Last week when Kim Pangle called me to tell me about Ken’s passing I was in total shock. Later that evening I called my parents to tell them. My mom said “You will miss him. He was your friend.” That pretty much says it all.
I had the privilege to spend a great deal of time with Ken as a twirler, drill team member, band member, Aqua Star, and swimming pool lifeguard. During that time, I didn’t realize how many life lessons I was learning. As far as I was concerned, I was learning new skills and having fun! He always made me think that he was my biggest fan.
We maintained contact through all the years since high school I always looked forward to seeing him at Settlers’, especially marching with the Alumni Band, where he named me “The World’s Oldest Majorette”!
Ken always inspired me to aspire to the next level, whatever it was I was doing. Twirling was my first love and he helped me to reach levels that I never thought that could. He gave so much of himself. How could I not respond?
Nancy was the consumate good sport, giving up time, and weekends, along with Ken to travel to Idaho Falls or Sun Valley, or to a Twirling competitions in Spokane or to WSU do do sort of a “preview majorette tryout”.
Ken always insisted that you represent your school, your community and yourself in the best possible way. He didn’t mince words when he felt that you had crossed a line. We had attended a twirling competition in Idaho where I saw an older twirler do a trick in a strut routine that was a little more “sophisticated” than what I had ever done. I thought it was cool and put the same trick into my routine. The first time I did it, Ken, with humor pointed out that that particular move was neither my style nor the style he wanted me to have. I immediately took it out!
The past several days have made me realize how often in any given day I think of Ken, something he taught me or a conversation that we had. His influence will always be with me – every single day of my life.
Ken was a great man, and it all came so naturally to him. My heart goes out to you, Nancy and Rob. He was my friend and I will miss him.
- Fond Memories
- Who was your favorite teacher?