Ken Wyckman, 92, of Missoula, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, died of natural causes Oct. 21, 2007.
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Ken was born in Spokane, Wash., on June 19, 1915. Ken, or "The Griz Bear" as he was fondly called by his kids, was raised in Spokane. He was in high school when the Great Depression hit. This made an intense impression on Ken, and he never forgot the struggles that it caused the family.
Upon graduation from high school in 1933, Ken became an apprentice typewriter repairman for the Underwood Typewriter Company. He quickly moved from repair to sales with the Underwood Company.
Ken met his wife, Elma Scott, when he was a salesman in Walla Walla, Wash., and Elma was in nurse's training there. Ken and Elma were married in 1940.
In 1944, Ken went into the U.S. Navy and served until 1946.
In 1946, Ken and Elma moved to Missoula, where Ken became a partner with Wes Clark in Typewriter Service and Supply Company, which eventually became Wyckman's Incorporated. In 1972 Bill purchased Wes' interest in the business, and Ken and Bill operated the business until 1997.
Ken was active in the Western Montana Shrine Club. He was instrumental in bringing the first of the Children's Circus which is still begin held. He worked diligently with the children's burn and orthopedic center in Spokane. He sponsored many young children who were in need of care that was available in Spokane for free as a result of the Shrine charity foundation.
The Griz, as we all referred to him, was an avid sportsman and hunter. For years, he and his friends packed into their hunting camp on Dunham Creek in the Bob Marshall area. In later years, he and his dear friend, Gene Clawson, spent their time together bird hunting in Western Montana and deer and antelope hunting in Eastern Montana.
Ken was preceded in death by his beloved wife. After Elma's death, Dad met and fell in love with Natalie Rasmussen. Natalie and Ken were planning to marry when Natalie became ill with cancer and passed away.
Ken is survived by his three children, Scott (Shirley) Wyckman, Bill Wyckman and his fiancée Erin Ballas, and daughter, Susan (Bruce) Smalley. He is also survived by five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Lolo Community Church, followed by a reception at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his name be made to the Western Montana Shrine Club, or to Lolo Community Church.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory in Missoula.
Garden City Funeral Home
1705 West Broadway
Missoula, MT 59808
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 23, 2007