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Bown, Dr. Kenneth W.

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November 1, 1940 - January 18, 2015

Bown, Dr. Kenneth W.

Kenneth Bown, family physician, marathon runner, world traveler, lover of classical music, and all round happy man passed away peacefully, surrounded by love, on Sunday, January 18th at 10:30am.

He is preceded in death by his wife of 39 years, Ruth Eileen Bown, his parents Herbert Spencer and Gwendolyn Bown and his older brother Earl Bown.

Kenneth was born November 1st, 1940 in Badger’s Quay, a small fishing village in eastern Newfoundland, Canada. He was the first person in his family to attend college (at the age of sixteen) and to then go on to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

He had a choice to make; to become a medical doctor or pursue a Ph.D in Mathematics. Thankfully, for many people, he chose to practice medicine. He was an old-fashioned family doctor who made house calls, delivered babies at home and would hold your hand and just listen, with no regard for time.

He was a man with a sunny disposition and a ready smile. He only knew two kinds of people; friends and strangers he hadn’t befriended yet.

In addition to practicing medicine, he enjoyed running. He finished many marathons and had the privilege of carrying the Olympic torch in 1984 through Celina Texas.

Kenneth had a family practice in Fogo Island Newfoundland and Stratford and London Ontario before moving his family to Sherman Texas in 1977. He practiced there for 15 years. Whe working as a full time physician, he drove an hour each way, three nights a week for two years, to the University of Dallas in order to earn his MBA. He was proud to have graduated at the same time and with the same degree as his son, Kent in 1991. He stayed in Sherman until choosing to move to Lindale Texas to take the challenging position of providing medical care to the prisoners of the Mark W. Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony, TX. He was treated well by the men in the prison population in part because he was an empathetic physician and because he treated them with a type of respect many had never experienced. Upon retiring, he moved to Ottawa, Canada and truly enjoyed his life; running, bike riding, traveling and spending time with family.

With his beloved Colette, he traveled throughout Europe and the United States. Winters were spent in South America. Vienna was his great love, but all the major romance cities of Europe were only a plane ride away; and away he and Colette went.

Kenneth was a man who adored opera, the symphony and fine dining, but as he grew older, he developed a taste for Texas barbeque and oddly, Duck Dynasty.

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he chose to return to Dallas to be closer to and to spend time with his daughter and son-in-law.

The last years of his life were spent gloriously; swimming with dolphins, enjoying pina coladas in the Dominican Republic, exploring the Biltmore Estate, and taking numerous trips to the Texas Hill country. When traveling became difficult, it was lunch and movies or art galleries and museums, the zoo, the arboretum, aimlessly wandering around the Galleria; anywhere he could admire beauty and smile at anyone who was lucky enough to catch his eye. Ice cream, caramel bread pudding, pumpkin spiced lattes and oatmeal cookies-everyday. No pleasure was overlooked, regardless of how small.

Kenneth’s own words were:

“Death is as much a reality as    birth, growth, maturity and old age. I came into this world without much fan fare and I want to leave in the same way.”

However; he never was one to miss a party. There was a celebration of life on the 31st of January 2015 at Magnolia Street Inn 421 S. Magnolia Street Palestine, TX 75801. 

Come with a smile on your face and a story to tell. And please, no black clothes. Be prepared to laugh and remember one of the happiest people to have passed through this life.

Left to remember his smiling face are his daughter Arlene and her husband Cecil Hammonds, Colette Cloutier-Bown and her children; Ann-Monique Leslie and husband Ron and their children Zachary, Rebecca, Kathryn and Grace ; Richard Bown and his children Skylar, Zoe and Talylor; son Kent Douglas Bown and wife Kerry and their children Madox and    Huxley Bown. He also leaves behind his siblings Herb Bown and wife Maureen and sisters Shirley Bown and Hilda Clarke and her husband Hector.  Kenneth loved Lori, Don and Kayla Fortner of Palestine Texas as his own family. And they loved him equally in return.

Kenneth’s passing was peaceful. He died holding his daughter’s hand while hearing her say I love you.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Eternal thanks to the wonderful caring staff of Arbor Hills Memory Care Community in Plano Texas and to Hospice Plus of Dallas.

As per his wishes, Kenneth’s ashes will be released both in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and in the Danube River as it flows through Vienna.

Arrangements under the direction of:

Aria Funeral Home

10116 E Northwest Highway

Dallas, TX 75238


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Linda Wallace

July 10, 2018 7:57AM

Ken was such a dear man. He offered to run with me and inspired me to push myself. His life was that of a servant and his heart was devoted to people.

Tracy Murphy

January 29, 2017 1:18AM

I am just learning of Ken's passing but feel compelled to add my comments. The obituary captured the essence of this wonderful man so eloquently. We worked together at the Michael Unit and I can say, without equivocation, he was the finest physician and finest individual I ever worked with. I am so blessed to have known Ken Bown.

Easwar Sundaram Jr. MD

February 13, 2015 10:16PM

I will never forget Ken as he was one of the first doctor's to welcome me to Sherman. He was very kind and gave me several words of wisdom which I carry to this day. I was sad when he left Sherman. His smiling face and kind heartedness will never be forgotten.

Steve Cherry

February 12, 2015 1:13PM

Ken was my doctor in the 80's in Sherman. He was the best, most thorough doctor I have ever had, and was a fellow runner.

Marc Thompson

February 11, 2015 1:04PM

Ken was so great to me when I lived in Sherman. Even though our paths separated he always brought a smile to my face when I thought of his great attitude and most of all his friendship.

