It saddens me to report the passing of good friend, confidant and neighbor, Ken Jorgensen. Ken died early this morning. I do not know why or how he passed, but I do know that I will miss him.
Ken was a slight man with an incredible ability to tell it like it is. Ken was always there to listen to my concerns and problems in life, and was prone to saying just what I needed to hear to calm and comfort me in some really tough times.
Ken Jorgensen was an aviator that took painstaking pride in his hobby. In my short time of knowing him, he completely restored from the ground up, a 1931 Curtiss Wright Trainer aircraft to its original condition.
Ken did all of this mostly in his garage across the street from my home in San Dimas, California.
When my two daughters used to look out the front window and see ken working on his planes, they would come in and say “Wanna go see Ken.”
We would walk across the street and say hello, and Ken would talk to them about what he was doing. Even though Ken was busy and we were probably slowing the process, he always made time to talk to them and never acted as if it bothered him.
Ken was currently working on a 1936 Taylor Cub. I may be inaccurate in my recollection, but Taylor was bought out by Piper some years later. It seemed important to Ken to tell me it was from Taylor, not Piper.
Ken did all the fabrication by hand, taking great pains to make jigs and fittings for the plane, to make the plane exactly as it was from the manufacturer. I am proud to say that some of the welding on that aircraft was done by me, and I did then as I do today consider it a great honor to be asked to do this task by Ken.
Watching the way he meticulously scrutinized each joining of the plane and its components, sometimes looking at it for an hour to make sure it was right and proper, was an absolute joy.
Ken could fabricate anything. Ken taught me how to properly dress a grinding wheel, make parts for my car, and most of all taught me how to me a better person.
Knowing he is now not with his wife Doris makes me sad indeed. In all my days on this earth, there is nothing that saddens me more than watching two people that have spent so many years together be parted.
Watching Doris beam with pride and joy at Ken while he enjoyed his hobby would sometimes make me long for a woman like her, that not only loved but admired her husband on that level.
Doris seemed to not only admire Ken for the man that he was, but also for the man that he had become. She would look at him with a look that spoke all the words that a man like Ken wanted and needed to hear.
I can only hope to one day become the man that Ken Jorgensen was in life and in death. My only regret is that he did not live longer.
Ken will be sorely missed.