Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ken Waite | 1953-2009

Ken passed away this morning at the University of Washington Medical Center.
Truly, a fighter to the end. He is missed already.

Memorial Informtion:
Sunday, January 11th, 2009 - 2:00pm at Aberdeen High School Sam Benn Gym
Reception immediately following in the Commons
410 N. G Street | Aberdeen, WA 98520

Please plan on getting there early as parking and seating are limited.


Anonymous said...

He was a special man and will be missed by many.

Our thoughts are with your family.

Kyle and Angela Scott

Anonymous said...

I am feel so blessed not only to have known Kenny but the whole Waite Family. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. You will be missed Ken.....see you in Heaven!

Lisa B.

Juanita Mebane said...

I just heard the news of your passing. Although you are gone, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I have a lot of great memories of you, wether it would be in math class or on the basketball court, which usually consisted of you calling a foul on me! You always had such a good kindness and spirit. I am glad to have known you!! Thanks for being such a wonderful influence in my life and in the lives of others!! You will be sorely missed. God Bless!!

Juanita Mebane former student and friend

Steve Tatro said...

Coach, you will be missed by many. Your influence on young people has spanned decades. Today the world mourns the loss of a wonderful man, a friend. God bless you and especially your family.
My deepest and most sincere sympathy.
Steve Tatro

Dann Fassnacht said...

I read about Ken's "passing", via the GHC fac/staff email this morning, and I have to say that it was the worst news I've heard in many years. Damn that cancer!

I will miss Ken, and I know that all the people who knew him here at GHC will miss him also.

Rest in peace, my friend.

---Dann Fassnacht, GHC Parking.

Anonymous said...

Jill, Kristi, & Mark,

Ken has reached the top shelf!

It was an honor for me to work with Ken here at GHC. He was truly committed to everything he did and always had the best interest of his students and athletes. He will be missed by all of us who knew him.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Margo Hood

Arlene Torgerson said...

Heaven's gain and joy is truly our loss and sadness.

Arlene Torgerson

Anonymous said...


pier said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

The Pier Family

Anonymous said...

God Bless You All - He was so loved and we were so blessed to have had him touch our lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love, Lesli & family

Anonymous said...

Ken. You were and still are a mentor to me and my umpire skills. You taught me a lot. My sincere sympathy to your family. You will be missed by all of us that had the great opportunity to know you. Work with you. Or have an after game cocktail in the parking lots.

Allen & Juliana Daniels and family

Jim Morrell said...

Ken held a very special place in many of our hearts. He was always positive and an everlasting friend that will be missed. The values and way Ken led his life are an inspiration to us. There are so many positive stories and thoughts that are filling my mind at this time. Our officiating family will referee every game with Ken's comittment. So many fun times! I will always remember grabbing from the top shelf!
Jim Morrell

JR said...

Ken. Rest well and be free!

Jill, Kristi, and Marc - my thoughts and prayers to you. He was a great man who touched everyone in a very special way. He will truly be missed.


Anonymous said...

Ken truly inspired me, first as a student and then when I moved back to this community.

He was a true hero to me. I enjoyed every opportunity to talk with Ken.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Gordon & Toni Williams

Anonymous said...

Ken truly inspired me, first as a student and then when I moved back to this community.

He was a true hero to me. I enjoyed every opportunity to talk with Ken.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Gordon & Toni Williams

Darren said...

To Marc, Kristi, and Jill:

On behalf of my family, I send our warmest thoughts and best wishes now, and in the days ahead. It was a pleasure to know Ken, and to have him in our lives. His good nature and humor, which persisted even to the end of his life, are just one token by which the overall goodness of his spirit is made obvious -- and a sign that his memory will remain strong in our hearts and minds.


Anonymous said...

He was an amazing teacher! It hurts that he is not with us no longer but at least he won't be in anymore pain.

My prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

The only comfort there is.. is that he is no longer suffering. He is truly "Top Shelf" now..

will keep you all in my prayers..


