My heart is broken. Some of the pieces can be put back together, but two gaping holes will always remain. Thank you so much for being here with us today – testimony to how much Quinn and Ken were loved and to how important they were in the fabric of our lives.

As you know, when Ken became interested in something, he pursued it full-tilt: poker, bridge, pool, skydiving, the stock market, scotch – I could go on and on. What you may not know is that one of Ken’s first interests was toilets. He wanted to know everything about how a toilet worked. Our parents took the top off the toilet tank, and Ken spent many hours studying how the ball went up and down. I am sure that Mom and Dad had a huge water bill during that phase.

He followed up by becoming interested in bowling alleys. He was fascinated by how the pins were knocked down, only to stand up again. So – Ken built a bowling alley in our basement.

The other day, I talked to our Cousin Kenneth, who is a little older than Ken. I hadn’t talked to him in years, and he was of course devastated to hear about the tragedy. He had many memories of Ken – they were known as Big Kenneth and Little Kenneth – and how smart he was. Cousin Kenneth said to me, "If you asked Ken for the time, he would tell you how to build a clock."

A couple of years ago, when we were visiting the Oswego State campus, Ken explained to me how he became interested in horses. During his undergraduate studies, he found to his chagrin that he would have to take physical education in order to graduate. Ever the thinker, Ken decided to look for a sport that did not require him to do all of the work. The natural choice was horseback riding – which then became a passion. Since Ken never did anything half way, he became not only an expert rider, but also an expert in the art of dressage. A highlight of our trip to Vienna some years back was our visit to the Spanish Riding School.

Ken did not consider himself a daredevil. For example, he really believed that skydiving was a safe sport. I, however, did not inherit that gene, but to prove that I was not a big chicken, I agreed to go up in the jump plane. Ken then explained that I would have to wear a parachute and take a quick lesson – just in case the pilot told everyone to bail out of the plane when we were not actually on the ground. Thus ended my jump plane career. But Ken never teased me, to his great credit.

One gene that we both inherited was the motion-sickness gene. But Ken never let it stop him. A couple of years ago, he and Quinn, with instructor pilots, played out a "dogfight" in the air. Ken knew what this type of flying would do to him, but he was undaunted – and merely took along a supply of airsick bags.

To Ken, family was everything – and he had many families. Our own family was small, but very close. Ken and I became even closer when we lost our parents at an early age. He always took care of me, even though I admit to being the older sibling.

We loved to get together with our cousins, and our aunt dubbed the group "the Wonderful Cousins." Ken loved all of you and treasured our time together. Thankfully, we were able to attend our Cousin Warren's wedding last April. Little did we know that it would be our last time together as a family, but I am grateful that it was a time of great joy.

The Curtis Avenue family was our extended family, and Ken was very proud of his association with "the street," as he called it. Ken and our neighbor, Martha Buell Andrews, spent untold hours putting together a Curtis Avenue reunion in 2000. Ken had just broken his ankle – shattered it, actually, since Ken never did anything in a small way – playing ice hockey, but he was there, cast and all. We had a wonderful time renewing our friendships with our Curtis Avenue neighbors and all of the honorary Curtis Avenue friends. We even toured our high school and, for old times' sake, staged a play in Donny Ball's garage. Thank you, Martha, for working with Ken on this project and for letting our Curtis Avenue family know about this tragedy.

After the reunion, Ken spent four years putting together the Curtis Avenue Reunion Retrospective. He agonized over getting it done, because he was so afraid that one of our older neighbors would pass away in the meantime. We finished it last spring, and Ken was so proud. How ironic it is that Ken is the one who left us.

When Doug and I started dating, the Peyton family immediately adopted Ken. Ken loved all of you and so enjoyed his visits to Florida and the Lake. We had such a nice time at the July reunion – and were already making plans for next year.
When Quinn started dating Christina, the Wiedmanns adopted Ken as well. He spent many happy hours at the farm – and enjoyed many turkey dinners. Thank you for adding so much happiness to Ken's life.

Ken's Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon family was the center around which his daily universe revolved. I can't begin to mention everyone who was so important to him. Words can't express how much you have all meant to Doug and to me, during our spring visits and of course during this time of incredible grief. You have given us unconditional love and support, and we will always be grateful. I hope that Ken and Quinn will be a bond among us so that we will always want to keep in touch.

Two years ago, Ken met Bette, who enriched his life with love and companionship. Thank you, Bette, for making Ken's last years so happy.

I cannot talk about families without mentioning our distance learning and Stuttgart families. When they heard the news, they were with us in our grief. Several of you are here today, and Doug and I are so very grateful.

Before I close today, I must say a few words about Quinn, my stepson and friend. We first met the year that Doug and I started dating. I was away at a conference when Quinn arrived. When I called Doug from the conference, Quinn answered, and I thought it was Doug. Quinn was so much like Doug in every way.

I had left my key with Doug so that he and Quinn would both have keys. When I returned from the conference, Doug and Quinn were not home, so I couldn’t get into the apartment. I climbed up onto the balcony and just relaxed until they returned. I knocked on the window, and Quinn opened the door – as if he were used to people appearing on the balcony. That was our introduction.

Quinn was just that way – he took everything in stride. We had great fun – traveling, playing tennis, learning the computer together, and just hanging out. Nothing fazed Quinn – even when I fried the burritos. We would go camping with the van and the tent, and he would always say, "Well, I guess it's my night in the tent."

Quinn got back at me last summer at the Lake. I asked him to take me for a ride on the nice, sedate pontoon boat, but he said that I would first have to take a ride on the very scary jet ski. Ken took me out for a ride. When he was by himself, he would go fifty miles per hour, but I insisted that my maximum was twelve. Ken gave me a nice ride, and I even drove the jet ski for a while. Then Quinn agreed to take me for a ride on the pontoon boat.

Quinn and Ken met when Quinn attended the University of Pittsburgh and stayed with Ken at his apartment for a semester. They hit it off immediately. We always joked that Quinn was the more mature of the two – and he was certainly the designated driver. More than friends, they took care of each other. When Ken broke his ankle, it was Quinn who called me and let me know about the surgery. Quinn and Christina took care of Ken while he was laid up, making sure that he was as comfortable as possible and had enough to eat.

Christina, you were the light of Quinn's life. He and Ken always called you "the lovely Christina," and I can’t think of a more fitting designation. You always took care of Ken, and I hope that our families will stay close.

As we say our farewells to the physical presences of Ken and Quinn, let us take comfort by vowing to keep them in our hearts and minds always. This tragedy has brought so many of us together today – and many more in spirit. As Quinn and Ken did until the end of their lives, let us stick together, keep in touch, and take care of each other.

The idea of parallel universes has fascinated me for the past few years. I like to think that in a parallel universe, far away from anything we can imagine, Ken and Quinn made it over that mountain pass into clear, calm skies and a gentle landing.

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