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Ken Lindbloom - A Community Leader and Man of Values Passes.

By Raymond Smith
Staff Writer / SouthernOregonNews.com
(reprinted by permission)

Medford, Oregon. Ken Lindbloom, well known community leader and media personality passed away Wednesday, May 26th at home after a long illness. Ken Lindbloom was my friend for the last 20 years. His passing is news, but it is more than that, and this will help the reader understand the man and his significance both to the community and to everyone he come in contact with.

Ken grew up a "military brat". His father was an U.S. Air Force officer, a veteran of WWII and with his family he moved around as military families do through his childhood.

An achiever, Ken undertook to excel in college, and joined ROTC where he became the battalion commander and was selected to represent the United States ROTC in Norway as a member of the drill team.

Ken grew up in the South, and graduated high school in 1965 at the height of the civil rights movement. His high school graduating class was the first integrated class. He heard Martin Luther King speak, and the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March passed just blocks from his home.

He served a two year mission for the LDS Churchin the central United States and worked extensively with native Americans during that time. Shortly after returning from his mission he married Sherri Graham, and they were married 37 years at the time of his death.

Ken always had an interest in law enforcement. His college degrees (3) were in the field of criminology, culminating with a Masters degree from SOU in 1987. He worked as a police officer in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Oregon until a on the job injury ended the physical side of police work for him.

After having to give up police work, he continued to express his interest through committee service in the community relating to law enforcement and in his personal collection of hundreds of die cast models of police cars from all over the world and listing on a police scanner to what was going on in town.

The need to support a growing family led Ken to the financial markets, and he became a securities dealer in 1978 putting in twenty one years before retiring in 1999.

Ken was always a involved community member, aside from a active involvement in the service rendered through his church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) he served on many boards, committees, and chaired events like the Rogue Valley International Air Show. In his own mind his major contribution to the community was time spent on the Medford School Board.

Ken was an early "Rush Limbaugh" in the Medford radio market. He hosted a talk show for eight years and contributed to several other shows. His talk show format was popular and I often appeared on his show, before his support led to my hosting a show of my own in the mid 90's. The show he began evolved into the Morning Show with Rose and Garth Harrington on KCMX radio, which continues to this day. His conservatively oriented views were always consistent and well reasoned. He had little tolerance for fools, but gave everyone a chance to express their views.

His life was not a storybook existence. From the time of his injury as a police officer, health was an issue for Ken. Health was a major contributing factor when he retired from work in 1999. Despite substantial physical difficulties which only worsened over the last few years, Ken maintained an indomitable spirit.

He had the assurance of his faith, but also had a resolution of having lived a good life with no great regrets. I never saw him depressed, or complaining about his health, even when it was apparent that it made things difficult for him or that his the time was short.

While many take pride in their accomplishments, there is but one accomplishment, of all that he had done, which made Ken a truly happy man. That was his family. Father of eight children, now sixteen grandchildren, and no doubt more to come, Ken reveled in the accomplishments, joys and sorrows of his children.

Ken and Sherri raised her children to be contributing citizens and they have all fulfilled his dreams and wishes for them. They are business men, soldiers, fathers and mothers, addressing seriously the responsibilities of life with joy in their own families. The legacy he leaves as a public servant and man of values and firm beliefs will be forgotten but the legacy of Ken Jr., Stephanie, Ed, Shelly, Sara, Sydney, Robert, and Stacy will live on.

I talked to Ken frequently, but more frequently we e-mailed back and forth as my busy schedule made face to face visits difficult. He perused the internet and passed on many articles of interest, of humor, or just something that had caught his eye. He sent pictures of the grandchildren of whom he was so fond. I have watched them grow in his pictures. I have missed receiving these the last few weeks as his illness worsened, and will miss that into the future. As I begin my daily ritual at the keyboard, and punch up the e-mail, it won't be as complete or satisfying without Ken's contributions.

When some one passes it always causes us to take a moment to think about that person and their impact on our lives. I have done that and have concluded that life won't be quite as vibrant, and my pool of friends won't be quite as complete, and my resources for someone who can advise and just listen won't be as well staffed as it was before Ken's passing. We have lost a man of values, but he has left a legacy.

 


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