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Obituaries: Magne Jarle Kjos

May 27, 2010

Magne Jarle Kjos, 83, died in La Cañada on May 20, at the home of his daughter.

Residents on Alta Canyada Road may remember a tall, white-haired gentleman with a resolute stride and an endless collection of striking sun hats, hiking purposefully up their street and back down again, twice a day for about three years.

Kjos moved to La Cañada in late 2003. For 15 years he hiked the coastal mountains of western Los Angeles County with his "snake flipper," a long stick made from a slender tree branch. The snake flipper continued to come in handy at his new home near the wilds of the Angeles National Forest.

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Jarle (pronounced 'yarl') Kjos was born in Brandbu, Norway, on Aug. 14, 1926, the younger of two sons. The Kjos farmstead was hit hard by two events when he was boy.

The Depression robbed his parents of the cash in their pockets and their savings in the bank. The Occupation of World War II took food they had grown from off of the family table and fed it to the invading German Army.

Around the time he turned 14 and for about two years, Jarle worked with the Norwegian underground as a courier transporting messages and, occasionally, weapons for the resistance.

After the war he served in the Norwegian army and was stationed for a year in Holzminden, Germany, where his unit was attached to the English Army of Occupation.

With his military service behind him, Jarle attended Norwegian Technical College in Trondheim, Norway. While studying there, he met his future wife, Benedikte Tannvik. They married after he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Their first child, Bent Olav, was born in Norway. Jarle immigrated to the United States in 1953. Jobs were scarce, but he managed to send for his wife and son after a year.

The family lived in southern Wisconsin, where their second child, Siri, was born. Work took him to Covington, Va., and finally to Southern California in 1961 with 2-month-old Einar in tow.

Bent and Siri Kjos graduated from Agoura High School; Einar Kjos graduated from Thousand Oaks High School.

Jarle Kjos worked at Burroughs Corporation (now Unisys) for 25 years as an electro-mechanical engineer and design team manager for data storage systems, first in Pasadena and for 15 years in Thousand Oaks.

He held several patents for magnetic tape transport, automatic threading, tape reel systems, tape brake and guidance devices in high-speed data processing.

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