Kenneth Barwick

Kenneth T. Barwick

A Memorial

October 14, 1957 to January 2, 2022

Rest in peace, Kenny.  We love you with all of our hearts and souls.  God bless and keep you, brother.  God bless and keep you always!

Ecclesiastes 12:7 – Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

He was my very first brother…

My very first friend…

My best lizard-and-snake-hunting partner…

My fort-building buddy of old…

My fishing companion…

The only man who could beat me in a John Wayne trivia contest…

He grew up to become an expert competition marksman and taught me how to shoot a .45 “government model” pistol the right way…

He was a hilarious joker who could light up a room with his comic humor…

Or, he could clear a room in seconds with his occasional famous bouts of temper.

He was a good father.

A good brother to four siblings.

Above all, he was Ken. And he did things Ken’s way.

Rest in peace, good brother. Rest in peace.

Your Only Big Bro’,
Steve

 

Kenneth, my brother, here’s how it all started, me and you…

Steve & Ken: Brothers for life; best friends for life (photo circa 1957-58)

Steve & Ken, Albany, Georgia, circa early 1957-1958

Steve & Ken, circa 1959

Ken and I caught the momma snake at Lake O’Neil in Camp Pendleton. Ken spotted it swimming underwater, in the brush alongside the bank of the lake. We both jumped in and scooped it up out of the water and brought it home. And it promptly laid 17 baby snakes, which netted us a news story and photograph in the San Bernardino Sun-Telegram.

The bass fishermen, Ken and Steve, at Lake Havasu, circa 1972. (He looks a lot like Brock, here.)

Our last picture together, in 2021. He’s rockin’ that “old man Mel Gibson” look. And I’m just old man me.

Lousy photo quality, but he sure was proud of that big stringer of bass, circa 1988

Ken loved his golf. Here he practices his swing in the snow, in Holland, where he was on business. A local reporter saw it and snapped a photo.

When Ken was on the cover of Esquire magazine

The Barwick family: Mom, Dad, Patty, Danny, Marie, Steve, Craig Jr., and Ken

Christmas at 105 Vera Cruz Ln. on the Marine Corps West base, circa 1960’s. Patty, Danny, Marie, Steve, Ken

Best bro’s: Dan and Ken, the dynamic duo

Ken and Dan, comparing results of their non-existent weight-lifting regimens.

Ken and Dan, brothers for life…

Ken loved selling cars; he’d hop right into the trunk to demonstrate ample trunk space.

One of the perks of selling cars is the people you meet.

Making families happy:  Another perk of selling cars…

He’s da man! (And he sure cleaned up well, didn’t he?)

Looks like he’d tied a few on, in this photo.  We were all relieved when he quit drinking.

Steve, Marie, Ken, circa 1960; Ken looks like a budding Las Vegas stage show crooner…

Ken, Steve, Patty, Marie, circa 1960s

School photo:  Me thinks Ken was just a tad stoned that particular day. (Hey, it was still the 70’s, for goodness sakes.)

Mom, Ken, Marie enjoying a good laugh and a smile, together

Danny, Marie and Ken, then and 50 years later…

Marie, Ken and Patty at Lake Havasu in the 70’s – Happy Days, they were!

Brockton, Fay, Steve, Kathy, Ken, Marie, Patty, Mom – good times together at Fay and Marie’s home!

Ken, Mom, Steve, Fay, Marie at 2008 Fall Fellowship Bible Study at Mom’s house.

Ken, playing cards with Kathy, in the hospital, when Kathy came down with a nasty stomach infection.  He drove up to Vegas from Barstow and stayed with her for two or three days, keeping her entertained and making her laugh.  He’d even wheel her down the hallway in a wheelchair, hollering “Make way for the Queen!  Make way for the Queen!”

Remember that time Ken used his secret stealth technology and tried to give Obama the two-finger death punch?

Ken and Candice – I think he’s betting her that he can beat her in a quick round of Limbo.

Ken was always clowning around…whether at home, or in public…he was always good for a belly laugh…

Everything Ken loved was on that wall.  Except for his dog, Chopper.  He kept the dog on his lap.

Ken’s little holy terror, Chopper:  Better get your ankle guards on…

Ken, Chopper and Jenga:  What could possibly go wrong?