Anonymous said...

We are saddened by this news and wish the Waite family our deepest sympathy. This world is a better place because Ken lived in it.
John and Janet Acker

Anonymous said...

He will be missed without a doubt! I will think of Ken everytime I take to the court to work a game.

Kevin Hegel

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of ken he truly is a great guy. I was privelidged to have ken both as a teacher and a umpire for baseball I can remember evey time he made a call we didn't like we would ask him if he needed glasses. It was real funny then. But when summer was over and we all got our class schedules it wasn't funny and more because he remembered all the comments we made at the baseball games. so we really had to appoligize fast so we wouldn't get bad grades..ha-ha-we truly are going to miss him very much.our thoughts and prayers are with the family

Anonymous said...

Grays Harbor is a little grayer with Ken's passing. My heart and prayers go out to Jill, Kristi, and Marc.
Joan Lesman

Anonymous said...

Mr. Waite we will miss you very much, thanks for everything for helping us at school and baseball. Thoughts and prayers to you and family! You will truly be missed!

James-former student

Lisa Newton said...

I don't remember NOT knowing who Mr. Waite was. I'm not even sure that I had him as a teacher myself, but I remember him! He waws one of the "cool" teachers that everyone loved. He always said "Hi Lisa" to me in the halls of AHS. He was just that kind of person. He will be missed by all. My prayers are with the Waite family in this time and know that he is now at peace, making his place in heaven so you can all be together again. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

We know that Ken's Mom, Jean is waiting with welcoming and open arms for him. Ken's family and friends have suffered a terrible loss, but we know he is in a place where he is no longer in any pain. All of the Waite family are in our prayers.
Gary, Tami, Amber & Jeremy Smith

Anonymous said...

When he left AHS I wondered how we would go on without his positive influence, smiles, and practical jokes. Now that he's left this life, I wonder how we will all heal...with time it seems. But I know I will always miss the mentoring, fun, and positive energy Kenny brought to my life.
Cori Krick

Anonymous said...

The world will be a much less interesting place without Ken, he was one of a kind. A month or so ago I was visiting with him when he was at St. Pete's and he was so upbeat and positive and I will cherish that visit forever. He was a great teacher (I hated geometry a little bit less because of him!!) and just a super guy. My deepest sympathy goes out to the Waite family and you will all be in my prayers. God bless you Ken, you will be missed!
Sarah B

Anonymous said...

Ken touched so many lives. I feel lucky to have known him. I will always remember his great sense of humor and love of life. You will always be remembered Mr. Waite (with a smile).

Cindy Miller

Anonymous said...

You guys are in our prayers always

The Stallo family

Anonymous said...

We will miss Ken, our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time.

Corky Frady said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. Ken was one of the best. Whether it be on the bench coaching or on the floor officating he was giving it his all. That was the one item I remember about Ken. The world of athletics suffered a loss as well as the family today. Ken was always there for the players. A genuine character!

Corky Frady & Family

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Jill, Kristi, and Marc, and with the family, students and friends who loved him so much. His death will not diminish his gift to make us smile. He will always define courage, grace, and spirit to all who knew him. Thank you for sharing him with us. He will be greatly missed!
Pam and Alan Aho

Stockton Family said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this time.
Kaylyne Stockton

Anonymous said...

We will keep all of you in our prayers. We have missed Ken's visits to Alaska. We know he is in a better place and not suffering anymore!
The Walkotte's

Renee said...

I just heard about Ken right before basketball practice, it sure was hard to focus knowing that we've lost such an amazing person. I have many wonderful memories of Ken officiating our games throughout the years and being one of the "good ones". Jill & family my heart felt sympathies go out to you & may you find peace with your many wonderful memories. God be with you all.

Kristi said...


