Kenneth Winans Kloehn MD, age 80 of Bellingham, passed away October 9, 2020 due to Progressive Muscular Atrophy, a form of ALS (Lou Gehrig disease), at his home with his wife and family by his side.
Ken was born in Appleton, WI on October 6, 1940 to Kenneth Edward and Elizabeth Jane Winans Kloehn. He is survived by his wife Margie Jo Thompson Kloehn of the family home; sons Scott Thompson Kloehn (Jennifer) of Seattle, WA and Kristofer Kenneth Kloehn of Hood River, OR; his loving granddaughter Isabella Johnson Kloehn of Seattle, WA; brothers Ted Oliver Kloehn (Jeanne) of Madison, WI and Peter Allen Kloehn (Helene) of Freeport, NY; and his niece Kathryn Elizabeth Kloehn (Christopher Olsen) of Madison, WI.
Ken graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy in Madison, WI in 1963. In 1967 he received his MD degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. While there he met his wife Margie Jo Thompson and they were married September 18, 1965 in Superior, WI. Ken was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society, and Nu Sigma Nu Medical fraternity.
Upon graduation they moved to Stockton, CA where Ken interned at San Joaquin General Hospital. When he finished they took the ferry up the Inside Passage to Alaska where Ken practiced general medicine in Homer, Alaska while waiting to enter the Naval Flight Surgery program in Pensacola, FL.
Upon completion of his flight surgery training they moved to Oak Harbor, WA where Ken was stationed at NAS Whidbey as a Naval flight surgeon for several years achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
When Ken finished his tour of duty at NAS Whidbey, ever an innovator, he joined a newly forming group of full time emergency room physicians at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bellingham, WA and soon started the full time ER coverage in Mt Vernon at Skagit Valley Hospital.
In 1973, they and their first son Scott moved to Seattle where Ken completed his Anesthesiology residency at the University of Washington. When they returned to Bellingham, he joined Bellingham Anesthesia Associates which was just forming. Their second son Kristofer was born there.
Ken later spearheaded the formation and building of Pacific Rim Outpatient Surgery Center in Bellingham. While practicing in Bellingham he served as president the Whatcom County Medical Society as well as numerous professional committees.
When not in the O.R. he could be found on a lake or river pursuing his beloved fly fishing as well as tying flies or acting as president of Fourth Corner Fly Fishers, working on their environmental projects, sailing the waters of the San Juan Islands, the Gulf Islands, or Desolation Sound, or reading a good book. Once Ken retired, he never missed lunch on Fridays with his BB fly fishing friends. It was the highlight of his week. Ken was a truly amazing man, and he will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Whatcom Hospice Foundation or the Nature Conservancy.