Patty, Dad, Ken, at Christmas – a long, long time ago, in a land far away…

Dan and Ken, 1966:  Look out world, here they come…

Ken and Patty:  He always phoned Patty first, when he needed a sympathetic ear, or someone just to talk to.

Ken & nephew Cody – who’s more ticklish?

Ken, Cody and Mom

Ken, with Cody’s son, RJ

Ken, Patty, Danny, wondering what’s inside that damned mirror; I think they found my hidden camera…

Ken sure loved his momma…

The Barwick family silhouette, in birth order (Steve, Ken, Marie, Patty, Danny)

There’s one thing Ken loved above all others, and that was his boy, Brockton.  Here, like every good father does, he teaches Brock how to use ‘The Force’…

Two peas in a pod, at Mom’s house.

Who ya gonna call?  Ghostbusters…

Ken’s #1 most prized possession…

The man, and his little man…

“Is dem worms?  Or spaghetti?  Oh, hell, who cares?  We’re hungry.  Let’s eat!”

Ken’s motto:  Never turn down a free haircut…

Ken, in his most famous movie role as the Creature from the Depths of Lake Havasu

Ken and his favorite coffee mug.

He was truly his Dad’s son

Looking a lot like his dad, here, especially in the eyes…

Ken had the stroke on December 7, 2021.  This photo was taken around the 9th in Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas.  Only his left arm worked at this point, though he could lift one leg while lying down. Several days after this picture was taken, he was transferred to southern California for speech and physical therapy.  But his body started failing him, and he was then transferred to an emergency hospital.  This is the last picture ever taken of Ken, that I know of.

Ken, as I’ll always remember him…

Peace out, to you, too, my good brother.  Peace out.

The Broken Chain

We little knew the day that
God was going to call your name.
In life, we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you.
But you didn’t go alone.
For part of us went with you.
The day God called you home.

You left us peaceful memories.
Your sense of humor is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you.
We know you’re always at our side.

Our family chain is broken
and nothing seems the same,
but as God calls us one by one
the chain will link again.

—Ron Tranmer

Click here or scroll down to Write Your Remembrances of Ken.

17 Comments

  1. My dear friend, Ken…sigh. I am so sad now. You were a great man. I will look back on our memories with a smile. Thank you for your kindness. I am so glad that we kept in touch over the years. While we had many great chess games together we also had great talks too. I will miss you. ❤️

    Reply
  2. Ken, how do you put a lifetime of memories on a single page? Seems impossible. Just as you not being here seems impossible.

    Growing up we would shoot pool in the family room. You always beat me. Pretty much everything we competed over you beat me. I remember finally winning you in a chess game. I told you dad showed me some moves, (I think he felt bad for me). You asked me over and over to play you again after that. I didn’t want to because I knew it was probable going to be the one and only time I would beat you at something. You showed me how to play poker, I lost all my pennies. You played me Hand and Foot, I hardly ever made it into my foot, and when I did it held more than one red three, ouch! When dad passed, you’d make the trip to mom’s house a couple times a month, (for about 20 years), just to play that game with her and boy could she hold her own against you. I loved watching you two play!

    Fay and I loved going target shooting with you. I remember when you became concerned over a bad habit I had unconsciously formed when I racked my gun. I kept bringing my left hand in front of the barrel. You gently brought it to my attention, but I kept doing it, so in great fashion you started calling me stubby. I quickly got the message and was able to drop that habit. To this day I still have all my digits 😊

    When Fay fell and hit his head, I called you to help me with him. You were at the house in record time and stayed with me while I was at the emergency room with him. You left only to take mom dinner and to bring me something to eat as well. When he had that seizer and they made me leave the room you gently put your arm around me and stood in the hall with me refusing to leave me alone. At midnight when they flew him to a trauma hospital in Riverside you wouldn’t let me drive myself. I argued I was ok, but on the way down I realized you were right. I would not have had an easy trip alone. You stayed with us in his room the entire night. When the Doctor came in the next morning and told us he was going to be alright you told me to stay as long as I needed and didn’t push me to hurry so we could leave. I have always, always, appreciated and loved you for being there for me that night.

    When I visited your friends in Meadview, they told me they loved discussing the bible with you. That you explained why Easter is a pagan holiday and not to be followed by Christians. That Christ is our Passover, not our Easter bunny. Sometimes you may have appeared a little rough around the edges, but when it came to this you boldly planted that seed of truth for our Lord. It really lifted my heart when they shared that with me.

