Ken Kuencer passed away peacefully and suddenly on August 14, 2022 in Aspendell, CA. Family and friends are saddened by the loss of this kind and patient man who was loved by so many. He was born in Long Beach, CA in 1952 and spent over 20 years in Santa Barbara, CA before retiring to the small mountain community of Aspendell, west of Bishop in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. He loved the ocean and was an avid sailor during his years in Long Beach and Santa Barbara. Ken lived a simple life and followed his passion for the outdoors. The Eastern Sierras had been his refuge since childhood and there were many hiking, camping, backpacking and off-roading adventures that provided good memories for many.
Ken leaves behind his 3 children Heather Flom (Brian), Chris Owen (Debbie) and Serenity Nichols (Nathan), 8 grandchildren Breanna Owen, Kevyn Crocker, Spencer Owen, Kayla Owen, Macy Graham (Hayden), Kirstyn Owen, Austyn Nichols and Deegan Nichols, great-grandchild Isabella Owen, sister Jan Wagener (Bob), nephew Jeremy Bucko (Beth), niece Kristin McLean (John), father Walt Kuencer, dear cousins and many friends. His mother Lois Kuencer and grandson Cody Flom passed before him.
As a licensed Land Surveyor at Penfield & Smith (P&S) in Santa Barbara, Ken was responsible for numerous topographic and boundary surveys throughout the county during his career. His work was essential for many construction projects at local ranches, estates and urban properties and although his work accomplishments were impressive, the impact he had on the lives around him was far more important. He provided mentorship and support to many colleagues and the number of lifelong friends Ken accumulated speaks to his legacy.
Aspendell brought Ken 20 great years of “retirement” life and few outside his Eastern Sierra friends and neighbors were aware of his meaningful contributions to the community. He was a welcomed and respected voice of reason and humble community pillar. He served as the Fire Chief of Aspendell’s volunteer fire department for several years, performed water quality testing and record keeping for the Aspendell Mutual Water Company, and participated in the community fire committee that supported the reorganization of the fire department as its own nonprofit organization facilitating further funding, growth and capacity to serve neighboring subdivisions that previously had no fire protection. Subsequently, he effectively became an ambassador between the community service groups and neighborhoods. Ken was also one’s ideal neighbor who on his daily walks kept an eye open for any problems that might arise like a downed tree, a broken water line or the mischief of a hungry bear. He was a welcome sight when walking his Weimaraner dogs and would always cheerfully wave and say hello with a friendly smile.
Ken was genuinely loved and respected by those he encountered and will be deeply missed and remembered.
*A memorial service will be held in Goleta, in January 2023. Location, date and time to be announced.