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Kenneth Alexander Munro Obituary
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July 16, 2018

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Preview Entry
July 16, 2018

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of Ken Munro (son of an American Hero).
August 26, 2017
Thinking of you today Dad, remembering all that you left your family. We love you Dad..., Happy Angel Birthday...

http://usspennsylvania.org/kennethalexandermunro.htm
August 26, 2016
Happy Birthday to you DAD. I find myself again, looking up at your picture with the tears in my eyes saying Happy Birthday DAD. I just wish you were here so I could share so much of our life with you. The things that have happen, the new additions to our family, the successes, the down falls, and most of all just the love Lorene and I feel for you. I will say it again Dad, I mention your name or something about YOU everyday of my life. I guess that make me feel you are still here. Your memory will never die in my household, NEVER. I am going to share with you something that your Grandson wrote as a paper for his English class 101 a few years back. I am not the only one that feel this strong about YOU.
Here I goes:

Shawn Munro
T. Luu
English 101
22 January 2015
Gone Fishing
For centuries, man has always turned to the sea for a number of reasons, new world exploration, scientific study, recreation, and most importantly, food. A Chinese Buddhist saying states, Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he'll feed himself for the rest of his life. Years later, I reminisce about how eager the day I was to join the ranks of other members of my family, a fisherman, guided by the wisdom and guidance of my grandfather, Ken. Now mind you, my grandfather was not a professional fisherman by trade- (he might as well have been, he knew everything about fishing), but rather a retired Pasadena firefighter, and before that, served on the battleship USS Pennsylvania during World War II, so he's a hero, my hero, and I wanted to be like my hero- a fisherman.
Every year, in the springtime, my grandparents would spend three weeks nestled away in a beachfront campground located some 30 miles north of Santa Barbara, called Gaviota State Park. Gaviota is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills with majestic oak trees and lazily grazing cows that seem like clumps of black pepper against the sprawling hillside, only to be interrupted by a beautiful orange hue of multiple patches of the state's official flower, the California Poppy. The state park itself has two unique features, the old wooden pier, complete with boat hoist, which was originally built in the 1900's, but has been rebuilt several times due to bad weather, and the quarter-mile long iron train trestle, suspended 100 feet above the pristine sandy beaches of the California coast.


The year was 1978, and I was a spry seven old kid, the kind of kid who could only be described as a slow controlled explosion with energy, curiosity, and an unbelievable imagination, oozing out of every pore in my body. During spring break from grammar school, my grandparents loaded me up in their Chevrolet pickup, complete with Terry trailer in tow, and headed north, final destination Gaviota. While in the car, I remembered the excitement building within me, even though the hours seem to crawl by. To pass the time, I would sit back and close my eyes, imagining all that Gaviota has to offer, the sights of the long wooden pier, the sounds of a freight train, roaring across the trestle, slicing through the still night air, the curious seagull, eyeing your sandwich, trying to figure out how he can snag it for a quick snack. One of the things I remember most was the howling wind. The wind would whip down the canyon, blowing the sand from the beach back into the ocean, and if you happened to be strolling across the beach during the day, wearing shorts with the wind blowing, the sand would feel like thousands of tiny needles poking every square inch of your exposed skin; the wind was definitely your enemy at Gaviota. I must have fallen asleep because I had the strangest dream that night. I dreamed that my grandmother stood in the kitchen, preparing breakfast, while I began to run in circles just behind her.
Shawn, why are you running in circles?
Because I can.
You do know you will get dizzy, right?
Cool, I can't wait!
Part of my young energy even creeps into my dreams, I guess. Suddenly, I heard the roar of a passing freight train, which startled me from my semi-lucid dream. Rubbing my eyes, trying to focus on where the monster-like howl originated from, I realized we had made it, we were there!
The morning began the same as most mornings during the spring at Gaviota, cold and overcast. As I stood there surveying my beach kingdom, I realized how peaceful it was, the silence only broken by the relentless pounding of the distant surf. As my grandfather began to load all the tackle gear into the boat, my feelings began to change slightly. I was still anxious, but a bit of fear set in. After all this was the ocean, this was where all the sea monsters lived! Within a matter of moments, we were on our way towards the wooden pier and boat hoist. My grandfather's old 12 foot, 1965 aluminum Valco fishing boat complete with a rambunctious 9 horsepower outboard motor, would propel me on my maiden voyage to fish for the elusive California Halibut. As my grandfather and I walked along the pier, I could not help but to look down to observe the ocean between the planks edges and just then my overactive imagination kicked in:
What if I slipped between the cracks of the pier and fell into the water?
Would I survive the fall from such a height?
Could I swim to shore?
Would my grandfather rescue me?
Would the sharks eat me before I got to land?
With all these things racing through my mind, something finally dawned on me -- I can't fit through those tiny cracks.

