Kenneth Carr and Ellamae Kurtz were married Sept. 13, 1959, in the Meadow Glade Church near Battle Ground, Washington. Burt Kurtz, Ellamae’s uncle, officiated. There was not time for a honeymoon trip. A few days after the wedding, Ken and Ellamae loaded everything they owned into Ken’s 1954 Ford and moved to Walla Walla College so Ken could complete his junior and senior year. He graduated in June 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and accounting.
Ken and Ellamae met in January 1959 because Ellamae and Ken’s sister, Carol, were rooming together at Walla Walla College School of Nursing at the Portland Sanitarium. When they met, Ken said it was love at first sight. They dated as much as they could, but when Ken's 30-day leave from the Army evaporated he sadly returned to Hawaii, where he was stationed for another six months. He was discharged in July.
Their first son, Daniel Jay, was born July 20, 1960, in Walla Walla General Hospital. Early in 1962 they moved to Gold Beach, Oregon, where Ken worked for a public accounting firm. The work was interesting and challenging. He said he learned more about accounting, taxes and budgeting in a few months than he had in four years of college. Their second son, Donald Roy, was born June 8, 1962, in the Gold Beach Hospital. There was one other patient in the hospital at the same time who also was having a baby.
The Carrs moved back to the Portland, Oregon, area in 1965, where Ken worked at Portland Sanitarium (now Adventist Medical Center) as assistant to the chief accountant. In 1974 he went to work for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon, retiring in July 1995 as manager of cost accounting and corporate budgeting.
Ellamae was a stay-at-home mom until both boys were in school. When Dan and Don started school, Ellamae went to work at Portland Adventist Elementary School. Four years later she joined the Oregon Conference in the education department before transferring to the treasury department, where she prepared payroll for all conference employees, school employees, pastors and church employees. She completed 27 years of conference employment and retired Feb. 1, 1997.
After retirement they began working on Maranatha projects. They have done more than 60 projects, mostly in the United States and Canada. They were also involved in a project in Livingstone, Zambia, and another in Choluteca, Honduras. They also worked with Mission Church Builders, completing two schools and three churches.
They feel very blessed that their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have lived within 10 miles of their home most of their lives. Their family includes Dan and Pam Carr; Don Carr; 5 granddaughters, 2 grandsons, 2 great-granddaughters and 6 great-grandsons.
In 2007, the Carrs moved to Woodburn Estates Golf and Country Club, where, on Sept. 15, 2019, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in the clubhouse with 96 family and friends. They thank God every day for His many blessings through these many years.