Dorothy McKee

February 10, 2015 9:25AM

Many happy memories of Ken and Ruth in Sherman. Beautiful obituary which touched on so many happy times in his life. Sorry I did not keep in touch after they left Sherman, unforgettable family though.

Brian Hoar

February 09, 2015 11:17AM

I was sad to hear of Ken's passing. He made it very easy to like him.
Brian Hoar
Dal Med 67

Dick Freeman

February 09, 2015 8:24AM

Ken was a very good friend. We trained together for the White Rock Marathon, our first marathon. We both hurt so badly that the next day he invited me to sit with him in his hot tub. I remember laughing and sharing stories of the race. We continued to run together every Sunday afternoon. He was a good, kind man that I was privileged to call friend.

Scottie McIntyre Johnson

February 08, 2015 7:37PM

Dr. Bown was our family physician in Sherman, TX, from the time we (and he) moved there in 1977 until he moved away. He saw our whole family through our seven-year old son's diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, and I will never forget how patient and kind he was with us as we struggled to understand how to manage our child's condition, not to mention the excellent medical care and advice he provided. He was a fine physician and a fine human being. They don't make them like Dr. Bown any more.

Ormille Hayne

February 08, 2015 4:20PM

Condolences to Ken's family.A job well done Ken. Orm,class of '67 Dalhousie

Jerry L jones

February 08, 2015 8:25AM

Dr Bown was my physician and I ran with him on the roads west of Sherman. I had lost contact with him after he left Sherman. He was a good physician for me and A friend. I also worked some for at his runners store on 1417.3620

Betty Schaefer

February 04, 2015 8:16AM

I was honoured to have have known Ken and have him as my wonderful & caring physician & family friend when his family lived in Stratford (Canada) . I babysat Kent and Arlene and spent many enjoyable days,outings and family trips with all of them.
Ken was a brilliant doctor and such a caring,sensitive, kind and generous man. He had a wonderful positive attitude and was so ambitious and eager to learn more, and he enjoyed life to the fullest.
He always kept in touch after leaving Stratford, no matter where his family moved, to let me know what was happening in his life and always had time to listen to what was going on with me ~ even during these last few years when his memory was deteriorating. I will certainly miss his faithful & cherished phone calls.
Arlene has been so attentive and wonderful to her dad, making sure that he got to enjoy each day as much as possible by taking him to see the sights, and going on outings and doing what he wished to do and see.
She is a wonderful daughter and Ken was so very proud of her and was fortunate to be surrounded by her love and caring during his illness.
I am relieved that Ken will now be free from suffering and frustration, but he will be sadly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
He was my "hero"!

Al Felix

February 02, 2015 11:20AM

A classmate and fellow Newfoundlander who left the bay, explored the world, and was a credit to his profession. My sypathy to his family.

Poward Parker

February 02, 2015 8:26AM

A great doctor and a great life

clarence felderhof

February 01, 2015 6:33PM

Great classmate, Med class'67 Dalhousie. A true Newfoundlander, caring and sharing!

Ken Nickerson

February 01, 2015 4:24PM

Your work is over and done well.A life well lived.Ken Nickerson.

John Akabutu

February 01, 2015 3:52PM

Happy to have known you! A great classmate!

paige emenau

February 01, 2015 2:35PM

you did it all good show

Lori Fortner

January 28, 2015 9:35PM

Words cannot express how much Ken will be missed. He made such a difference in so many peoples lives and was a blessing to me and my family and we continue to be blessed by knowing Arlene and Ken. I will miss Ken wanting to sing the "I'm a Lumberjack" song while we were working. So many happy happy memories.

Angie Montpas

January 27, 2015 4:34PM

I knew Ken from Arbor Hills during the 10 months I did Activities and cooked. I remember all the wonderful memories Ken used to share with me about all his trips to different countries as we looked through his pictures and about running the marathon. He was just so proud as he showed me his Olympic Torch that was hanging on his wall. I remember all those laps he used to do down the halls and how he used to try to get others to run with him. No one could keep up with him! :-) Ken was such a joyful, pleasant man and I am very happy to have been able to meet him and share part of his life. Thoughts and Prayers to Arlene and family.

Debbie Hollingshead

January 25, 2015 7:10PM

We are honored to have known Kenneth for a very short time. He truly was inspirational and fun-loving. He will be missed, especially by his buddy Leon across the hall. Please accept our sincere thoughts and prayers in the loss of your beloved Ken.
Debbie and Gary Hollingshead

Maggie Dotson

January 25, 2015 8:43AM

My life is richer for having known this sweet, kind man. Although I had not seen him in many years, he was, and will always be in my heart. I will especially think of him when I place the many christmas ornaments on my tree he gave to me from various parts of the world. What a wonderful man,

Billie Meador

January 25, 2015 6:43AM

Having met Ken only recently at Arbor Hills, I was always struck by his bright shining eyes and love for the plants he brought for all to enjoy outdoors. Last spring, after one of the family bar-b-que events, he suddenly appeared in his running gear and ran a lap inside the building. We all clapped for him as he passed. His face just glowed! He must have been quite a Dad! ***** Billie Meador, daughter of former Arbor Hills resident

Shirley Hammonds

January 23, 2015 1:51PM

It was so good to have known such a wonderful man. I always saw a smile on his face when we would go out for lunch and dinner.He has such a sweet and caring daughter married to my wonderful son and I will be there for you Arlene. Love you,Your2nd Mom