As the boat lowered closer to the still waters of the ocean, I couldn't help but notice how flat the ocean really appeared. In fact, the ocean resembled more like a big lake than this vast overpowering, white-washed, monstrosity that swallows ships whole, and boy was I relieved! I didn't want my first trip fishing be a roller-coaster ride too! The ride to my grandfather's secret spot took an eternity, well at least to a seven-year old, in all honesty, it probably only took 30 minute to get there. Along the way, my grandfather began to school me with all his fishing wisdom, from tips and tricks, to tales of the one that got away.
As the anchor dropped below the bluish-green waters of the Pacific at my grandfathers secret spot, I was so ecstatic. I kept asking my grandfather, Which fishing pole is mine?, Which fishing pole is mine? Peering over his glasses, my grandfather again reminded me, in his own personal tone of excitement as well as a sense of sternness, Patience is one of the key elements in fishing, my boy. My grandfather went on to explain to me, he had a very important job for me. He instructed me that I will be catching the bait, small flat fish called sand-dabs, the number one choice of the California Halibut. After lowering the line to the bottom, my grandfather instructed me on what to do, pull up and let it fall back to the bottom, then repeat the action until I felt something pulling the other end. While I continued to make the methodical movements of my fishing pole, my grandfather explained how to tie the proper knot, how to hook the bait properly, the reason why you place the weights where you do, and most of all, why you have to be so patient while fishing. I couldn't help but to notice that the slow steady rock of the boat on the ocean's swell, with the back-andforth swishing of the water at the bottom of the boat, were so soothing, it almost put me to sleep. Just before my eyelids were glued shut from the tranquility of my surroundings, my grandfather broke the silence,


What do you want to do when you grow up, Shawn?
I don't know, maybe a rock star? Seems like fun!
Well, you need to go to college.
But Grandpa, school is boring.
School is what you make it Shawn. If you study hard and get good grades, you can get a great job and makes lots of money, maybe then, you can afford those guitar lessons?! And additionally, people respect a person with a college degree, one that puts in hard work and earns a living, a whole lot more than a rock star.
Ya, I know, but a rock star would be so much more fun!
Just then I felt a huge tugging on my fishing pole. It took me by surprise. I thought for a moment that the fish was going to rip the pole completely out of my hand! ReelReelReel! my grandfather shouted in excitement. I reeled that fishing pole as fast as I could. My little arms were reeling and reeling and reeling, to the point they began to burn. Both my arms felt like my older brother had just given me a charley-horse right on both forearms and now he was pushing on them, oh the agony! Just then, my grandfather and I could see them, two of the most perfect bait specimens one could ask for, but more importantly, my first real catch!! As the day progressed, I managed to catch eight perfect bait-fish, while my grandfather hauled in two 25- pound California Halibuts.
On the ride back to the old wooden pier, I sat there proudly, reflecting back on how this day I rose up through the ranks and entered into a sacred place, hallowed ground so to speak, joining my other family members, amongst the ranks of fisherman, and I certainly couldn't help but notice the huge grin on my grandfather's face either. All and all, it was a perfect day. I caught my first fish and I got to spend time with my hero, my grandfather.
Years later, when I reflect back on things my grandfather explained to me, exposed me to, and advised me on, this particular day of fishing wasn't all about the fishing; years later I finally realized it pertained to life. The patience, the knowledge, the skill, the determination, and the means to fish, are all specific parts of fishing that can, and most often do, apply directly to life. Life takes patience, life we gain knowledge, life does take determination, life we apply our learned skills, all in order to make a means. A seven-year old kid sitting in that aluminum boat surely didn't recognize this at that time, but a certain 40-year old certainly achieved a better understanding about that spring day- in 1978. Because of my grandfather, Gaviota still remains a magical place to me to this very day.

The End of the story and the beginning of the rest of our lives

This same lesson was taught to all of us. Thank you DAD. For making not only my life worth living but for the memories you have left for all of us.
Happy Birthday
Dennis
August 26, 2016
Happy Angel birthday Dad, I love and miss you. Life is not the same without you. You are and always will be my hero and you are an American hero as well.

August 26, 1923 - July 25, 2006

usspennsylvania.org/kennethalexandermunro.htm
July 25, 2016
10 years ago I lost my Dad on this day in 2006. Life would not be the same from then on. I miss him every day and will love him forever. We will meet again, I love you dad...

Kenneth Alexander Munro, Machinist Mate 1st Class - "A" Division & MAA - Battleship USS Pennsylvania BB-38 - Firefighter and my hero.

"Charter member of America's Greatest Generation"

August 26, 1923 - July 25, 2006