I never got the pleasure of meeting you but I did your dad. I had him for a teacher in highschool. He was more than a great teacher he also became a friend, to many. You & I shared the same story of how we came to be & the "gift" we were to our parents, or in both our cases I can say, the"gift" our parents were to us. Perhaps it was the fact that you & I shared the same name & same spelling that sparked that conversation initially. He was so proud of you then & now. I got the bonus to meet up again with him in my life while working at the college. His smile was infectious & despite how he may had felt on the inside, one would never know it. His courage, strength & optimism to keep fighting back is surely qualities one could only hope to posess, and he had them all. There is not quite another like him, but I'm not telling you anything you & your family don't already know. Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter & friend to your father & helping all of us to stay up to date on where his road was taking him....today it took him home.

God Bless you & your mom & family,
Kristi Daniels

tlee62695 said...

My name is Terry Lee. I reffed in the South Sound/Thurston County Board for 12 years. I met Kenny many times in O'Blarney's Pub. He would visit after games and was always available to younger reffs for advice. He never hels the fact that he was a much sought after reff. I enjoyed his company and will miss him. I too am battling the big "C". I take much from his strong and brave battle. He will be missed.

Terry Lee

Brad Fuhrer said...

So many laughs, so many good times, right up until the end. My partner in crime! What a good friend for the last 33 years. Dix was right, you were a great guy and I will miss you a ton. Save me a place in heaven in the back of the room....Jill, Kristy and Mark, the Fuhrer family loves you and you are all in our thoughts and prayers.


Cory said...

I don't even know where to begin. Math was never my strong point ( I am and English teacher after all) but Ken did nothing but encourage me and all of his students to do their absolute best, not only in math, but in everything we did. He was truly an amazing man...Humbabe shall echo through the halls of my school tomorrow.

-Cory Haugen

Joann said...

Kenny was a wonderful friend, mentor and inspiration to all those who had the privledge of knowing him. That is such a reflection of his wonderful family. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.


Tina Caton said...

Ken, what a SPECIAL man. His energy was infectious! Working with him was truly an honor. Always a smile, a laugh, a joke to brighten anyones day. He will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Anonymous said...

My condolences to the Waite family. Ken was a great person and a good basketball referee. The basketball officiating community will truly miss him.
Linda Meredith
President, Seattle Officials'-Women's Basketball

Anonymous said...

Jill,Kristi& Marc

You are in our thoughts and prayers.Our deepest sympathy goes out to your family.Ken was a great person and will be missed greatly by everyone.

The waber Family

Anonymous said...

Kristi and family:
Our thoughts are with your family. He's an inspiration to many.

God Bless!

Mark Rossetti

Anonymous said...

Mr. Waite, you will truly be missed. You were an amazing individual, who could make me smile no matter how hard and frustrating that geometry problem was...My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Liz- former student

Anonymous said...

I got the phone call from my sister on my way to work. It's hard to believe that I could ever have a patient that would be as special as Mr. Waite was. When I knew that I got to come to work and take care of him I was so excited. I am so privilidged to have got to know Mr. Waite before he left. Thankyou for being such an awesome family to care for. People like you make nursing what it is meant to be. He definantly was a favorite on the nursing unit at St. Peters! Jeeze, he has already caused more tears to come from my eyes in the past 24 hours than since I have started working as a nurse!

Sending smiles and hugs,

Shauni L.

Anonymous said...

It's true that we are all just drops of water in a huge ocean, but by God some of those drops sure do sparkle.

Kenny had a GREAT gift (this blog is a testimonial to that- thank you Kristi). A good friend to so many different people and with so many great stories. Thank you all for sharing.

AHS is not the same without his smile, words of encouragement and those darn practical jokes.

Cheers to a great friend!
Barb Page

Bob and Sharon Wiegert said...

Jill, Kristi & Mark--I just called Bob and I couldn't even tell him without tears! I am so glad we saw Ken this summer. Just to relive all the fun times we had with him was so great. We know he has now joined his Mom and he is in a much better place. No more pain! Keep in touch! Love, Bob and Sharon

Anonymous said...

What a terrific guy, he will be missed. Our thoughts are with your family during this difficult time.

