Kenneth "Ken" Allan Piper

July 18th, 2022

Ken passed peacefully July 18, 2022, at KBRH with his beloved Pat by his side. Although Ken has lived with Parkinson’s Disease in the last few years of his life, he had fallen fracturing his hip from which he was unable to recover.

Ken was born in Trail, June 17, 1942, at the Dairy Queen, which is how he would describe where the old hospital was located. He was the second of four boys and spent his early years living in Rossland until his family moved to Salmo to open and operate a corner store that lovingly became known as “Piper’s Corner Store” after the family had sold the business.

Driving was a skill and passion that Ken developed early in life starting out in Salmo, then working for Miller & Brown transport (later known as Direct and Motorways) for 24.5yrs, followed by 5 years for Teck and retiring after 10 years of driving for Trimac. He would also routinely drive down to visit his mother on Vancouver Island and to Hood River for windsurfing. So later in life when he was no longer able to drive, Pat and Ken purchased a new car. In his quiet wit Ken said, “It is a lot harder to get used to a new car from the passenger seat!”

On a typical first day of skiing at Red Mountain, season pass holders flock to get their ticket and cash in on some fresh turns. In the winter of 1966-67 a cute young woman named Patricia was working in the office at Red processing tickets. She mistakenly thought Ken was a child and asked for his father’s name. Perhaps enjoying the humour, this chance meeting led to some skiing, dates, an engagement, and on February 1, 1969, Pat and Ken were married. They chose to remain in Rossland, living in a few different homes and more recently residing at Esling Park Lodge.

From an early age Ken was a talented natural athlete. Whatever sport he opted to try he would master as he had excellent balance. Skiing was a passion, especially skiing in powder and Ken shared his love of the sport with others through acting as a director in the original Red Mountain Ski Club, volunteering for the ski patrol, snow host program and instructing skiing. He had a wonderful way of teaching others especially children to improve in sports. He loved water skiing, windsurfing in the Columbia River Gorge, parachuting and mountain biking. He always made sure he had the best gear for his sports too. Despite having one leg longer than the other from an old injury, he excelled. A true lover of life, good food and a glass of fine red wine, he was an easy guy to please.

Kind, humble, determined, dedicated are only a few words to describe this great man. He was quietly funny with a very dry, corny wit and good timing. Making someone smile would make his day leading to a quiet grin with his success. He could be appropriately charming and funny with younger ladies. On one occasion he approached a younger lady at the ski hill who looked like she was waiting for someone and said, “Are you waiting for me?” She saw the humour instantly and laughed saying, “I am going to have to use that one!” Ken shared his humour with his favourite Aunt Helen, who lived in Toronto. They understood each other’s humour and would often giggle about things that other family members did not understand. Ken would spend hours on the phone with his aunt and his mother watching Blue Jays games together and discussing the plays. His aunt passed just last year at the tender age of 100yrs.

Ken is survived by his wife Pat, his brothers Vern (Alicia), Gordon (Lorrie), Merv (Arlene), and many nieces and nephews.

He is predeceased by his father, Francis “Bud,” Jan. 8, 1981, and his mother, Roberta “Bobbi”, Sept.15, 2013. Two nephews also predeceased him.

Many long-term, special friends, extended family, and neighbours love Ken. Know that you are all valued, are special in so many ways and were important to both Ken and Pat. Thank you for your love and support.

Thank you also to the many staff and doctors at KBRH who helped Ken in his final journey.

A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, September 12 at 11:00 am at the Rossland Miners’ Hall with Elizabeth Berglund, Celebrant. Kole Roth of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services™ has been entrusted with arrangements.

Memorial donations in honour of Ken may be made to a charity of your choice.

You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence.

In honour of Ken, enjoy life, ride your bike, ski, make someone smile, and have a glass of red wine with your dinner.

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

 

Messages:

Ken was such a fun gentleman! I enjoyed him always! Such a loss. Send you my very best wishes. AJ

Hi Pat; Sorry to hear of Ken’s passing Our condolences Fred & Dale Planidin

Our condolences to Ken's family. My dad and Ken were friends from the Salmo days. Some awesome stories from way back. Us kids spent a lot of time at Piper's store. My grandma Ida worked there for more than 25years. Fond memories of Bud and Bobbi. Ken was a kind man. My dad spoke highly of him.

Hi Pat. I was sorry to hear of Ken's passing. I remember him growing up with brother Laverne on our 3rd Ave block in Rossland. Meeting him again throughout the years was always a pleasure as he always met you with a great smile and friendly way. Hope you are doing ok. Pat. Richie.

Ken was my wonderful, big-hearted uncle, he and his much adored wife Pat, had me stay with them whenever I visited Rossland as a child. Ken was an incredible athlete, and he taught me to snow ski on Red Mountain and water ski on Christina Lake, with unlimited patience and his legendary sense of humour, we always had a great time together. His memory lives on in our hearts forever. Rest in peace dear Ken.

We are so sorry for your loss Patricia.

Pat, we are thinking of you at this very difficult time. What an adventurer Ken was; I remember seeing him on his mountain bike several years ago riding with the 'young guys', always with a smile on his face! He will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Pat - we were very sorry to hear of Ken's passing. He sure did enjoy life! Thinking of you at this sad time.

Patricia, condolences on Ken’s passing. We first met Ken on the ski hill during our first winter in Rossland. Since then we would meet him on the street with perhaps Doug or yourself. We will always remember the little grin.

Ken was one of a kind and his wit, kindness and demeanour is part of what made Red Mountain such a great place Pat. His presence is greatly missed up at the hill. Much love. Don and Patricia.

Pat. We will miss our dear friend Ken and his kind and caring ways. Garry and Carol.

Fond memories of Ken, he was a great guy. My condolences Pat.

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