Dr. Lauren passed away January 26, 2018
July 23, 1946–January 26, 2018
Kenneth Boyd Lauren ’72 was born in Seattle, WA on July 23, 1946 to Louis and Mariam Lauren. He was the second of four children. In 1957, at the age of 11, Ken was baptized here at the Kirkland Seventh-Day-Adventist church—61 years ago. He began school at Seattle Junior Academy before his family moved from Seattle to Auburn where he completed high school at Auburn Adventist Academy. He was active and involved in school life where he sang with the Sylvan Chorus and played the baritone in the band. He also worked on the school dairy farm, and at times, as a night watchman on campus. We can only imagine the practical jokes, high jinks and shenanigans that ensued with those jobs!
He graduated in 1964 and began pre-med courses at what is now, Walla Walla University. This is where he met Linda Marriott, who became the love of his life. She was taking nursing at the Portland campus in Oregon. Some of us may think of Ken as having been the assertive one in their relationship, but it was Linda who first asked Ken out– to a nurses’ outing to Silver Creek Falls. Ken graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and he and Linda got married a week later on June 9, 1968. After a 3-day honeymoon on the Oregon Coast they moved to Lodi, CA for the summer, where Ken worked in construction at the Lodi Academy, and Linda worked nights at the local hospital.
That fall, they moved to Loma Linda, CA where Ken attended medical school for the next four years, graduating in 1972. Linda earned her PHT (Putting Hubby Through), by working evenings at Loma Linda Hospital. The couple then moved to Kettering, OH where Ken interned at Kettering Memorial Hospital. In 1973 they moved to Bellevue, WA where Ken joined the Nelson Medical Arts Clinic in Seattle. Their son Mark was born soon after, in 1974.
In 1976, the couple was recruited to move to West Union, WV. This began a very intense segment of the Lauren’s lives, where our family (the Clarks) and so many others, along with Ken and Linda, planted the Toll Gate church & school, and lived, worshiped and worked in deep community with each other. Ken worked for one year as the only physician in Doddridge County, and was on call 24hrs 7 days/wk. He was later joined by Dr. Art Calhoun and eventually by Dr. Jim LeVos and together they provided medical care for three counties. During this time, Ken made house-calls when needed, served as Medical Examiner, was a preceptor for residents at the Clarksburg United Hospital, and additionally received his masters in public health.
It was here that their daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1978. We spent almost as much time on Uncle Ken and Aunt Linda’s farm as on our own and while Ken’s medical skills and consummate social talents endeared him to the community, we have childhood memories that expand beyond his professional life. I remember him driving Mark and I to school in a falling-apart VW Bug—using just his knees (a skill I have tried to emulate to this day). He was a man of many talents, fixing fences and doing other handiwork on their large country farm. We remember his musical talents at church, the affection he showed for all the kids, and his larger than life sense of humor. He dressed up in silly costumes, pulled pranks, and helped us all take life just a bit less seriously. He and Linda filled their home with people—quirky elderly neighbors, the youth group, church social events—they hosted everyone.
Ken served this rural community in West Virginia until returning to Seattle in 1985. He re-joined a partnership at the Roosevelt Medical Center (previously Nelson Medical Arts Clinic). He served here until the clinic was sold in 2001. In 2000 Ken was able to go on his first Maranatha mission trip to serve in Nepal, which had a profound spiritual impact on him and began the process of reinvigorating his faith in Jesus and the church. This was the beginning of his passion for Maranatha, resulting in over 16 mission trips, here and abroad. In 2002 He and Linda traveled to Australia where he worked for 6 months, filling in for physicians taking their “holidays.” Upon returning from Australia, he began attending the Kirkland SDA Church once again, and served faithfully here, the church of his baptism, until his death.
In 2003 he began working for General Medical, in the south sound, where he worked two to three 14 hr shifts/wk. This allowed him to often spend the night at his parent’s home in Puyallup, where he helped his mother care for his father, who had become paraplegic. After his Father’s passing, he was recruited to work as Medical Director at Monroe Correctional Facility in Monroe, WA. He never ceased to be inspired by the tragic and redemptive stories of the incarcerated people in his care. He could get real in the rawness of humanity and accept people for where they were, while encouraging them to be a better version of themselves. His commitment to honor the humanity of the “least of these” was part of what fueled his concern for social justice and extending the kingdom of God through medical, social, political and evangelistic work. Mission trips were just part of the overall theme of his life of service and ministry.
During his time at Monroe Correctional Facility he and Linda chose to move from Redmond to Snoqualmie so they could spend more time with their youngest grandchildren. This doubled his commute, but he was willing to make sacrifices in order to be there for his family when it counted most. He served at Monroe for 6.5 years before retiring December 31st 2016 at the age of 70. He had an amazing year of retirement; full of projects completed for others, golfing, singing, time spent with friends and family, and two Maranatha trips. He lost his life in service to others on a mission trip to Costa Rica. He was 71 years old. What a life well lived!
He is survived by his siblings: older sister Anne, and younger brothers Don and Dan. He also leaves behind his son Mark, daughter-in-law Randi, daughter Jenny, son-in-law Benji, and grandchildren Taylor, Trey, Braden and Ellie and his wife of 50 years, Linda.
Ken was an exceptional neighbor, colleague, friends, father, grandfather and husband. He loved learning new things and actively engaged others in his passions and interests. His zest for life was contagious. His patients adored him—30 years later they still remember him with affection in West Virginia. He exemplified the power of redemption in Jesus. While he experienced challenges and stumbled, he allowed the grace and forgiveness of God to shine in and out of his life. It was this quality that made both Ken and Linda so easy to be around. He wasn’t judgmental and the acceptance that he showed others was unforgettable. The Laurens’ home was always open and for decades young and old trooped in and out—some staying for years, others for an afternoon. Ken and Linda made people from all walks of life feel comfortable and valued.
Few people with the razor sharp intelligence and consummate social skills that Ken Lauren had also have his deep affection for humanity, his self-deprecating sense of humor, his sacrificial hospitality, his dedication to service and his confident trust in Jesus. He and Linda are a model for how to combine commitment to local church and family with a wide vision and heart for the rest of the world.
In the tradition of the Christian church, the “saints” refer to people whose lives can be a model for others of how to follow Jesus, warts and all. They weren’t perfect, but they had character traits that we can look up to and might give us an example for how to live. Dr. Ken Lauren is indeed one of the “saints” of the church, the beloved child of God. We pray Paul’s prayer in Thessalonians: “ We always thank God for you. . . We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess 3:1-3
We know you will hear Jesus say enter into my rest, good and faithful servant.
(Source: Family of Dr. Lauren)