Kenneth William ‘Smoke’ Whitehouse
MARQUETTE, MI – Kenneth William Whitehouse, age 61, of Marquette after a valiant battle with cancer, passed from this life in the comfort of his home and in the tender care of his family on December 1, 2018.
Ken is survived by his loving wife, Kris (Gregorich/Larson) Whitehouse; his children, Luke Whitehouse and Shannon Whitehouse; the mother of his children, Cindy (Soucy) Whitehouse; stepson, Greg Larson; and faithful canine companion, Lady Dog. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Grace “Bonne” Whitehouse.
Born October 9, 1957, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, son of Eugene and Grace May (Bonnell) Whitehouse, Ken was raised in Marquette, Michigan and graduated from Marquette Senior High School, Class of 1976.
He attended college, traveled the country, and in 1980, got married and joined the US Air Force. He was stationed at Andersen Air Force Base in the US territory of Guam, where he continued his education, traveled throughout Asia, and enjoyed island life. After returning to the continental US and serving at Otis Air National Guard Base, Falmouth. Massachusetts, Ken was honorably discharged from the military, having earned six awards, including (his favorite) Excellent Marksmanship.
Ken enrolled in the University of Massachusetts Computer Science Department and worked as a programmer/analyst in several industries, including Food Distribution, Computer Software Development, and Stock Market Analysis. If there was a system that needed to be analyzed and perfected, Ken was ready to take the challenge.
Luke and Shannon, Ken’s children, were the lights of his life. He liked to read to them, mostly science fiction and fantasy; tutor them, mostly math and science; play games with them, mostly computer, although frisbee and chess were strong contenders. He supported their every interest and took them traveling so that they could experience new places, new cultures, new people. Ken wanted to give his children the world and, in being their father, he did.
After returning to Marquette, Ken went back to Northern Michigan University. Having already worked as a Programmer for over 25 years, he studied new technologies and, in 2008, earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University.
Those who knew Ken will remember him as a brilliant man who was happiest when there was a problem, a puzzle, or a system error to be solved. He could often be seen with a Rubik’s Cube in his hand. One memorable day his passion for the games and computers merged when he generated a program for solving and creating Sudoku boards – his version of fun.
A highly skilled frisbee enthusiast and a long-standing “Guts” player, Ken will always be remembered for his speed and control with a disc. In 1978, at a Tournament in Toronto, Canada, Ken threw a frisbee that was clocked at 81 miles per hour, establishing himself as the then “Fastest Throw in the World” and earning him the nickname “Smoke”.
Those wishing to make a donation in his honor may do so to U.S. Guts Frisbee,
Friends may call at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home on Friday, December 7, beginning at 3:00 pm until the time of service at 6:00 pm. The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 380 will conduct veterans honors.
Condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com