Cover photo for Phil C. Kudlac's Obituary
Phil C. Kudlac Profile Photo
1948 Phil 2023

Phil C. Kudlac

November 12, 1948 — November 26, 2023


Phil C. Kudlac, age 75, of Grants Pass, died November 26, 2023 at his home.


Phil was born in Grants Pass, OR on November 12, 1948 as the middle child of Charles and Anita Kudlac. He is known as one of the hardest working and determined individuals in the Rogue Valley. Being the son of a butcher/lumberman and a school teacher, he learned at an early age about work ethic and toughness. Phil spent the majority of his life in the Grants Pass and Applegate Valleys. His love for the beautiful Rogue River would never allow him to leave. Phil was an avid lover of the many river activities including Boatnik. He raced hydroplane boats for a number of years, leading his oldest son, Grant into the same venture.


Phil attended elementary school at Fort Vannoy where all of his children attended as well, moving onto Monument School which is now known as Fleming Middle School. As time progressed, Phil was a 3-sport athlete at Grants Pass High School, class of 1967. He was successful at all 3 sports of football, wrestling, and track. During these years, Phil formed many lifelong friendships that are still here today. There are a plethora of stories that can be found and heard from anyone living during that era about his work ethic, commitment to succeed, and desire to be the best. 


After graduating from GPHS, Phil ventured up to the mid-Willamette Valley and attended Oregon State University (OSU) from 1967-1972, one class from graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree because of organic chemistry. While at OSU, Phil took his traits of hard work to the wrestling mats in Corvallis which were short lived. Realizing it was not the sport for him, he stepped onto the rugby pitch.  Some of his most favorite and valued memories in life were within this great sport. He always mentioned how lucky he was to be on such a team that traveled North America. Through this sport, he was able to see parts of the world that he otherwise would have never seen. Also, this is a game for tough-minded, hard-working men that liked to have a good time. There were times that Phil jeopardized his enrollment at OSU due to the good times the team participated in. 


Because of rugby, Phil was able to meet the love of his life for nearly 51 years. Phil passed 13 days before his 51st anniversary to Pamela Rae Wells. They met after a rugby game in the spring of 1972, as he walked off the field and invited her to the after-game party at the fairgrounds in Corvallis. They spent the evening dancing and enjoying each other’s company, getting to know each other. As time passed, Phil and Pam married on December 9th, 1972. They got married on one of the worst evenings in Oregon history in terms of weather. As the snow piled up, hundreds of people still celebrated their nuptials in Lebanon, OR at the First United Methodist Church. 


Due to the weather they incurred their honeymoon lacked some luster, and they returned to Grants Pass within 2 days. Just before their wedding, Phil accepted a job at The Old Hoots Angus Ranch on Lower River Road. This was a place both Phil and Pam still speak irreverently about as one of their best life experiences together. It was a time that was short lived as they sought betterment but still always look back fondly about. As mentioned, Phil’s drive and work ethic was seeking something bigger. 


This vision took them to the McBride Hereford Ranch located in Washington from 1974-1976. Working on this ranch has impacted the Kudlac family until today. Phil and Pam still value their time there as some of the best in their life. Eventually, they started their own herd of Hereford cattle due to this experience, and the McBride family has purchased many bulls from them over the past several years. The relationship is alive and healthy after nearly 50 years. 


While at the McBride Hereford Ranch, Phil and Pam welcomed their first son, Grant Phillip, born in Sunnyside, WA on Nov. 12, 1975, Dad’s birthday. Grant’s arrival was a life changing moment for both of them. Their priorities for what the future held changed quickly and they realized they were still seeking a chance to make their lives a better place because of their son. 


Phil and Pam moved to Grants Pass in 1976 and have never left the area. Phil started working at his Dad’s lumber yard, Valley Lumber, immediately. Eventually, as the “5-foot stud”, he assumed ownership of the business after several years. During the early years, Bradford Wells was born on December 14, 1979. As time progressed, they welcomed their third son Ross Lee on June 7, 1983. Phil worked at the family business until 2002—surviving 3 devastating fires that destroyed the business to its core. Due to his diligence and can’t quit attitude he never let those flames be a setback. “Pull your boots on one at a time.”


Phil spent many years as a Grants Pass Irrigation District (GPID) Board Member for too many years to count. Taking care of the agricultural world was vital to him. He always felt the future of our country was through agriculture and hard work. During this time, he continued to raise his favored cattle of the Hereford breed. After several breed championships for Herefords, Dad was able to claim the incredibly revered title last January of the Overall CHAMPION! It was a moment that will never be forgotten! Highest selling Hereford in the history of the Red Bluff Bull Sale! It was his moment to shine that took 48 years!!!!!!! Hard work, Determination, and Desire. 


Over the years, he was avidly involved with Josephine County 4H for nearly 50 years, unofficially adopting numerous sons and daughters, the North Valley High School Booster Club, and NVHS Stadium committee. Combined with Ron and Byron Robertson, a life passion Phil had was to build the athletic complex that currently exists at the high school. Without these 3 people, it would not exist today. 


Phil’s crowning achievement were his 3 sons. As time passed, Grant met his lifemate in Shala McKenzie, while Brad spends the rest of his life with McKenzie McPhetridge, and Ross with his soulmate in Melissa Smith. He passionately supported them and always was a backbone to their success in life. Eventually, he welcomed 6 grandchildren into our world with Hoyt Bradford, Kampbell Grant, Hudson Tate, Heston Ross, Hollace Mac, and Scarlett Rosemarie to the family. Just like their “Poppy”, all 6 of his grandchildren will carry on his love for cattle and sports. 


There will be a celebration of Phil’s life on Sunday, December 10th. At 12:00 PM, noon, the doors of the Pavilion at the Josephine County Fairgrounds will open for finger foods and beverage celebration until the service starts at 1:00 PM. Everyone is invited to the social hour, and can stay as long as you desire afterwards. Any lingering guests can venture to the Kudlac Hereford Barn for a bonfire if needed to conclude the celebration of Phil’s life. 


Phil’s ashes will be spread upon the McBride Hereford Ranch, the Kudlac Ranch, and the Rogue River. 


In lieu of donations to an organization or flowers, Phil would encourage any of you to support any 4H/FFA Livestock auction, but especially in Josephine, Curry, and Crook County. They are the right future for this country.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phil C. Kudlac, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

Josephine County Fairgrounds - Pavilion

1451 Fairgrounds Road, Grants Pass, OR 97527

12 Noon finger foods and beverages & 1:00 pm Service begins
Kudlac Hereford Barn for a bonfire later in evening

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree