1939 – 2007
After a short, fierce battle with a rare lung cancer, Ken died peacefully in Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital as the first light arrived on Saturday, February 3, 2007. He had remarked to James that he was ‘off on my next great adventure’.
He was surrounded there and survived by his loving family – wife of 45 years, Anne, sons Andrew (Kelly) and Jonathan (Chantel), daughter, Nicki (Jesse Blake), grandchildren Daemion, James, Claire and Kayla and close family friend, Colin Robertson. He was predeceased by his son, Kevin, in infancy. He is also survived by his brother, Murray (Kathy) of Delta, B.C. and sisters Eleanor (Troy Herriage) of Atlanta, Ga, Marion of Deep Cove and Lorraine of Maple Ridge.
In 1988, Ken purchased the Cortes Connection – a freight and passenger business providing service between Cortes Island and Campbell River. He felt fortunate when his son, Andrew, joined the business in 1997. In 1995 the Cortes Connection was nominated for business of the year by the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce.
In 1951, Ken and his family moved to Vernon from Vancouver. As a young man, he pounded spikes for the Great Northern Railway, served as dining room crew for the Union Steamships’ run to Prince Rupert and the Queen Charlottes and for the CPR runs between Vancouver and Winnipeg. Combined with a grandfather’s interest in transportation, he was thus fueled for a life of pursuing now vanishing railroads. He graduated from UBC in Geography in 1961 and began teaching secondary school in 1962 in Prince Rupert. Ken also taught in Houston, B.C. After another year at UBC, he purchased a converted fish boat to live on and began a career on the coast. From 1965 until the eventual sale, summers were spent working for Norman and Doris Hope at Refuge Cove and winters teaching in Campbell River. The wooden ‘Lady Frances’ was replaced by the kit fibreglass sailboat ‘Nessie’ and summers were then spent touring around Vancouver Island and north to Alaska.
In 1972 Ken became one of the founding members of the refuge Cove Land and Housing Co-op – the first of its kind and part owner of the marina business. In 1979 he moved to Cortes Island to resume teaching. In later years Ken’s great joy was to travel the globe with whatever time he could find free. He visited the South Pacific, Australia, Southeast Asia, Central America, Cuba and South America. This year was to have been Indonesia – or Trinidad and Tobago! In whatever time was available at home, Ken strived to grow the best, biggest, ripest, earliest tomatoes and cucumbers and to brew and drink the finest beer in front of the warm fireplace or in the sunshine on the deck.
An afternoon of shared memories was held at Manson’s Landing Community Hall on February 18, 2007.