Los Angeles Times

Kenneth Royce Kvammen


July 23, 1927 - November 13, 2021

Ken, a proud California boy, passed away in Altadena at 94, two weeks after a stroke and a fall that broke his hip. Up till his final hospitaliz­ation, he lived with his middle son, John, and daughter-inlaw, Dahlia, who was his primary caregiver.

He was born at home on Ruthelen Street, close to Slausen & Western, in Los Angeles. He attended Manual Arts High, CalTech, UCLA, where he lettered in track and field (the mile), and received his masters degree from Scripps Institute of Oceanograp­hy in La Jolla. After graduation, in ‘50-’51 he taught at the University of Miami and did oceanograp­hic research from a Cuban naval vessel contracted to The U. He also contracted with the US Government for oceanograp­hic work in Micronesia. He was a long time employee of Los Angeles County, both as a surveyor and a civil engineer. He was a builder. One of his fondest memories was meeting Jackie at the opening of Jackie Robinson Park, on which he was project manager, in the high desert town of Little Rock.

Retired since 1989, he led a big life. He climbed Mt. Whitney on his 70th birthday, and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane on his 80th. A scuba diver since the fifties, his dive book covered the world and was about 300’ thick (OK, perhaps a slight exaggerati­on). He also skied (and ski jumped as a young man) well into his 70s. He was a long time member of Grindlewal­d Ski Club, and an official at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. Proud of his Norwegian heritage, he was a member of the Sons of Norway Lodge for 78 years. A world traveller, he loved experienci­ng new people and cultures. Always curious and a bit mischievou­s, he had some interestin­g moments due to his love of, ahem, inadverten­tly wandering into spots that he perhaps shouldn’t have.

Ken was pre-deceased by Suzy, his wife of 45 years, and is survived by his sons Mike, John, and Andrew, grandsons John, Jr. and Eric and their wives Jen and Paola, great-granddaugh­ter Lucy Rae, and Suzy’s sons Terry and Kevin McKenna and their families and children and grandchild­ren, and foster son Andre Sanders. He was ready to go. RIP

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