What’s New

January 18, 2018

We are sad to report that long-time Rambler and devoted dancer Ken Vannice has passed away.

Before his passing, Ken wrote his own obituary:

“Kenneth E. Vannice, 74, died on January 15th, 2018 in Portland, Oregon of cancer complications.

He was born on January 2, 1944 to Daniel Bratschi Vannice and Catherine Asimos Vannice in Bozeman, Montana, where he grew up. After graduation from Bozeman schools and Montana State University he moved to Los Angeles, California to work as an Electrical Engineer for a stage and studio lighting company. In 1996 he followed his profession to Portland, Oregon.

Vannice was a member of Gallatin Lodge No. 6 AF&AM of Bozeman, Montana, the Pacific NW Railway Historical Society of Portland, Oregon and both the Rosetown Ramblers and Heads to the Center square dance clubs of Portland. He was active in codes and standards work through the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), of which he was a Fellow. Vannice was also active in establishing a certification program for entertainment electricians through the Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP).

He is preceded in death by his parents, step brothers, step sister, aunts, and uncles. He is survived by many cousins including H. Lee Vannice of Corvallis, Oregon. He is also survived by his friend and adopted family, Lila Stephens and her husband Bryan Ackler.

Services will be held in Bozeman, Montana and a Celebration of Ken’s life will be held in Portland in February. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Behind the Scenes charity or the charity of your choice.”

To this we will add that Ken made innumerable, valuable contributions to the Rosetown Ramblers, including his dedicated and trustworthy service as Treasurer and his work with lights for our annual Scares and Squares fly-in. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of trains, and he enlivened many a Ramblers Board meeting with animated accounts of his various railroad adventures. For years, Ken was a fixture as a square dance angel on Wednesday nights at the Ankeny Studio, and we imagine him continuing his angelic pursuits as he embarks on this next adventure.