Mourning Ken Wise: Longtime West Seattleite passes away

Dave Townsend just sent this word:

Ken Wise, Rotarian, totem-pole sleuth, local businessman, and lifelong West Seattleite, died today.

Mr. Wise, longtime owner of West Fuel, had been fighting cancer. He and fellow Rotarian Duane Ruud tracked down what happened to the West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park totem pole last December, even before police could crack the case. He wasn’t well enough to come see it reinstalled last Wednesday, but his son was there, and friends planned to go visit him immediately afterward. Its rededication is set for August 10th. (EDITED MONDAY – We are now told there are no official service plans so far.).

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The service is now officially confirmed for 11 am August 19 at Fauntleroy Church.

13 Replies to "Mourning Ken Wise: Longtime West Seattleite passes away"

  • miws August 1, 2010 (9:41 pm)

    Condolences to Mr. Wise’s family and friends.


    Sorry to hear he couldn’t make it to see the Totem Pole go back up.



  • 35this35mph August 1, 2010 (10:29 pm)

    Godspeed Ken.

  • Larry August 1, 2010 (10:30 pm)

    Oh, so sad. Ken was such a great guy. Peace and prayers to his family. I’ll really miss him.

  • bridge to somewhere August 2, 2010 (9:25 am)


  • Virginia Kuss Gunby August 2, 2010 (11:22 am)

    I grew up in West Seattle and Ken and his family were neighbors. We went to West Seattle High.
    Our paths seldom crossed since I live in the north end of Seattle now, but the community has lost a fine person.
    Virginia Kuss Gunby

  • harriet benjamin August 2, 2010 (1:17 pm)

    Every community should be so lucky as to have a Ken Wise as a member. My sympathy to his family.

  • Silly Goose August 2, 2010 (2:11 pm)

    Oh so so sad this community has lost another fine man. Ken Wise represented what a truely honest hard working person was. We should all be so lucky to have at least one person in our life like Ken. I will think of him as I pass by that Totem pole and bow my head in thanks.

  • Dave Faraca August 2, 2010 (5:49 pm)

    Many years ago I was welcomed to the West Seattle community and West Seattle Rotary by Ken. His kindness and sincerity will always be remembered! God Bless You Ken!
    Thank You

  • WS native August 4, 2010 (10:07 am)

    I also grew up is West Seattle and I remember so many times when he gave my mother credit to buy fuel- she thought he was the kindest, sweetest man to even care that a single mom with a bunch of kids might be cold. He was a good soul and he will be missed by all who knew him.

  • Scott August 6, 2010 (5:49 pm)

    Kenny was a fine man, a good husband and a great neighbor. We will miss him very much but also celebrate his relief from pain and the beginning of an eternity with Jesus! God speed, Kenny, we love you :-)

  • Deanne Sposari August 6, 2010 (7:24 pm)

    Ken was a great friend of mine. I will always remember his honesty (sometimes a little blunt)and for that, he was respected by all. I can recall back in the mid 90’s I was the WS Chamber President and when I needed to “rally the troups” I called Kenny because he had influence and he never feared telling the truth whatever the costs was. Kenny was a genuine person who I will always regard as my personal friend who I will miss. Deanne

  • Kristi Mandt August 10, 2010 (2:53 pm)

    Ken was also a very good friend of mine; Deanne and I met Ken in 1990 through the West Seattle Chamber. At first I was intimidated by his bluntness, but after I realized what an incredibly kind and generous person he was we became friends. His achievements are too numerous to mention here but he was involved in and responsible for many West Seattle projects and will always be remembered as Santa Claus at the Rotary Children’s Christmas Shopping Spree each year. Ken’s family, friends and the community lost a true and loyal friend, I will really miss him.

  • Julie Baker August 11, 2010 (8:10 am)

    Words can not express the saddness I am feeling. Kenny was a sweet and wonderful man. He will be greatly missed!! Kenny, you will alway hold a special place in my heart. Have a Kiss and hug for you when we meet again!! Love Julie

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