Neville Kennard, 74, died June 3. Neville and his brother, Andy, have been instrumental in growing the family-owned Kennards Hire and the Kennards Self Storage businesses in Australia. Walter Kennard, Neville’s father, who sold machinery, petrol and produce, was asked by a customer for the loan of his new concrete mixer for a quick job. Walter thought for a moment and then replied, “I’m sorry, I can’t loan it to you, but I’ll hire it to you.” That was in 1948. So began Kennards Hire, which has grown into one of Australia’s largest hire companies with more than 90 branches throughout the country. In 1956, at age 19, Neville joined his father’s business, which he took over in 1964 and ran with his brother from 1965 until 1991 when he left to head the Kennards Self Storage businees. He was managing director of Kennards Self Storage until 1995. Kennards Hire has been a member of the American Rental Association since 1964. He is survived by his wife, Gaby, and three sons. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Stepping Stone Foundation, Sydney Stepping Stone, c/o Connery Partners, Level 6, 234 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000 or online at steppingstonehouse.com.au.
Michael Bledsoe, 23, Independence, Mo., passed away Tuesday, June 19. Bledsoe was the son of Jeff Bledsoe, president of Bledsoe Rentals, Kansas City, Mo. He was a graduate of William Chrisman High School and employed with Mr. Goodcents. He is survived by his mother, Virginia Shoemaker; father, Jeffrey Bledsoe; brothers Brandon and Jacob; niece and nephews, Lucas, Logan and Lena; maternal grandfather, Eduard Neumann; paternal grandparents, Kenny and Joann Bledsoe; and additional aunts, uncles and family. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions are suggested to the Noland Road Baptist Church Student Ministries, 4505 S. Noland Rd, Independence, MO 64055.
Jack Miethe, 91, died May 4. Miethe was known as a rental pioneer in the Portland, Ore., area. He operated three different stores in the 1950s and 1960s. Miethe founded 82nd Ave. Rentals, which became Lewis Rents after being sold to the Lewis family in 1958 and relocated. Miethe also opened and operated Foster Rental and Jack’s A1 Rental. He is survived by his wife, Betty, three children, seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held June 9.
Jerry DeGraw, 75, died April 29. DeGraw was a salesman with W.G. Wright & Associates, a Portland, Ore.-based independent manufacturer’s representative firm. He is survived by his wife, Jan, three children and eight granddaughters.
Cyril ‘Cy’ Kunkel
Cyril “Cy” Kunkel, 90, of Davenport, Iowa, died June 27. After returning from serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, Kunkel began working at the former Bendix Corp. in Davenport and began assisting at the former A-Z Rental Co. When the opportunity arose, he purchased the rental company and formed Cy’s Rental. He was dedicated to his rental business and stayed active within it until 2010. He was a member of the Cornbelt Rental Association and the American Rental Association. He served on the Cornbelt Rental Association board in 1995 and 1999. He is survived by his wife, Mary, six children, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His son, Kevin, continues to own and operate Cy’s Rental. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Handicapped Development Center, 3402 Hickory Grove Rd, Davenport, IA 52803.