Kenneth Edward Rasberry
November 12, 1948 - May 29, 2023

Kenneth Edward Rasberry died the other day. Childhood-onset Revulsion finally  got him.

Kenny was a ninth generation North Carolinian [Bertie County, 1683], and a  second generation West Durham native, born on the 12th of November, 1948, in  Watts Hospital, at 4:22 AM, a Friday.

After his second round through Grey Stone Baptist Church Nursery School, he  gained in independence and responsibility, but it was at Club Boulevard  Elementary School that the Durham City School System’s benevolent, post  world-war philosophies began to take root. The Golden Rule, Waste Not, Want  Not, Resourcefulness, Altruism, Consideration of Others, Conservation of  Resources, the Scientific Method, Read Widely, The Enlightenment, Sound Mind  in a Sound Body, that boys were meant to be Gentlemen, Scholars & Athletes, To  Be Rather Than to Seem, and Critical Thinking were his guides.

At Brogden Junior High, he began teaching himself Russian [Spring of the  Seventh Grade], also playing in the School Band and Symphony, playing football,  in the Eighth and Ninth Grades.

He was invited by the Marine Corp to Quantico, Virginia, the summers after Ninth  and Tenth Grades, for scoring highest in the Marine Corp National Physical  Fitness Test.

At Durham High School, he played football, all three years, was President of the  Spanish National Honor Society, Chairman of the Internation Relations  Committee, and continued to study Russian. Early Acceptance to UNC, Spring of  Junior Year allowed him to work many hours of his Senior Year, after football  season, at the new, second-only in North Carolina, restaurant, McDonalds. With  his savings, he flew to Europe in 1967, just as the Israelis were launching a  convincing, preemptive attack against its neighbors.

Finland became his first world, after West Durham, from where he finally came  face to face with the Soviet Union and the mesmerizing White Nights of our  Subarctic World.

After hitch-hiking back across Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Northern  Germany, he was ready to enter UNC as a Russian Major.

At Carolina he was three and a half years a Language Lab Assistant, three years  a Photo Lab Instructor and University Photographer. During his Freshman Year,  he was a founding member of the UNC Men’s Gymnastics Team.

Summer, after his Sophomore Year, he was chosen for The Experiment in  International Living’s stay in the Soviet Union, when the first Moon Landing  transpired.

Upon graduating from Carolina, his II-S draft exemption expired, making him  Draft Eligible I-A.

At the Defence Language Institute West Coast in Monterey, California, he  finished the twelve-month program in Czech Language with Honors, in nine  months and proceeded to San Angelo, Texas for an Air Force course in Voice  Intercept.

Once in Germany, he managed to be invited to join the staff at the United States  Army Institute for Advance Russian & East European Studies, in Garmisch Partenkirchen. After three years there, he was Honorably Discharged and  headed for Graduate School, in Eugene, Oregon.

Before Mount St. Helen’s propelled him out of Oregon, back to Durham, he lived  several months in the North of Thailand with the family of a Durham High School  Foreighn Exchange Student, Montri. If travel is the highest form of education,  Asia did it for Kenny.

He wanted Thai to be his sixth foreign language, but it was harder than Classical  Greek at Carolina by magnitudes; couldn’t make it.

At Duke, he worked for an epidemiologist in the Cancer Center, was Systems  Manager for the Women’s Clinic, was assistant Coach for the Women’s  Gymnastics Team and had a Saturday morning radio program at WXDU.

He is preceded in death by his sober, very humorous and very affectionate  parents, who left him within thirty days of each other, in 2005, obliterating two thirds of his dictionary.

He leaves a son, Isaac, grandson Oliver and granddaughter Ezra.

He did handstands into his late 60s, a pull-up into his 70s, and stayed flexible  enough to do one-legged scales.

He enjoyed his forty-five years of German motorcycling on two continents,  immensely.

He would like to thank two other Durham natives for their life-long, enduring, fun  friendship, Jimmy Holloway and Robert Rosenstein.

Music!

Female Planet

Beauty reigns

Man’s World

Ugly wins


2 Comments

  • Sarah Vann Wyne Posted June 19, 2023 10:20 pm

    Dear Isaac, Oliver and Ezra – I was saddened to read of your father’s/grandfather’s leaving you so soon. I went to school with Kenny, starting at Brogden Junior High and finishing with him at Durham High. I remember thinking, what in the world is he ever going to do with that Russian he was always speaking? Little did I know. Kenny was more than just smart. He was always kind, considerate, thoughtful, and, if I may say so, quite good looking. May your memories of him always bring you joy.
    I am one of the few that still gets a newspaper delivered. This is how I learned of his death.

    Sarah Vann is who he knew. Now Sarah Wyne

  • Kevin Brown Posted July 12, 2023 8:15 pm

    I met Kenny thru Sylvia and Rubin. He used to drive an old black Mercedes. Hooked back up with him a couple years ago at Ocean Isle. Used to visit every couple weeks. We shared the same interests in indoor gardening. LOL


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