Chris and Lisa Olsen

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have been happier to have known him for so long...I won't ever forget him. From baseball camp, to Algebra, to parks and rec, to being a friend's dad on the couch watching the M's. He's probably edging the parks in heaven already! Waite family, I'll be thinking about you all. Gonna miss ya Kenny!

Jeffrey P.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeen lost it's greatest son this week. We'll never fill your shoes Ken, but we will forever strive to be more like you.

Anonymous said...

Ken will be missed by all. He truly was a man of many hats. Aberdeen is a much richer city because of his loyalty to the community. We spent many days together and always will cherish those times. Our thoughts are with you, Jill, Kristi and Marc.

Ron and Marcia

PD said...

I have received the following from some of the coaches that Ken was involved with over the years...

"Ken was a great man and we’ll miss him at the ref camp." - Kelly Graves, Gonzaga University

Deepest condolences to the family and the ref community. Ken will be missed. - Jeff Whitney, Central Washington University

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to learn of the loss of such a wonderful teacher, coach, parent and husband. He was my high school geometry teacher and I'll always remember that he made the class fun, and also made himself available on Saturdays for extra help. He definitely cared about the success of his students. He will be missed by this whole community. You will all be in my prayers.

Sarah (Bruner) Carossino

Anonymous said...

I feel blessed to have some really great memories of class and during the summer. Thanks for the memories! My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Amy Mayton

Anonymous said...

Sometimes in the game of life, things are hard to understand and not fair.
Like when the really really good players are taken out of the game way too early. The ones that really made a difference!
Ken , you were one of those most valuable players down here on earth but because of WHO you were and THE WAY you played the game of your life, you have taught us each how to continue the game...in giving our best in everything we do, inspire each person we touch and enjoy the time we get. We definitely learned from the best!
So warm the bench for the rest of us or watch from behind the plate and shine your love and inspiration down upon us as we continue to play our life game more like you did, until the day we all can be in the World Series game together. Hum Babe......................We Love you!!!!
Melanie & Denny

Anonymous said...

You will definitely be missed by all that had the chance to be taught by your whether it was during a class, on a field, or on a court. I will never forget how you were one of the only teachers through all my schooling that took a few minutes to help me understand as Math was definitely not my strong subject! My thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family.

Tam Dixon Lutz said...

It seems such and understatement to say, but he was such a great guy, a great coach, a great teacher, a great umpire, a great human being. We don’t know if we will make the services on Sunday (as I teach Sunday school here in Beaverton) but we will be thinking of and praying for you all.

God Bless,

Tam Dixon Lutz and Family

Anonymous said...

I am blessed to have known him, and will forever remember him for his sense of humor, great smile and stellar attitude.

Rest in peace, Kenny. Sorry I can't be there for the service, but I will raise a glass in your honor for many a post-game ritual to come.

Chris H.
San Carlos, CA

Dawn said...

I am so sorry to hear of Ken's passing. He touched thousands of lives through his teaching, endless charm, wit, bad jokes and pranks! I never had a math teacher quite like Mr. Waite. Who knew geometry could be fun? He will be missed by many.

My thoughts and deepest sympathy are with the Waite family during this difficult time.

Dawn (Edinger) Fillo

Anonymous said...

Ken was such an inspiration. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Waite family.

Andrea Ancich said...

I am so sad to hear of Ken's passing. I was lucky enough to work with him at Parks and Rec for 4 summers while i was in college. He is a great guy (who had an infectious smile!). I'm so sorry for your loss...

Hugs to you Kristi, Marc and Jill,
Andrea Ancich

T said...

Ken is an amazing and inspirational man and always will be. His kind heart and willingness to help others was always comforting to see. He will be missed greatly. It is awesome to see how many lives he touched in so many different aspects of life. He was a teacher to us all, and a man who anybody can look up to.

Tami M

Anonymous said...

