Kenneth Russell Tuurie was born in the small mining town of Aurora, MN on June 11, 1924. He grew up during the Great Depression, served in the US Navy during World War II, and graduated from the University of Minnesota. He had a long and distinguished career as an aeronautical engineer, beginning at McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, MO, where he met his wife, Rose Marie. They married in 1950, and in 1957 moved with their young sons Kevin and Paul to California, where the aerospace industry was booming. He spent many years working at Lockheed Corporation on commercial and military aircraft, including the Stealth fighter.
Southern California from the 1950s to 1970s was a wonderful place to raise a family, which had now grown with the addition of their daughter Nancy. The family spent Saturdays at the beach and took two-week summer camping trips to see the western U.S. in the '67 station wagon packed to the gills, the trips planned as only an engineer could. He and Rose Marie were beloved by a large circle of friends and family, and retired to the Pacific Northwest in 1990 to be near their children and grandchildren.
Ken was old enough to remember family stories of the 1918 pandemic, and during the extended 2020 pandemic lockdown he wrote his life story. He skillfully wove personal recollections with the many historical events he lived through—the common thread of perseverance, integrity and the importance of family weaving throughout the narrative. Always interested in technology, he used an online platform to record his recollections and publish a 123-page hardcover book, complete with photos. He gave copies to his children and grandchildren. It’s truly a treasure for current and future generations to be inspired by his life.
Ken enjoyed remarkably good health during his 99 years and passed away peacefully after a brief illness on October 20, 2023, with his children at his side.
Dad was a shining light of how to live well with a positive attitude. In addition to his sister, Charlene, he is survived by his three children, Kevin, Paul and Nancy, eight grandchildren, Randy, Rhonda, Scott, Amy, Russell, Kevin, Jason and April, and nine great-grandchildren ranging from one month to 22 years. He leaves behind many friends, including his special friend Elsie, at Brittany Park in Woodinville, where he lived since 2009.
He will be interred at Tahoma National Cemetery with his beloved wife of 52 years, Rose Marie. May God rest his soul.