November 1, 1940 - January 18, 2015
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
To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.