August 24, 1925 - September 17, 2019 Paul Kennedy Edwards, Jr., MD, known to all as "PK," a physician and anesthesiologist, a prize-winning yachtsman, a fearless skier and mountaineer, who graduated Cum Laude from USC Medical School in 1954, graduated Cum Laude from life on September 17, 2019, at home at the age of 94. He is survived by his wife Nelly Mac; daughter Terrie Van Alen of San Rafael, CA; son Craig Edwards of Kissimmee, FL; grandson Reid Edwards, Sara Edwards (Reid's mother); stepdaughter Christine Ortega; and close relatives and extended family. He was preceded in death by his first wife Betty, his son Vance, and his sister Jean Montgomery.PK was born on August 24, 1925, in Ventura to Carrie and Paul K Edwards, Sr. He attended Sheridan Way Elementary School in Ventura and Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1943 and became a Pharmacist Mate First Class before transferring to the Marine Corps and serving in the South Pacific Theater. While in medical school, he belonged to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and Phi Sigma Honor Biological Society. PK returned to Ventura to do a residency in General Practice and Anesthesiology at the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) from 1955-1957. He was in General Practice from 1957-1972. After he closed his office, he practiced mainly as an Anesthesiologist at the VCMC and later became Chair of Anesthesia from 1975-1988. He additionally worked at Santa Paula and Ojai Valley Community Hospitals, as well as the Plaza Surgical Center in Ventura. Having a lifelong interest in education, PK also served as a member of the San Buenaventura Board of Education from 1960-66. As a longtime and active member of the Ventura Yacht Club, PK is highly regarded as the County's premier offshore sailboat racer and the most active senior racer by far. To recognize his sailing achievements, the Ventura Yacht Club honored him with the Helm of Fame Perpetual Trophy in 2008. In that same year, the US Yacht Racing Union and the Yacht Racing Union of Southern CA presented PK with the "Yachtsman Excellence Award for 2008." During his racing career, he owned 5 different sailboats including his most awarded Wind Dancer. In addition to 4 TransPac races, his racing accomplishments included 7 San Francisco to Santa Barbara races-2 of which he won; 25 Newport Beach to Ensenada races on 3 different boats; 5 San Diego to Ensenada races; and numerous Santa Barbara to King Harbor races including 2 overall victories. PK had 50 years of experience in alpine mountaineering, mainly in the eastern Sierra Nevada, but also in the Cascades of California and Washington and the Tetons of Wyoming. Additionally, he did extensive rock climbing at Tahquitz Rock, Idyllwild, California, and Sespe Gorge near his home in Ventura. A special interest in ski mountaineering resulted in over 50 years of backcountry skiing and several articles on the subject in mountaineering literature. In 1995 PK wrote a remarkable book called "The Sierra High Route" which was noted for the insight it gave the uninitiated about the thrill and pursuit of alpine mountaineering. With his good friend, Lou Nothwang, PK hiked both the John Muir and Appalachian Trails. Together with Lou, PK built a cabin in June Lake, CA, that became his home away from home when he wasn't racing offshore. Never one to sit idly, PK with Lou joined the June Lake search and rescue team. During this period, PK was lauded for his efforts when he had to be lowered to a small ledge on Banner Peak and performed an emergency amputation of a fellow climber's crushed finger. This feat was recognized in the Annual Journal of the American Alpine Club. PK always knew where he was, where he was going, and what he was going to do next and why. And, whatever it was, he would do it as soon as he was good and ready, and it would always be done WELL-which was the way PK lived his life. A celebration of life will be held at 2:00-5:00 PM, on Saturday, October 26, 2019, at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Road, Ventura, CA 93003.
Published in Los Angeles Times from Oct. 3 to Oct. 6, 2019.