“Be yourself, know your beauty, own your mood, stand in your power.”
– Ken Richter
Kenneth Wayne Richter of Brownsville, Ore. died on October 29th, 2014 after a short but fierce battle with Esophageal Cancer.
Ken was born on September 13, 1966 in Burns, Ore. to Kenneth M. Richter of Union, and Susan Hammer Owens of Harrisburg, Ore. He spent his early childhood in The Dalles, Ore., and his junior high and high school years in Bonanza, Ore. He also lived in Corvallis, Ore. for many years before moving to Brownsville.
Ken is survived by his sons Boon and Kazner Richter, his step-daughter Julie Logan and his life partner, Julie Anderson. Ken was also a step-dad “in spirit” to Julie’s kids, Kaili, Liza and Zane Anderson of Eugene, and a co-parent and friend with his boys’ mother, Nia DeShon of Brownsville.
Ken is greatly missed by all his family and friends, including his parents; his step dad Steve Owens; his sisters Missy O’Gorman, Heather Richter Thorp and Leslie Owens; his brother John Owens; nieces Sarah O’Gorman; nephews Josh O’Gorman, Kaden Thorp and Porter Owens.
He was a treasured friend to his co-workers at Rosen Aviation in Eugene, Ore., and the thousands of people around the world who have met him through his online social media communities, where he was known as @kwrkey, and shared his music, his optimism and his great sense of humor.
In Ken’s own words:
“I grew up in a town of 500 people in the middle of nowhere. I worked on farms and ranches in evenings and early mornings and on weekends. I played high school sports, performed with the jazz band and was even playing country music in bars with a local country band at the tender age of 16.
“I grew up and moved on to logging and commercial fishing to earn money for college. I finally completed my college degree after 7 years of stopping and starting as money would allow, while captaining a 3-time champion rugby team.
“After college, I spent time running my own pumpkin patches and Christmas tree lots in LA, starting up a tent rental business and then eventually ended up as a tech writer at Hewlett Packard, when my kids were young.
“All these experiences have knit together to give me a unique view of the world. I have a good sense of what is important and what shapes my perspective of being a good man.
“I used to think it was being tough, working hard and never backing down from life’s challenges… it still is, kind of, but those things don’t make you a good man. Being a good man requires kindness and compassion. It requires owning your mistakes and being yourself. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and standing in your power.
“The things I value most in life are being a dependable father and a positive community role model. I am proud of my choices. Proud to be the dad who cooks for stray kids who ‘happen by’ at dinner time, the dad who sits down at the kitchen table and helps with homework, the dad who pitches the ball for all the kids in the cul-de-sac until everyone gets a chance at bat, the dad who leads by example in making hard life choices, the dad who’s known for showing compassion and kindness even when it’s hard, and the dad who expects good manners and a hug goodnight.
“I want my boys to be free thinkers. I want them to be brave, kind, ethical and honorable. I know they will learn these things by watching me. I take parenting seriously, and I know that I’m not only influencing my kids, but their friends and our community members.
“Aside from parenting, I love creating music. I use music to connect with people. Professionally, I am the Director of Resources at Rosen Aviation, a company that makes flat screen monitors for private jets. A bird’s eye view of my personal and professional journey through life would look a lot like a winding river.
“Sometimes I wonder how a small town boy like me ended up as a corporate man doing business management for a company that makes luxury products for million dollar jets. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.”
Rest in peace, Ken Richter. You were a bright light in a weary world, and the universe will treasure your spirit forever.
A celebration of life memorial will be held for Ken at the Brownsville Rec Center: 234 Park St, Brownsville, Ore. 97355 on November 16th, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For those who would like to contribute to a college trust fun for Boon and Kazner Richter, an account has been set up at KeyBank, 2829 W. 11th, Eugene, Ore. 97402. The title of the account is “Ken Richter Memorial Fund.”
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