It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of KENNETH ALEXANDER RUGG on May 20, 2020 at the age of 88 while under convalescent care at Talarico Place in Castlegar, BC.
Ken was born in the Scottish Highlands. He joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16, travelled the world, served in the Korean War and was part of the Funeral Gun Carriage Crew that drew the coffin of King George VI in 1952. He would smile and say to us, “Would you like to shake the hand that shook the hand of the Queen?” Ken left the Royal Navy at the age of 25 with the rank of Petty Officer.
Shortly after leaving the Navy, Ken came to Canada to visit his war-bride sister (Jean Ralph) and family who resided in Fruitvale. He was working for the City of Trail when he found & married his soul mate and the love of his life, Frances Jablonsky. Ken and Fran worked side by side to build their forever home in Montrose and never tired of admiring the views of the valley and the Columbia River. He truly believed he lived in the most beautiful place in the world. He maintained strong bonds with his family in Scotland, loved Robbie Burns poetry, pipe bands and a good dram of scotch.
In 1974, Ken accepted the position as Recreation and Facilities Manager for the Beaver Valley where he remained for the balance of his working career. During this time, he formed many lifelong friendships and was a mentor to many of his young employees. He was a true leader; a teacher in many ways who understood how to motivate and empower young people. Ken was a Paul Harris Award recipient, President of the RFABC, involved in many committees and boards and was acknowledged as Citizen of the Year. Ken loved to talk to people, was a great listener and was always genuinely interested in their personal stories. He had a gift of making you feel special and was a friend to all. He cared about and loved his family, friends, country, community and his neighbourhood.
Ken was a devoted, loving and affectionate father. He was a proud hockey dad who loved watching his boys play together on the Nitehawks. Although he never missed a game, he always found time to spend with his daughter and kept a fatherly watch on her. He was a role model and taught his children strong personal values and the importance of lending a helping hand. His family was his clan. He was a patriarch, bringing together and helping bond his family, Fran’s family, in-laws, relations and all sorts of friends. Ken loved to organize family gatherings, events and reunions – the bigger the better - and was famous for his morning after pancake breakfasts that inevitably turned into all day events. Ken is lovingly described as “the glue that kept the family together”.
Ken treasured spending time with his grandchildren. Granda & Gramma would do whatever it took to attend every birthday, milestone occasion and would travel to see the children and their sporting events. He provided guidance, cherished every hug and would always tell the children, “It’s a poor day if you don’t learn something new.” It brings our hearts joy that in his last summer, Ken was surrounded by his family and closest friends, Joyce & Reg, for a vacation at Christina Lake, where so many fond memories had been created over the years.
Ken was an avid golfer and curler until age 86, waterskied until age 78 and loved to camp and travel with family and friends. He and Fran RV’d across Canada twice, travelled to Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand and even snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef in Australia at age 80!
Ken is survived by his loving wife, Frances; children, Glen (Lisa), David (Louise) and Teresa (Derek); grandchildren Taylor, Jocelyn, Natalie, Alexander and Chelsea; his sister, Chris Miller and his many nieces and nephews.
When you received a hug from Ken, you knew you’d been hugged. He embraced and lived by his favourite quote, The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved. Ken has left the legacy of coming into this world and leaving it a better place than he found it.
Our special thanks to all the staff at Talarico Place in Castlegar for the care and kindness shown to Ken during his stay. A celebration of life for Ken will be held at a later date when gathering restrictions are lifted. Memorial tributes can be made to KidSport - Greater Trail or to a charity of your choice. If you wish to share your thoughts and stories about Ken with the family, please click on the Tribute Wall link above.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenneth Rugg, please visit our floral store.