Obituary of Kenneth Fendorf
Dr. Kenneth M. Fendorf passed away at his home in Santa Cruz on December 18th, 2017. The son of Frank E. and Icie Fendorf, and the middle of seven children, Ken was born on January 6th, 1930 in Jefferson City, Missouri. He spent his youth on their family farm in Miller County, MO, and he remained a farmer at heart. In the wake of WWII, upon turning 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Like his older brothers, he had developed a love of flying, but unlike three of his brothers who were pilots, he decided to jump out of planes. Initially with the 82nd Airborne Division, and after being deployed to Japan, he was assigned to the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team upon the outbreak of the Korean War. He took part in the first major U.S./U.N. offensive in September of 1950, advancing to the Yalu River, and then in a second offensive in 1951.
After completion of his military service, he attended the University of Kansas and graduated with degrees in biology and biochemistry. With an interest in medicine and a desire to help people, he pursued medical school at the University of Kansas and obtained his M.D. in 1959. Seeking to explore the west coast, along with escaping the mid-western winters, he did his residency in San Francisco where he met his first wife, Virginia—they married in 1960. He and Virginia moved to Boulder Creek, CA, where he and Dr. Kenneth Reed, a fellow Kansan and KU alum, set-up a family medical practice. A few years later, Ken decided to pursue a second residency in anesthesiology. He and Virginia then moved to Aptos, CA, in 1968. He joined the staff at Santa Cruz's Dominican Hospital as an anesthesiologist, served as chief of staff in 1969, and remained there for the next 32 years until his retirement in 2000.
Ken and Virginia had three boys, Mark, Scott, and Dale, that they raised in Aptos. Following Virginia's death, he entered the final chapter of his life—he was fortunate to meet and marry Joyce Anderson. They spent their golden years playing golf, traveling, and socializing. Ken remained an avid birder and a lover of all things affiliated with aviation.
Ken was thought of as kind and generous by all that knew him. He was the ultimate father and a loving husband. And he was the consummate professional in his work.
He was preceded in death by his son Mark, first-wife Virginia, his brothers Frank, Fred, Jim, and Dale, his sister Carolyn, and his parents. He is survived by his wife Joyce, sons Scott and Dale, daughter-in-law Elizabeth, grandsons Kyle and Erik, and his sister Marilyn.
A memorial service will take place for Ken at 11 AM on December 28th at Holy Cross Church (126 High St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Hospice of Santa Cruz County.
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