Dear Betty and Family,
Dick and I went to Grand Lake, up and over a high pass in Rocky Mountain National Park a few weeks ago. It was so good to take a break and know that Chris and Kimberly would do just fine without us for three days.
When we arrived back in Longmont we had a message about Ken and his fall. We caught up on the Prayer Tree information and anguished over the tough news and were elated by his good day. We could feel the roller coaster effect you must have felt. Then came the final message. The Good Lord called Ken to his eternal home.
It has been very difficult to be so far away and be so inadequate with words to let you know our feeling of loss for one of the Greats in our lives. We pulled out pictures of some of our adventures with you, Betty, and Ken to help remind April of the people who were so great with her in Ferndale.
We have a “memory quilt” of many squares that include:
Home cooked meals we served each other about twice a month followed by the Smith version of Chicken Foot
Washing dishes stacked to the ceiling once a month for the less fortunate
The honor of helping Ken publish his books and highlighting them on his website
The vision of Ken coming up our hill in the snow to cat sit TC
Lots of applesauce
Your attendance of the “Concert” at BPC starring August and April our last Christmas in Washington
Celebration of birthdays and anniversaries
Boat rides at Birch Bay and through the locks in Seattle
Our visit in Kauai at the jail AND with the roosters!
The charming serenading by local Hawaiians of their beloved Ken and Betty
Dick has been taking care of me with various unresolved and resolved health issues for which I am very grateful. April turned Sweet 16 this last Saturday. We had a visit last Monday from Ron and Kathy Bailey who now live closer to Seattle near their kids. (We were in their small group for quite a few years before we were in the small group with you and Ken.)
Our deep love for all of you!
Judy and Dick Marcum [originally sent Sept. 28 to Ken and Betty's email address]
Our family has known the Ken Smith family for about 35 years. We attended Ken's church on Kauai, and became close family friends. For several years he and I worked together at the Larger Waimea Parish, and he was the best boss I ever had. He baptized all our children, and they all remember him fondly. He kept in touch and cared about us all through the years. We were blessed and privileged to know him!
Much mention has been made about his pun-ability, but what stands out to me was his great personal integrity, and his seemingly endless energy. The letters I got from him detailing his so-called retirement were full of projects in the works and endless meetings and activities. He always had time and energy for the things of God.
He was the first pastor I had had who wasn't just focused entirely on his own congregation. (Or maybe he felt that all the world was a potential congregation.) He earned everyone's respect by how active he was in the community: always welcoming to and interested in everyone. He showed me that Christians should not be just huddling among themselves, but out in the world and their neighborhoods, living their faith while living their lives. How many people came to Jesus through knowing him and observing that you could still have fun and be a regular person, while being a Christian? His was the best kind of example!
I'll never forget this three-fold test for determining if rumors should be repeated. The three questions were: Is it True? Is it Necessary? and Is it Kind? Obviously, there would be a lot more harmony if we subjected ourselves to this standard of speech.
In short, Ken was my Pastor, my Mentor, my Example, and my Friend. Live forever, Ken! We'll miss you here on earth. Until we meet again, my heart stay broke.
Sincerely, Lynn Humme
So, so sorry for your loss!
To All...., our sympathies to Ken's family, friends, & all his contacts.
We can not say enough about this authentic human being who really knew how to teach and be a kind person.
After Church in Eagle River, I mentioned to Ken our area had a lot of snow compared to S.E.Alaska (which was where I'd just moved). As a surprise he, the pastor of this E.R. church came to shovel my apt. sidewalks that same Sunday- pure kindness.
But most of all Rev. Ken edited all 310 poems my husband wrote the previous 30 years.
Ken did most of the typing and made sure these writings were published!
We can never say thank you enough as we read, present, & value Martin Strand, Sr.'s
books (written by a Tlingit man who was raised near the Sheldon Jackson campus).
All the words you all know about living in Christ can begin to explain how much we
will miss this special one who was among us.
Marcia Strand, Sitka, Alaska
I remember Ken Smith as the bus driver of little Bus 2, which picked up school kids on Auke Bay's Fritz Cove Road in the 1950s. I was in first grade at the time. He would have the whole bus singing, including one he must have made up that ended:
"Teddy roo roo roo,
Teddy rah rah rah,
Teddy scrubby dubby
Sis boom bah.
Fritz Cove, Fritz Cove,
Rah! Rah! Rah!"
He was our favorite bus driver!
Our sympathy at the death of your father. What a wonderful life of faith and service he demonstrated! Certainlly people will be blessed for many years by his witness.
P.S. We have been living at Brookdale Skyline. They allow dogs and Bella is thriving here. We let her off leash on our daily walk down to Bear Creek.
John and Celia
A life well spent! Jerry you are a true reflection of your heavenly and earthly father. Rejoicing with you all in his home going!
Fond memories of Ken from my formative years in Juneau AK. at Chapel By The Lake, with Ken as our youth leader and pastor. He was both inspirational and influential. Someone we all looked up to - Condolences to Betty and family. - Kim
From Gayle- Wow! What a guy. Please add my condolences and accolades to your on line response! Thank You!
Praying for you all as you remember Kenneth and celebrate a life lived well and fully. God bless and comfort you as only He can.
I enjoyed knowing Ken through the Presbytery of Yukon. I especially enjoyed his humorous puns and his insights into whatever was happening in the meetings. May the Lord give you comfort as you remember Ken.
We are so thankful that Ken was a part of our life and feel blessed to have experienced the joy and love of his friendship. He added depth, understanding and strengthen to our Christian walk. He will be forever in our memories. We will miss being able to share in the service commemorating his life, but we will be present in spirit.
Wish I could be there to give you all hugs . Please know I pray for you all and thank the Lord He has given us a way to be together again someday. I am thinking Phil is showing him around heaven right now. Love to all. Marjie
Such a wonderful man that I will always recall with great respect and fondness. At the Eagle River Church Pastor Ken always had a chair reserved and labeled "Ida" for a nice elderly lady in the congregation. I have no doubt that, upon entering heaven, Ken bypassed any entrance inteview and went directly to a chair waiting for him and simply labeled "Ken". Condolences to Betty and the family.
Reverend Ken Smith's dedication and support throughout my Jr High and High School years, in Juneau at the Chapel By the Lake, shaped the person I am today as well as my brother Dean's. I do not think I would have survived that time in my life without his and Betty's energy, compassion, and concern for all of us. He will be greatly missed by all those he touched.