Escott, Capt. Kenneth Gordon

May 24, 1936 – December 12, 2018
at the age of 82 years

After a long and difficult illness, Ken left us peacefully on December 12, 2018 in Salmon Arm, B.C.  He leaves to mourn his brother Harry (Oresia) of Montreal, sister Kathleen Prince (Hayward) of Winnipeg, son Christopher (Lindsey) of Edmonton, daughter Laurie of Edmonton, grandsons Kyle and Owen, and granddaughter Justine. He is also survived by his sister-in-law France Brown and her husband Doug and sister in law Alice Hastings plus numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Iris, his first wife Joan and his second wife Marie-Paule.
Ken was born in Winnipeg to Fred and Agnes (Chambers) Escott. From his earliest years, he always knew what he wanted to do for a living – he wanted to fly. 
He realized his dream. His first jobs were bush flying, where he had some hair-raising adventures. In time, as one of Canada’s earliest water bomber pilots, he progressed to water bombing, flying Canso’s. His career then took him to Midwest Airlines, Transair, and Canadian Airlines, from which he retired as Captain of Boeing 737s. He was proud of being a “by the book” pilot.
Ken was a kind, modest man. He didn’t often talk about his adventures, but when we could get him going he’d often laugh till the tears ran down his face. We urged him to write his memoirs, to no avail. 
Ken loved being surrounded by family, so much so that, when he’d visit out-of-town relatives, rather than stay in a hotel, he preferred to cram his 6’4″ frame onto someone’s too-short sofa. His love of family was further evidenced by the generosity he showed in playing tour guide to multiple family members, young and old, in his favourite place, Hawaii. It was his happy place. 
France and Doug, you are both so special. Whatever would we have done without you? Those innumerable trips, first to Kelowna, then to Salmon Arm in rain, shine, or snow; all those doctor visits; taking care of business affairs, plus a million so-called “little things” that made such a difference to Ken, and to us – you’ll never know how much they meant.
No service, by request. In lieu of flowers, donations to Parkinson Canada would be appreciated.

19 Comments

  1. We’ve just landed in Kelowna to say goodbye and spend the last bit of time with my amazing grandfather. The closest thing to a father I’ve ever had. The memories with you I’ll forever hold close to my heart, I was always so proud to be your grandaughter, you were a very hard working man, father & the best pilot ♥️

    I’ll never forget the sandwiches you would make, I was always too scared to tell you I didn’t like them so I flushed them down the toilet, all our shopping trips, camping (glamping) in your RV & 5th wheel. I remember standing on your feet and you walking me around cause you’re so fricken tall. You knew exactly how I liked my tea as a child half water half honey… thanks for also supporting my obsession with chocolate milk, All our galaxy land dates were too much fun and I’ll never forget them, road trips blasting ABBA and singing together. I love you, I love you, I love you sooo very much ♥️

    R.I.P Grandpa Dec,12 2018.

  2. My dad: Kenneth Gordon Escott

    My daughter and I were at his bedside when he peacefully passed away early in the morning of December 12, 2018. My dad was known affectionately as the “gentle giant.” He was a man of few words but still loved sharing his stories of flying and of what childhood was like back in the 40’s. He instilled in my daughter and I an incredible work ethic and so many morals and values. He was always whistling, singing, humming and my friends used to always comment on how peaceful and kind he was when we were young and they would come over to visit. He built a beautiful life with my mother (who passed away in 1992) and they had always shared their love of Hawaii with friends and family and openly welcomed them to their piece of paradise. After my mom passed my dad took on the role of my daughter’s only grandparent. He and my daughter shared a special bond that she will hold in her heart forever. It was through this grandpa-granddaughter relationship that highlighted his unconditional love, his patience, his humor and his playfulness to me and had me eternally grateful for having him in our lives. He recently told me how proud he was of me as I embarked on my graduate studies at university. Since my dad was someone who didn’t openly share feelings I understand how tricky this may have been for him to express and will forever hold that conversation close to my heart. However, he always told us that he loved us and showed us in many different ways. He was a dedicated, loving, kind, funny man and he will be missed.

    I want to also acknowledge the support that his sister-in-law, France, provided to him and our family these last few years. She went above and beyond and my dad and the rest of us never had enough words to fully express our gratitude. Some people are truly angels on this earth; my mom was one and France is another. Thank you, France. We are forever grateful and indebted to you. Thank you as well to the other kind souls that also cared for my dad in his last years: the staff at Orchard Manor, Shuswap Lodge and St. Ida Mews. Every time my daughter and I would visit my dad we were always blown away by your patience and your kindness; thank you.

  3. Ken – you were the relative we always looked forward to your visits
    we had a lot of good times – you were the best brother-in-law/uncle/great uncle
    most of all such a loving friend to all of us

    Rest in peace my friend – you made our world nicer miss you – love you Alice

  4. Butch Styve…………

    Kenneth, I don’t think anyone ever found your parka hood !!!!

    Say Hi to “Pete The Rat”…………..

  5. It’s over 30 years since I last flew with Ken, but I remember him as clearly being the person whom his daughter and granddaughter have described: for he had the same calm demeanour in the cockpit. We flew together on the B-737, out of the Winnipeg base and also from Edmonton. After that our paths did not cross very often. we shared a common background in bush flying, and spent much time comparing notes on the various operators and our fellow “drivers”. A few good stories were passed back and forth, with many a good laugh. They were good times, and I always looked forward to a day with Ken.