I just read of Ken's passing in the Seattle Times this morning. After reading the blog and everyones comments it's clear Ken will be missed and he touched many lives. I went to Hillwood Elementary school with Ken way back when and Butler Junior High then Shoreline High. Even back in elementary school on the baseball and basketball teams Ken had an amazing hustle and go gettum attitude. I am so sorry to hear he is gone. My prayers go out to the Waite family.

Anonymous said...

The Waite family!
We are so sorry for your loss. You are right everyone loved him. We are so blessed to have met him and had him impact our lives at one point or another. You have an amazing family and I am so happy to have met all of you. You are in our prayers!!
Love Chrissy & Jeff Seguin & family

Al, Marge, Josh and Jade Kelling said...

Ken, as an educator, coach, referee, cohort, friend and neighbor, we recognize the many ways you left this world a better place. You truly met your calling in this world and unselfishly shared yourself and your skills on a multitude of levels with the people you included in your life. We feel blessed to have been among them and recognize the many things we learned from you, as did all who were fortunate to have known you in the roles you played.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Jill, Kristi and Mark in their loss; and at the same time we recognize you have been called to Coach another team, in a much bigger league!

Al, Marge, Josh and Jade Kelling

Anonymous said...

Wow- We can't add anything more than what each and every comment already says...Teacher, coach, friend and inspiration that was Mr. Waite. Smile that lit up a room and a personality that made you forget your own. The Harbor was truly blessed to have this man and his family and now our Heavenly Father is blessed to have him. We love you, Mr. Waite!
Steve & Dayna Daneker-Sayler

Joshua and Jolie said...

Kristi, your father was and still is a vibrant, fighting spirit. I have faith that you will be with him again some day. He goes on. Perhaps teaching and coaching on the other side?
I love you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kristi, Marc and Jill:

None of you know me, nor my great wife, nor my wonderful children, nor anything else about my life. We have never met, and probably never will, but I, and many others who you will not know, owe you all a great debt of gratitude for willingly and unselfishly giving up precious time with your father, best friend, confidant, husband, etc to allow all the rest of us to be enriched by the person who was "Kenny Conehead" (Original late 70's nickname)."

I have two younger sisters, both of whom also had Ken as a teacher. My youngest sister now lives in a suburb of Boston with a great husband and three young children. (Perfect life, until it all hits you upside the head). I flew out from my Seattle home a few days past because said younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago and starts chemo in the next few days. My other sister flew out with me. I first learned of Ken's diagnosis when my other sister arrived at my house the other evening before our early morning flight to Boston. Unforntunately, this occurred Jan. 6, the day that Ken had died. I wish I would I have known beforehand. I spent the rest of that night reading the entire blog and have read it at least three times since. I live a short distance from UW Medical Center and would have been more than happy to take shifts and/or provided you all with a place a reprieve, had I only figured it out in time.

We arrived in Boston a few days ago, and today we decided that we weren't going to let cancer get Megan, so we dedicated our first little tour of Boston to Ken, given that he played such a large role in all our lives We decided to do the tourist thing in his honor: Knowing that Boston has such a rich baseball history, we all went to the Fenway Park store (no games this time of year during the snow) but we all bought Red Sox clothing, dawned the same, and then went to "Cheers" (completely cheesy), and all hoisted a beer with a very heartfelt "Cheers" to Ken. The least we could all do do for such a great man! The rest of the tourists then asked us what we where doing, and before long, people from Orlando, Phoenix, Kansas City, South Boston, Santa Fe, etc where all hoisting mugs to Ken, in the middle of a fake TV tourist baseball bar, thousands of miles across the Country from where Ken lived, yet, with each of them then taking the time to celebrate our Ken and talk about the special "Ken" in their in own lives; that unselfish person, who all of us wished we had the courage and discipline and caring to actually be: i.e. someone who cared more about others than himself. .