    As promised, we are taking care of Chopper. She misses you too. It was hard watching her go from room to room at your house looking for you. But she is adjusting to us and believe it or not she is getting along pretty good with our other two little gals. It’s fun watching the three of them playing around together. She’s learned how to use the doggie door and loves being able to go outside anytime she wants. When she hears someone passing by the house, she is all over them and gives them a hard time just for walking by… I don’t think that part of her will ever change. She is so very fearless!

    Your friend Eric called and asked me to post a message here for you. He said he loved the time you two spent hunting treasures in the desert and all the cool stuff you found. He said you were a good friend to him, and he misses you.

    I miss you too Ken, every day I miss you. I do look forward to the time we’ll see each other again.

    I love you dear brother, with all my heart I love you.

    Reply
  3. My name is Victor Gonzalez I will miss him dearly. He was my best boss I ever had ! He taught me so much at Safariland I will always be great full with him. Bye deer fried.

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  4. Ken and I were teammates on BHS Riffian cross country and track teams. He was always making us laugh, lightening the competitive atmosphere, reminding us to have fun. RIL, Ken.🙏✝️

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  5. I’m married to Ken’s brother, Steve. But Ken was more like a brother to me, than a brother-in-law. He would do anything he could to help out his brothers, sisters or friends. And he always worked hard to make people laugh, with his constant goofing and joking around.

    We had a lot of fun going out pistol-shooting in the desert with him. Ken was always deadly serious when we went shooting. Very disciplined. He didn’t joke around at all, then. And he drilled that discipline into us, teaching us trigger control and shooting with the front sight. Steve and I learned a lot from him, and became much better shooters as a result.

    In addition to shooting guns, Ken also loved to play cards, especially poker. He was great at hand-and-foot, and other card games, as well. He and his mom could sit there in the kitchen and play cards all night long.

    He also loved going rock-hunting in the desert – especially in back of the Calico mountains. And he’d visit all of the outdoor shooting ranges to hunt for brass, as well, which he’d use for reloading.

    I’ll miss Ken very much. To a great brother-in-law and dear friend: Ken, I’ll see you when it’s my time to go home.

    Love and miss you,
    Kat

    Reply
    • Thank you Ken for all the stories, laughs and adventures we shared.
      Our Calico trips and searching for the sweet water spring, playing Cribbage, shooting guns, long conversations, walks in the park with Max (you called him “the wonder dog”).
      Thank you for being a part of our lives, a good friend, you will be missed.

      “When tomorrow starts without me,
      Don’t think we are far apart,
      For every time you think of me,
      I’m right here in your heart.”
      Unknown

      Reply
  6. Uncle Kenny I have so many good memories of you. You filled the room with laughter every time you entered. Cackling the loud Barwick laugh. My favorite memories are the many games of hand and foot we played. You kicked my butt every time. As I got better and would beat grandma I think she had me battle you because you always put my in my place. I could probably count on my hand the few times I was able to beat you. I’ll have to train my mom more so I can have a worthy opponent again.

    I miss you. I know the last few weeks were a battle. Rest now
    Love you ~ Candice

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  7. Ken was a very good friend. He coached me in pool, golf, hiking, how to hang on when he drove, very scarry.
    He is missed by so many, and I think anyone that met him was inspired in some way.
    Miss you my friend

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  8. 1970… I married Bill Irby, and became neighbors of the Barwick family on Church St. I was 20, so Kenny was 13 at the time. I instantly formed a bond with this family. Steve & Kenny were teenage boys, so they were more reserved and quiet when I would come over. But, always so polite and respectful. I really bonded with the adorable girls Muffy and Patty and Danny was such a little cutie. I absolutely fell in love with their Mom Betty!! She was my mentor, confidant and friend as a young bride.
    Just a tiny bit of history of my relationship with the Barwick family. I lost contact with Kenny after he left home. I would hear some news from Patty over the years on how he was doing. Thank you so much Steve for sharing all these pictures of Kenny and all the stories. I love them. My most sincere thoughts, love and prayers for you Steve, Muffy, Patty, Danny and Kenny’s son as you grieve the loss of your brother and father. RIP Kenny, as you greet your Mom & Dad again.
    Love Kay

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  9. I knew Ken from Jr. High and the High times of the 70s. He was a fierce competitor in every thing he did. He usually beat me at chess and if I happened to beat him he’d want to play again, I don’t think he wanted to go out with a loss.
    He was living with us in the early 80s, Ken and I were coming home from a party that was deep in the bowels of Huntington Beach. Ken was driving his old Ford pick up. We were both blitzed, Ken turned a corner a little to sharp the passenger door flew open and we both started to spill out on the road. We got a good laugh.
    The last time I chatted with Ken he told me how much he told me how he loved where he moved and wished I could visit him.
    I’m truly saddened by this news.
    Be at peace friend..

