lives livedKenneth Lee by no means let up on his second probability at lifeDecember 21, 2022
Kenneth Soohoon Lee: Engineer. Nurse. Adventurer. Volunteer. Born June 7, 1973, in Edmonton; died June 5, 2022, in Bella Coola, B.C., in a kayaking accident; aged 48.
“Past mountains are extra mountains” is one thing Kenneth Lee appreciated to say. The phrase additionally described his personal life and its challenges. What made Ken particular was his mix of energetic kindness and journey, and the way he listened and cared for different individuals.
Rising up, he was devoted and absolutely dedicated – in class, whereas learning music (first violin, then piano) or taking part in road hockey (and recognized for his unrelenting forecheck and backcheck). Ken was recreation for nearly something that his older brother proposed, even seeing who may drink essentially the most water with out going to the lavatory (he gained). And he learn voraciously – the native librarian famous that she had by no means seen anybody undergo as many books as Ken.
In highschool and his early college years, Ken started to expertise extreme despair. He underwent an arduous bodily and psychological restoration over a number of years, supported by the extraordinary efforts of his mother and father and plenty of caregivers. He was capable of transfer from the hospital to a care residence and finally again to reside along with his mother and father in his mid-20s.
Ken by no means let up on his second probability at life. He regained his energy and stability, relearning the way to stroll, after which returned to work, beginning off by stocking cabinets on the grocery store. He set objectives. This included graduating with an engineering diploma from the College of Calgary in 2002.
As soon as Ken took on a problem, he made certain to finish it: He ran a marathon and have become an Ironman finisher; he pursued out of doors adventures within the Rockies year-round. He additionally volunteered with Calgary Search and Rescue, the Alpine Membership of Canada and the Sufferer Help Help Staff, dedicating many hours and touching many individuals along with his compassion.
He started travelling in 2006, starting with a visit to his mother and father’ residence nation of South Korea, along with his good buddy Roger, to discover mountains throughout Asia and East Africa. However maybe his most unusual journey was in 2010: an in a single day traverse throughout Calgary, dropping in to see pals alongside the best way.
Ken was additionally an avid songwriter. In 2017, for Canada’s one hundred and fiftieth, he was chosen to write down a narrative for a neighborhood puppet theatre firm to placed on a play. The Grey Jay and the Magpie introduced collectively his love of writing, the good open air and the underdog (or underbird within the case of the Canada jay).
Those that shared out of doors adventures with Ken realized about his meticulousness – he stuffed many spreadsheets and notebooks with near-microscopic handwriting to get issues proper. He was typically the final to be prepared to maneuver on the mountain (“pfaffing” he referred to as it), however typically essentially the most ready. And nobody complained once they ate the additional meals that he had packed.
Ken did all this whereas working as an engineering advisor in Calgary. Following a layoff, he pivoted, aligning his profession along with his need to assist others. He went again to high school as a mature scholar to develop into a nurse and graduated from the College of Calgary’s College of Nursing in 2020. “As a nurse, I achieve hints of the topography of peoples’ lives with out realizing all of the mountain passes they’ve gone via,” he as soon as wrote.
Ken labored as a nurse in McLennan, in northern Alberta till the decision of the mountains drew him away. In April 2022, previous to beginning work at Bella Coola Hospital in British Columbia, Ken accomplished an epic 20-day ski traverse via the Monarch mountains along with his buddy Aaron. The journey was greater than a 12 months within the making and the problem of a lifetime.
Although he would spend lower than two months in Bella Coola, Ken made a direct impression on his friends and inside the group. When his household visited the city after his dying, they have been welcomed and supported by the Nuxalk group who held a therapeutic ceremony of their longhouse.
Ken’s household and Jesse, who survived the kayaking accident, provided meals that he beloved into the hearth: his mom’s kimbap, tortilla chips and salsa, and Bits & Bites. This manner he may take pleasure in it with others they remembered on the opposite facet.
David Lee is Ken’s brother.
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