Kenneth Cole White was born May 16, 1961, in Roundup, MT to Chuck and Marian White. Ken’s childhood was spent on the family ranch with his three siblings. The highlight of his youth was learning to ranch with his dad, an experience that would shape much of his future. During his college years in Powell, WY, Ken played drums and sang in a western band and met and fell in love with Gwen. They were married in 1983 in Kalispell, and together they settled in West Valley where they raised their girls and loved their life together. In recent years, they purchased their quaint log cabin on Ashley Lake where they confirmed that the size of the home has nothing to do with how much joy can be created. While his family always came first, Ken also cherished the relationships he built during his career in real estate and his community service through the Daybreak Rotary Club, the West Valley School Board, the Flathead Farm Mutual board, and in the ring at the annual 4-H/FFA Livestock sale.
Ken was a man who never wasted a day in his life. He worked hard and played hard. He routinely went out of his way to help others, and he rarely met a problem he couldn’t “MacGyver” a fix for. He loved openly and passionately. His family and music gave him the greatest joy. He worked so hard to create special moments and wonderful memories with his four grandchildren and the rest of his family. He left us knowing how much he was loved.
Quite the welcoming party awaited him in heaven on March 4 including his parents, many beloved relatives, and his dog Waylon. Those he left behind will miss him dearly including his wife Gwen; daughter Katie Pfennigs (Bobby); daughter Mandy Pokorny (Ryan); grandchildren Lea and Beau Pfennigs and Decker and Charlie Pokorny; sister Lindy Anderson (Jerry), sister Barb Graham (Steve), brother Bob White (Laura), father-in-law Ed Heiser (Donna), and many other family members and friends.
Ken’s relationship with everyone was unique and genuine. He was recently described as someone who made those around him “feel invited.” That couldn’t be more true. If you knew him, you felt invited to join in all the best parts of him: his family, his passions, his community.In that spirit, you are invited to help us celebrate Ken on Tuesday, April 5 at the Flathead County Fairgrounds Expo Building in Kalispell.
Everyone who loved him is welcome to join us between 4 and 6 p.m. in your boots and jeans. Together we will remember this great man, honor a life well-lived, and send up a toast to our cowboy at 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rotary Club of Kalispell Daybreak Foundation or the Samaritan House. The family has asked for favorite stories and photos of Ken to be sent to ToastOurCowboy@gmail.com.