Kenneth (Ken) Kelso Wiscomb of Ravensdale, Washington died Aug. 13, 2019. He was 68. Born on Sept. 14, 1950 in Columbus, Ohio, Ken was raised in Evanston, Illinois and graduated from Evanston High School in 1968. He briefly attended Drake University to study English Literature.
In 1971 he moved with his family to Orcas Island, Washington, where his parents later purchased the Orcas Lumber Co. Ken designed and built homes on Orcas, and worked as one of the island’s first EMTs; he went on to become one of the island’s first paramedics.
While teaching a first aid course in 1978, he met Terri Cable of Lopez Island. They married later that year and started a family together on Orcas, raising three sons, Avery, Joseph and Christopher. Ken continued his medical training as a physician assistant (PA-C) and earned his BA in General Studies from the University of Washington. He completed an emergency medicine residency at the LAC/USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, before returning to teach PAs at the University of Washington as full-time faculty from 1985-1990.
Ken later married Lisa Enos in 1996 and they purchased and remodeled a home in Ravensdale, Washington, where they also raised Lisa’s son, Kyle Kay. Ken continued his work in healthcare as Health Management Advisor for Physio-Control Corporation for 13 years, pioneering a clinical model for the corporate-based onsite medical care. He went on to provide both private and community-based healthcare in the specialty areas of family, internal, and occupational medicine. Throughout his 30-year career in medicine, Ken was committed to serving isolated and rural communities, especially patients who were underinsured and uninsured.
Ken actively served in many volunteer and service capacities throughout his life. He served as president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants in Occupational Medicine (AAPA-OM) and as a director and president of the Washington State Academy of Physician Assistants (WAPA). He was also Chair of the Health Promotion Initiative as part of the State of Washington’s process for developing Health Care Reform legislation, and was a member of the Drug Utilization and Education Council for the Department of Social and Health Services.
In addition to professional service, Ken volunteered for disaster-relief and community causes. He traveled to New York City immediately following 9/11 and to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to help first responders on the ground. He also volunteered as medical staff for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk for a breast cancer cure and was part of “Team Lisa,” a group of family and friends supporting his wife as she received treatment for breast cancer. Ken lovingly cared for Lisa until her death in 2016.
In his later years, Ken reunited with his high school sweetheart, Susan Roberts Casey. They took memorable trips to Great Britain, Ireland and the Florida Keys, and attended Ken’s 50th high school reunion in 2018. With Susan, Ken lived his last years to the fullest.
Ken had many artistic interests and hobbies, including fine woodworking, guitar, and songwriting. He enjoyed ocean fishing trips, especially with his brothers, and playing backgammon, cribbage, and pinochle with friends. In addition to his many public and professional accomplishments, he will be fondly remembered by those closest to him for his Christmas bread (a recipe of his mother’s), his knack for telling detailed stories, and his commitment to family. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his three sons, Avery (Carolyn), Joseph, and Christopher (Janna), his step-son Kyle, his brothers Bruce (Lee) and Scott (Lesley), his granddaughter Sloane, his sweetheart Susan, the mother of his sons Terri Cable and his mother-in-law Anita Ramos. He is also survived by loving cousins, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and many friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Jane, and by his wife Lisa.
All are invited to attend a public memorial service in honor of Ken’s life on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. at the Emmanuel Parish Hall, 242 Main St, Eastsound, Washington 98245.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, P.O. Box 19023, Seattle, Washington 98109-1023. Checks may be made payable to SCCA with indication that they are in memory of Kenneth Wiscomb.