Cover photo for Kenneth Ray Van Buskirk's Obituary
Kenneth Ray Van Buskirk Profile Photo
1933 Kenneth 2017

Kenneth Ray Van Buskirk

March 16, 1933 — May 5, 2017

VAN BUSKIRK, Kenneth Ray “Ken” – Was born in Prescott, Arizona on March 16, 1933 to Robert and Opal Van Buskirk. He went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on May 5, 2017 surrounded by his family at home. His wife of 61 years, Joanne; his daughters, Kinnie Jo DuVall (Kevin DuVall), Lori Ann Karstens (Chuck Karstens). Ken served four years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Ken retired from the California Youth Authority after 27 years as a Parole Agent and moved to Spokane in 1990. He served two terms on the Spokane Civil Service Commission. Ken was a frequent published letter writer to the Spokesman-Review. He was a member of Indian Trail Church. Ken was a fast pitch softball pitcher. In his early teens he won three National VFW Championship Titles in Texarkana, Texas for Whittier, California. He continued pitching into the seventh decade of his life here in Spokane. Afterwards he became a softball pitching coach for any girl in Spokane who wanted to learn. He also coached pitching at Riverside, North Central and Lewis & Clark High Schools and Community Colleges of Spokane under Coach Janet Skaife. Ken managed one traveling team with Clyde Brown of Colville, Washington and they took them to Nationals in Tennessee and was a pitching coach for several other traveling teams. He was inducted into the Spokane Softball Hall of Fame in 2015. Ken is also survived by three granddaughters, Janessa Karstens Riley and (Miranda) and their four children; Ken’s great grandchildren, Frankie, Ramiro, Eva and Ayden all of Seattle. DeAnna Karstens Lentz and (Matt) and Ken’s great granddaughter, Luna also of Seattle and Kellie Karstens and his great granddaughter, Saylor Ann (3 months) of Spokane. His grandson, Kenneth Lappen, was a well known Illusionist in Spokane and now is an Illusionist in Anaheim, California. He is also survived by his sisters, Glenda Carney of Llano, Texas, Elaine Roper and (Jack) of Anaheim, California; brother Jim Van Buskirk of Fort Bragg, California; and 13 nieces and nephews. There will be a Celebration of Life on Monday, June 12, 2017 from 3-5 p.m. at City Church, 1047 W. Garland Ave., Spokane, WA 99205. It is suggested that any gifts be made to Hospice of Spokane, 121 S. Arthur St., Spokane, WA 99202.
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