I started Jr. High in seventh grade, shortly after Ken started teaching in the mid 70's.(I am now well ensconced in my mid-forties). There is no fear like starting a whole new program as a 13 year old kid, and we all felt it, especially given the ackwardness of adolensce, yet, at the same time, Ken was a brand new teacher in his very early twenties, living in a brand new, bucolic little town, faced with classrooms full of us little assholes. He should have been scared shitless, but he never was. He really and truly enjoyed it all; taught us all to laugh, and worked hard and made us all understand that we should enjoy it as much as he did. Most importantly, Ken taught us the power of humor (really did!) and provided all of us with a sense of peace and the knowledge that we were all cared for and would be taken care of above all else, no matter whatever other demons we had to deal with in our own live, Ken was "OUR ROCK: and all of us knew our Rock would be there when we needed him, no matter what. That's why so many of us were able to explore beyond our own limited experiences and have richer lives than otherwise possible. Ken never failed any of us and he was always there for each and everyone one of us,

I spent the next five years of my education with Ken in one form or another: PE: Math; etc. He taught me how to drive a car. (Many good driver's ed stories I will take to my own grave. Won't even start to tell them here.). More importantly, over that period of time Ken, and other's at AHS, taught me, and a number of other "boys" how to become men. I really hope this process still happens . As we got older, Ken was insistent that us boys learn the responsibililities of manhood, as did Randy Handcock, Brad Frueher; Rob Lonborg, Ron Langhangs, etc. The way that the process was taught then might not be considered totally politically appropriate these days, but whoever would say so, has no business in any leadership position in my opinion . These men taught a whole generation of us boys what it meant to be men and Ken was right at the forefront with all of them. To all of you, a heartfelt thanks.

To Ken: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you did for me, my friends, community, etc. My undying gratitude and Godspeed to you and my sincere and heartfelt condolences to your wife, son and daughter.


Jeff Parker.

Anonymous said...

Coach Waite brought out the best in people. He sparked excitement and optimism with all he touched, whether the classroom or field.

I knew him as a teacher and coach in the early 80's. Very fond memories.

Deepest sympathies,

Mike Pritchard '83

Julie Stewart Fredrickson said...

What a small world it is...

Mr. Waite came to my hometown of Aberdeen to teach me. I, in turn, ended up in his hometown of Shoreline to teach others. I'll continue to strive each day to make the same impact on my students at Syre Elementary in Richmond Beach as he made on me at Miller and AHS.

Thank you, Waite Family, for sharing such a amazing person with all of us. His ever–present smile at school, on the field, in the gym, and around town always inspired us to reach our true potential. Of course, his humor and teasing certainly made us laugh along the way!

God bless...
~Julie Stewart Fredrickson
AHS class of 1987

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a wonderful celebration of life. We feel blessed to have known him and officiated with him. Both of us are better people today having had the opportunity to work with him. He treated evey game as it was the championship game. A person could go on and on about him and how much of an impact he has made on all walks of life. He will truly be missed. Our thoughts and prayer are with your family. Joe & Dorothy Rajcich

Anonymous said...

Mr. Waite you were such a positive and energetic impact on this community and school system. You were an awesome math teach! You will be deeply missed and we will always remember that smile:) All prayers go out to your family..

God Bless
Shawn & Jessica Iskra

Anonymous said...

Jill, Mark and Kristi,

We want to let you know that our hearts have been with you for the last 9 months. It has truly been a pleasure and honor to have been allowed into your lives as you shared your Ken. What a guy! What memories! What a loss! We hope to see you soon, Ronda and Jewell

Stephanie said...

I was a childhood neighbor to Kenny and his mom and dad. We went to Shoreline high school together. Kenny was a year older and in my brother Keith's class as well as the same baseball teams. Jill was in my grade.I have such good memories as neighbors and classmates. Even then Kenny was kind, funny, hard working and loved by many. Jill my heart goes out to you and your kids. May your memories keep you strong and know that tears are the words we can't say. Stephanie Kennedy (Moen)

Anonymous said...

Though he was a tough teacher, he was a great neighbor to live next to. I send my sympothy to you all Mrs Waite, Ken and Kristi

Pat Knedlik