ALASKA BRASS – High school brass musicians from around the state enrolled in the Sitka Fine Arts Camp's Alaska Brass Workshop play at Odess Theater this afternoon during a free concert that also featured students in the camp's new String Chamber Music Intensive. Pictured are, from left, Tava Guillory, Sitka;Mark Davis, Haines; Hudson Adams, Sitka; Jacob Batchelder, Fairbanks; and Hanna Morrow, Kenai. The musicians will perform another free concert at Odess Theater Friday at 3 p.m. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith

Rev. Kenneth W. Smith, of Ferndale, Wash., passed away Sept. 7, 2017, at the age of 90.
Born in Lackawanna, N.Y., Ken left High School early to join the fight in World War II. His journey through the European Theater awoke empathy, compassion and courage that would serve him well in the years to come.
Returning home, he attended Sterling College, where he met the love of his life, Betty Marie Ramsey. They married on Aug. 18, 1950, in Arkansas City, Kansas.
Ken and Betty began their Christian service as mission teachers at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka. Answering his call into the ministry, Ken earned a master of divinity degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary and began his 40 years as a Presbyterian minister serving at the Chapel by the Lake, in Auke Bay.
After 22 years, the family moved to Hawaii and served 12 years at the Waimea United Church of Christ on Kauai. Called back to Alaska, Ken served another eight years at Eagle River Presbyterian Church.
Church members and non-church members alike were struck by his vigorous devotion to congregation and community. He directed and presided over the “Go See Seminar” mission trips throughout Southeast Alaska aboard the Anna Jackman, one of several vessels in the legendary “Presbyterian Navy.”
Entering retirement, Ken maintained a robust schedule, holding numerous community and volunteer posts, and writing 19 books.
Ken was known for his humor, empathy toward all people, and innovative programs. He was involved in numerous building projects in each of his congregations, and in many community projects as well. He would see a need, and start projects himself to get momentum going. Ken often commented that being a pastor was the “best job in the world.”
His congregations fondly remember his inspired, thoughtful sermons, his mind-bending puns, and the creative energy and practical love he applied to everyone and everything he was involved with. Ken loved and embraced all people and cultures, truly living a life dedicated to Christ.
Cherished activities included mowing lawns; careful cultivation of sourdough pancake batter for prodigious community breakfasts; crafting his inventive weekly children’s sermons; singing, writing, and always serving others. Boundlessly energetic, he was also a man of humility, and questing insight.
He is survived by wife Betty Marie Smith; his sons, Kevin J. Smith (Anne Fons), Mark E. Smith (Robin Merritt), Gerald R. Smith (Janel) and Kenneth A. Smith (Daniel Collison); daughter Janet A. Smith (Robert P. Jones); granddaughter Kathleen B. Smith, and grandson, Jackson P. Smith (Jessica).
Kenneth was pre-deceased by his mother and father, William and Marjorie Smith; his brothers, James and Gerald; and his son, Philip A. Smith.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 16 at Birchwood Presbyterian Church.
Memorials can be made out to the Presbyterian Mission (Presbyterian Church USA), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA, 15264-3700;
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