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  10. Oh Ken how you used to crack me up at work. You would go out of your way to make us laugh. I loved it when you came to the to visit and the conversation we had about God. I miss those talks. I pray you will keep talking to me my friend and know that you will always be in my heart. I Love you Ken! I am going to miss you Brother.

    Reply
    • Ken, my friend, miss you already. You cracked me up at work, never a dull moment. Keep an eye out for me, we’ll meet again soon!

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  11. I remember another night, several years later, that Ken and I drove up Barstow Road in my white ’68 Mustang. I was probably 19 years old, and he was probably 16. We were snake-hunting that night, as well, but we hadn’t seen a single snake on the road for hours. We drove slowly past Slash X Ranch, all of the way up to the mountainous grade, and turned the car around at the top of the grade to head back home. Out of sheer boredom I stomped on the gas and sped up to about 120 miles an hour before reaching under the dash and turning off the headlights.

    Ken panicked for just a second, thinking we wouldn’t be able to see the road. But thanks to the full moon, we could see quite well, which immediately calmed him.

    So, there we were, hurtling down the mountainous downgrade in my Mustang at over 100 miles-per-hour, with no lights on. When the adrenaline rush from that little trick began to wear off, the car was still screaming down the downgrade, so I dropped the gear shifter into neutral so the car could coast freely, looked over at Ken in the passenger seat and said, “Grab the wheel and steer, buddy.”

    He gave me a puzzled look, but grabbed the steering wheel, and I promptly crawled out of the open window on the driver’s side, up onto the car’s roof, where I laid down on my stomach. (Don’t ask me what possessed me to do such a thing; I honestly don’t know, but the song “Crazy” certainly comes to mind.)

    As I lay on top of the car roof, I could feel the hot summer night wind blasting into my face from the speed we were traveling. I reached back inside the car with my left arm to take the steering wheel from Ken. Once I grabbed the steering wheel, Ken, without saying a word, crawled out of the passenger-side window and climbed up onto the roof of the car, to lay along-side me. And there we both lay, with me steering from the roof of that fast-moving car, both of us grinning like nitwits and laughing uncontrollably, feeling a lot like we were on one of the monster speed rides at Knot’s Berry Farm.

    Gradually, my old Mustang began to slow on its own, as we ran out of downgrade to coast on. So, Ken and I carefully crawled back into the car through our respective car windows, Ken first, so he could take the steering wheel from me, then me, afterwards. Once inside, I immediately had to pull the Mustang over and just sit there on the side of the road, because we were both shaking bodily so hard from the adrenaline rush we could hardly catch our collective breath.

    This incident took place back when we were still in our teens. How the hell we both made it to our 60’s I’ll never understand. Nevertheless, these are the kinds of incidents that lifelong and inseparable bonds are made of, and that make the phrase “Remember that time when…?” the favorite question at family gatherings.

    Reply
    • Very few people can say they have had the same neighbors since the mid 60’s. Loved having the Barwick family next door. Three generations passed thru our houses. When Betty passed, we knew we couldn’t let just anyone live in her house. So we bought it. With Ken’s help we fixed it up. He worked along side us everyday telling stories about him and his siblings. We would laugh so much. Living right next door all those years, we had no idea the mischief those kids got into. Ken was happy to fill in the blanks. Ken had many stories, and no complaints. He said he lived a good life, experienced life many only dreamed of. Made good friends, loved his family and bragged about his pride and joy, Brockton. We spent quality time with Ken prior to him moving from Barstow, he and Chopper were our house guest for a month. He gave us a window into his world, enjoyed talking about current events, sports and politics, a true patriot. He shared his many accomplishments and looked forward to the next chapter and adventures. He was a man of faith who enjoyed reading his bible while relaxing with Chopper. He was a good man and wonderful father. He also had fine taste in Whiskey. Here is to you Ken, hoist your anchor, let the wind fill your sails. Glide away, heaven bound. We love you buddy.

