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Kenneth Roy Wadell


1944 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Kenneth Roy Wadell Obituary
KENNETH ROY WADDELL December 5, 1944- December 19, 2013 Loving Father, Son and Brother Kenneth Roy Waddell, devoted father, son and brother, passed away peacefully at the age of 69 on December 19, 2013 in Gig Harbor, WA. Ken was born in Riverside, California to Roy and Norma Waddell. His youthful exuberance led him to the military where he served his country as a Sergeant in the Army, where he not only" walked the line" at the DMZ, but also ensured the quality of his fellow soldiers by training them as a drill instructor. After returning from Korea he again put himself in the line of fire for the sake of his country, though this time literally, as a forest ranger for the state of California. Although he enjoyed defending his country's wild areas he found the seasonal pattern of labor did not suit his natural skill set. Thus in September of 1967 he resigned and began his career in sales, a role that he continued excelling until the day of his death. He began his incredibly fruitful and successful career as a (humble) American Icon: a fuller brush salesman. While some might have found the work boring or even terrifying, Ken found it invigorating. He would go on to spend the majority of his younger years building a reputation for sales successfully at a variety of companies. He sold everything from fire alarm systems to Kirby vacuums. In fact, he claimed to even hold the record for the most vacuums ever sold in a single day while he was peddling them. However his career truly took off when he became a car salesman. His experience and energy brought him swiftly up the corporate ladder. He started at Warren Anderson Ford at the bottom as a lowly sales representative and yet quickly worked his way up to Fleet manager. By this time his reputation across the entire state resulted in a cascade of job offers from competing dealerships. He eventually went to work for Fritts Fords as a GM and Vice President of operations. From there he went to Raceway Ford. Both jobs were long lasting and rewarding. Ken was a great leader with a great work ethic who, despite his great success, never forgot about those less fortunate than himself, extending generosity to all whom he came in contact with. He was taught early on by his father this one simple rule: never look down on someone unless you are reaching down to give them a hand up. He treated everyone equally and inspired others to do the same. Upon his passing he has received numerous emails thanking him for being a great mentor and leader. In addition to his work, Ken also loved the outdoors. He was an avid fisherman and hunter who held memberships in many different organizations. He always made sure that wherever he lived was very close to the wilderness. His last home was located on a cliff which overlooked the Puget Sound and was a grazing habitat for a variety of woodland creatures such as deer and raccoons. When he was able to take time off he would often rest in his favorite chair and gaze out at the scenery for hours. Ken was preceded in death by his mother and father Roy and Norma Waddell; as well as his son Kenneth Roy Waddell Jr. Kenneth is survived by Susan Waddell; their children Tracie (Randy) Wilczyznski, Kendra Hedrick, Debra Waddell and their children, Adam and Andrew Waddell. Also survived by brothers Craige (Lydia) Waddell, Wayne (Gloria) Waddell and sister Pam Waddell. He is also survived by 3 granddaughters, nieces, nephews and many dear friends. The interment will be held January 10 at Riverside National Cemetery at 9:30 AM, followed by a celebration of his life at the Newman Center Catholic Church in Riverside at 11:00 AM.
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Published in Press-Enterprise on Jan. 8, 2014
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