    Sadly and sincerely,

    Capt. Rick Lovelace (retired)

  6. Ken and I retired from Canadi>n Airlines the same day.
    We had had many good flights together.
    You will be greatly missed my friend.
    Rest In Peace!

  7. Ken was a great guy to fly with…you never missed an item on the checklist. Have a smooth ride and fair tail winds!
    Doug and Sue Robertson

  8. Always enjoyed flying with you Ken. You were forever a gentlemen.
    Rest In Peace my friend.

  9. Sorry to hear of Kens passing. We both flew for Pete back in the sixties.

  10. I didn’t know Ken well enough to say we were good friends, but I did meet him at brief intervals of passing through the years. We first.met in Norway House a number of times when he was flying the Canso and later in Winnipeg then Edmonton and of course Vancouver. He always had time to say hello and a brief short story of what was going on. He was a good pilot and a good man who will be missed.
    Goodbye Ken

  11. I flew with Ken many many times. He had a sense of humor that grew on you. So wickedly dry but funny as hell. I respected Ken and the experience that he brought to the cockpit was immense. He will be missed rest in peace Ken

  12. I always remember Uncle Ken from when he would fly into Montreal and spend the weekend (when I was a kid.) He had interesting stories from from his trips all over the world. We would do touristy things that weekend and eat at Gibby’s. It was nice to have the whole family all together for a few days. I’ll never forget that.

    I’ll miss him.

    All the best to Chris and Lorie.

  13. What sad news brings the loss of such a wonderful person. When I was a child, I wanted to be a pilot, just like Uncle Ken. He learned of this and arranged for me to fly with him on a commercial flight from Winnipeg up to Thompson, Manitoba. I rode in the jump seat, in the cockpit. What a thrill! Yes, those were the pre-9-11 days. How could any young boy ever forget that? My cousin was jealous of this and so Uncle Ken arranged to take him on a helicopter ride.

    I also recall his stories as a bush pilot. Many of these are still etched in my mind.

    Uncle Ken was kind and generous. He will be greatly missed.

    My deepest sympathies to all the family, especially my cousins Chris and Lorie.

  14. I visited Ken many times in the last 6 months and I am saddened by his passing. Even with his challenges, he was able to pass on some stories of his flying, his dog, his love for Hawaii, and his love for his children, and his feelings for Justine were parent/child. I am glad he is now flying free of pain and restriction. Our last visit was very special and I am thankful for that. For the family, I know you will remember him in vibrant and happy times! Peace be with you, Ken!

  15. Uncle Ken was a soft spoken, kind and generous man. I was always transfixed by his stories as a bush pilot, water bomber pilot and commercial pilot – like the time his bush plane went through the ice, “the hood incident”, “Pete the Rat” and many others. I will always remember how he generously arranged for me and my cousins to have a helicopter ride in a Jet Ranger. What a thrill. As a kid, he patiently answered my many flying questions and added a whole new dimension to travel. For me, knowing what was going on in the cockpit, made flying part of the travel adventure.
    In later years, it was always a highlight whenever Ken and his siblings converged at my parents place in Winnipeg for a visit. As gallons of tea were consumed and stories told, it wasn’t long before tears of laughter were streaming down everyone’s faces. So many happy memories. We will miss him dearly.

  16. begining in july 1969 til ken’s retirement flight that landed at the muni gate 2 i had the privelege to ride shot gun maintenance with ken on the canso and dc3 aircraft with midwest in wpg. the canso landing in wpg and with frozen brakes and taxi from north terminal into the viscount was only one of two stories i could tell. from me he earned the nickname “rickoshot” because of a couple of bumpy landing on the dc3 which was out of character for grease it in ken; when he taxied in for the day regardless which a/c he was flying if he was happy his standard answer to me “don’t touch it”
    thanks for all the safe rides ken.

  17. Fallen Limb

    A limb has fallen from the family tree.
    I keep hearing a voice that says ‘Grieve not for me’.
    Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.
    The good life I lived while I was strong.
    Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you.
    Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.
    My mind is at ease, my body is at rest.
    Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.
    Continue traditions, no matter how small.
    Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls.
    I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.
    Until the day comes we’re together again.

    Author Unknown

  18. Time has passed. The reality that a man I admired and respect will never grace our stages again. Like my Father, I’m not a man who conveys thoughts nor emotions often. As Son and Father we were not close. We knocked heads more than once.That said, he did give me several gifts along life’s pathway. The love of travel to many destinations unknown. The tropics with it’s sights, senses and sweet aromas abounding. The love of living and growing things. As a kid I groaned when he would say” hey look at the ….”I now embrace those things he told me to look at. I’m so thankful I did. Gardens full of roses at the McEchearn ‘s place every summer when I’d tend the yard for them. My first sip of Canadian in that yard at 11 years old. ….Several trips with him in the jump seat to Florida and Seattle. The best being seeing him fly his last route into Edmonton on his retirement flight.His love of old radio and the machines to listen to them on. And so much more I won’t expound on here. For all these things I thank you Dad. With Love and God’s speed.

  19. I loved flying with Ken on 737’s in Edmonton.
    We both retired on the same day.
    Rest In Peace Ken.
    Bob Barry

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