Kenneth Wayne Carlson died in Princeton Hospital on Monday December 16. He was born in Vancouver on August 10, 1957, spent his childhood and teen years in Vernon, and moved to Princeton in 1980. Ken is survived by his loving partner, Susan Hamilton, his parents Betty and Mervin, his son Jon Northup (Rachel, Liam and Moira), two sisters, Susan (Duane) and Christine (Kevin), brother Blaine (Darlene), niece Ashley (Tyler, Nixon and Madden), nephew Jason (Violet, Preston and Parker). He was predeceased by his nephew Joel.
Ken graduated Vernon Senior Secondary in 1975, SFU in 1992 and Gonzaga U in 1996. He taught elementary school in the classroom and the library in Princeton for 16 years and was the principal of Bella Coola Elementary for 5 years. Ken loved to read to children and, to their delight, he often substituted their names for the names in the book. For several years, he was a strong president of the Princeton Teachers Union, negotiating their first collective agreement. He was also an enthusiastic athlete who liked many sports and especially enjoyed his broomball days.
Ken loved cars with a special fondness for 1959 Dodges and all corvettes. He liked to travel and visited Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand in 1989 and Fiji in 1994. Later he visited France, New Zealand, New York and Hawaii using his wheelchair. He travelled to Toronto often, including for the births of his grandchildren.
Ken was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1991. He supported the research related to MS as a successful fund raiser for the Penticton MS Walk. He was a strong advocate for the improvement of accessibility in Princeton as he encouraged the creation of ramps, and special doors and washrooms in public and private spaces.
Ken was a frequent patient at Princeton General Hospital. He appreciated the care of the doctors, in particular his physician Dr. Black, the nurses, the lab techs and all of the hospital staff. Ken also received much kind care from his care aides and the Home Care nurses. Ken had a positive outlook on life, great courage and an interesting sense of humour. He has left family and his friends with many stories and a smile.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Ken on February 1st at 2 pm in the Seniors Centre in Princeton.