cougar.
Kyle Schlesser was remembered during funeral services Friday as a devoted father to 3-year-old Brody and loved his friends and family and truly enjoyed being outside in the woods working for his father.
“He was a very good guy, nice, funny, always had a smile on his face,” Schlesser’s younger brother Allen said on Friday. “He had a 3- year-old son and was an awesome father. His son definitely changed his life and he was an awesome brother. He was the oldest of us and was very protective and very competitive.”
Kyle, who lived for a time in Central Park and moved to Rochester more recently, was apparently killed instantly when he was struck by a tree that his partner had felled the morning of May 20.
The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office reported a 43-year-old co-worker from Onalaska had felled a tree, which struck another tree, which struck and killed Schlesser. The co-worker told deputies he called out to Kyle before he felled the tree to make sure he knew what was happening. Schlesser was working on another tree at the time. Kyle had nine years of logging experience. The co-worker told deputies he has been logging for 23 years without ever causing an injury.
Kyle worked for his father’s logging company, Jim Schlesser Inc.
“He loved it and he took a lot of pride in his work and he definitely liked it and he had a lot of responsibility and he rolled with it and he didn’t let anybody down,” Allen said. “He was just an all-around good guy. He was never the type of guy to go around and cause problems, never the type of guy to just pick a fight over nothing but if you were with him, he would definitley stick up for you.”
At Montesano High School, Kyle played football and basketball. He played baseball up to the Babe Ruth level.
Lucas Gonzalez said he was roommates with Kyle and Allen both and became “almost like an uncle to his family.”
“Kyle had a pretty good life growing up,” Gonzalez said. “Occasionally, he’d get into some trouble, but as soon as he had his son, he changed his whole life. He’s a local boy that would give his shirt off his back if you needed it.”
Gonzalez said he’s lost some of his own family in recent months so losing Kyle has hit him pretty hard.
“I know what the family is going through and it’s going to be rough for a while,” he said. “Everybody’s sad. Everybody’s heart is hurting. He also had a really good girlfriend, Justine, who made a big difference in his life and they were definitely in love.”
Kyle’s funeral was last Friday, May 24, where he is buried at the Brooklyn Cemetery.
Arrangements were by Whiteside Family Mortuary in Elma.
The Daily World contributed to this story.