REHNBY, Kenneth Ray Housten
April 1, 1941 – March 22, 2010
Ken was raised in the idyllic freedom of White Rock in the 40’s and 50’s, often accompanied by his beloved mutt, Mickey. He attended Sunnyside Elementary & Semiahmoo Secondary (’59), where he made many of his life-long friends. After his mother Muriel died when he was twelve, he lived with his maternal grandparents, Helen and Housten Reid; his grandmother was one of the primary positive influences in his life.
Ken worked as a logger and bricklayer, and with the expert assistance of his brother, built a house in Hazelmere and raised three girls with Susan (now divorced). After studying Education at UBC, he taught a variety of subjects and grade levels in Surrey schools from 1964 – 74, while taking courses to attain a BA, and then an MA, in Geography, also from UBC. Ken taught English to new Canadians for five years, while teaching and studying Law at UBC, articling with Mary Southin. He was called to the Bar in 1977 and practiced law until 1986. Interested in politics and education, Ken served several terms on the Surrey School Board, from 1982 – 1986.
“From lawyer to sawyer, ” he liked to joke, as in later years he worked at Edge Grain Cedar, his brother’s mill on the Fraser River, where he continued to read, hold forth, and collect and tell jokes. In the past several years Ken had suffered declining health, but ever-optimistic (or stubbornly determined), he had been planning to visit London next, hoping to spend time at the British Museum.
Survived by his brother (aka “Brother”) Glen (Nan), nephew Ross, and nieces Nadene and Lorraine; sister Joan (Earl O’Brien) of Sault Ste. Marie, nieces Karen and Jennifer; his 3 daughters, Kirsten (Richard), Maret (Jason), & Elise (Brad), and the 7 grandchildren about whom he was always happy to hear news: Alexandre and Daphné; Astrid and Freya; and Elijah, Nigel, and Trajan.
Ken will be remembered for many things: his wit and intelligence, his inquiring mind, his arrogance, his strong friendships, his debating skills. Many found that he mellowed in his later years, but would probably agree that he was feisty until the end.
A memorial will be held on what would have been his 69th birthday, April 1 at the White Rock Legion, 2290 152nd St., from 2 – 4 pm.