      Reply
    • I love it cousin Steve. ❤ Beautiful story. I since your love and heartache. Thank you God for memories until we’re all together again.

      Reply
  12. I remember one summer night mom and dad went to bed early, so Ken and I, both of us teens, snuck outside, wheeled my Honda 90 Scrambler over to the empty lot next door so they wouldn’t hear it kick-start, and took off on it to go snake-hunting up on Barstow Road.

    We had a banner night that night. Snakes were everywhere, crossing Barstow Road, from Rimrock all of the way up to Slash X Ranch. After catching about six or seven small, non-poisonous snakes and putting them into a snake bag that had a draw string top, Ken and I got back on the motorcycle and began heading home. Next thing we knew, red lights were flashing brightly behind us. The desert around us seemed to be lit up in red, white and blue flashes of light. We were being pulled over by the cops.

    The deputy got out of his car and came over to us, asking for my driver’s license. But I didn’t have one. So, the cop was reading me the riot act about the perils of driving without a license, when suddenly, with his flashlight, he spots the bag with the draw string top, hanging from my handlebars.

    “What’s in that sack?” he barked toward Ken. Ken replied, “Just some little snakes, officer.” The officer smirked, and said “Yeah, right. Open it!”

    I could see in the cops’ gleaming eyes that he was expecting to make a big drug bust, or something. He had one hand on his flashlight, and the other hand resting on his gun.

    So, Ken opened the draw string, reached into the sack, and let the six or seven wriggling snakes entwine all around his fingers, hand and forearm, before pulling them out and thrusting his arm toward the cop. “See,” he said, “snakes.”
    The cop froze, staring for a second, in panic, at the wriggling snakes, unable to take his flashlight off them for fear one might drop to the ground and come slithering toward him.

    Then, fully in touch with his feminine side, the cop pointed to my motorcycle and screamed at me and Ken, “Get back on that effing bike and get your little asses home. If I see you on this road again tonight, I’ll arrest you both!” And he walked quickly back to his car, both hands shaking and beads of sweat forming on his forehead.

    We put the snakes back in the bag, and got the hell out of there. All we could think that night was thank God for people’s inordinate fear of snakes. After all, had mom or dad found out that Ken and I had been sneaking out at night to go snake-hunting on the motorcycle, we’d have both been GFL (grounded for life).

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  13. Anyone who knows Ken, knows he used to shoot .45 pistols in shooting competitions. And falling steel plates were his favorite competitive targets. He could knock all six plates down, in 3 seconds’ flat. And I’m not exaggerating.

    Ken had been developing quite a reputation as an up-and-coming competitive shooter. But I knew his time had truly come when mom, dad and I went to one of his shooting competitions back in the mid-80’s.

    As we entered the crowded building, you could hear folks whispering to each other “Ken Barwick is about to shoot…Ken Barwick is about to shoot.” We’d been to some of his other shooting matches, but this was the first time we’d witnessed Ken becoming…well…a celebrity shooter.

    Within seconds, the building’s crowded foyer had emptied, as dozens of competitive shooters rushed to the back of the building to watch Ken shoot.

    As mom, dad and I pushed our way through the crowd, we could see Ken stepping up to the firing line. The six steel plates were raised on their platform, with a loud clank. Then, the signal was given. And Ken drew, and started firing. Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

    Less than two seconds later the entire crowd was cheering. Yep, Ken had hit all six steel plates, this time in just under 2 seconds. I had been watching the shells fly from his gun as he shot, and noticed that before his first shell had hit the ground, he was already done shooting.

    In other words, he’d fired six shots in under two seconds, and he was done firing before his first shell ever hit the ground. That’s how fast he was. It was an astonishing sight to see. He was smooth as butter. And it was all over in less than two seconds.

    Suddenly, everyone was crowding around Ken, pressing against him, shaking his hand and back-slapping him in congratulations for the feat. I could see the pride welling up in mom and dad’s faces. Their little man had made it to the big-times. Indeed, he was later featured on the cover of a major shooting competition magazine for that particular match.

    Ken eventually stopped competitive shooting. But he nevertheless had a lifelong love affair with guns. He taught me how to shoot his favorite “government model” (.45 ACP) with both speed and accuracy, which was no mean feat, since before that I couldn’t hit a coke can at ten feet with a simple .22 pistol.

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