Former Juneau resident Kenneth Richard Wicks, of Ocean View, Hawaii, died peacefully on Oct. 28, 2009, at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu. He was 78.
"He was surrounded by family, friends, music and prayer as he took the hand of Jesus," his family said.
He was born in 1931 in a taxi cab outside of Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene, Ore. A life of storytelling began that day and he never met a person he didn't have a great story for.
He was very active in his life and enjoyed many experiences as a guide in the Oregon caves, a smoke jumper and fire tower watchman, a police officer, a soldier in the U.S. Army, as well as being an avid hunter and fisherman.
Finally settling on a career as a teacher, he moved his family in 1972 to Hoonah where he retired in 1984. After retiring, he owned and operated Beartrack Charters in Juneau, a perfect fit for his storytelling talents.
After many years, he retired again to Ocean View, Hawaii, where he was very active in many service positions including president of the Kau Chamber of Commerce. He also enjoyed hydroponic gardening, exploring and entertaining friends and family by the pool.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Darlene Wicks, of Ocean View; sister, Norma Bradford, of Creswell, Ore.; children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Todd, Bobbie and Kimber Wicks, of Juneau, Kaye and Martin Peters, of Juneau, Bradley and Kristyn Johnson, of Juneau, Eric, Becki, Brianne, Chelsea and Stefani Wicks, of Beaverton, Ore., Alan and Deborah (Bittick), Brandi and Airic Wicks, of Dallas, Ore., Angela Darr, of Dallas, Ore.; Ryan Darr, of Fernley, Nev., and Jacob Rorem and Ryana Coman of Dallas, Ore.
"Ken will always be remembered for his great tales and stories," his family said.
Services will be held at Mokuaikaua Church in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and at his request, Ken's ashes will be spread at one of his favorite places in life, Bohemia Mountain, Ore., in the summer of 2010.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the Ka'u Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund at PO Box 6710, Ocean View, Hawaii 96737. His wife can be reached at PO Box 6842, Ocean View, HI 96737.