Kenneth R. Quarles

Kenneth R. Quarles, a longtime resident of Mercer Island, died peacefully on April 14, 2009. He was born near Richmond, Va., on April 17, 1922, and is survived by his wife of 50 years, Margaret Engstrom Quarles, and a nephew, John Weiss, of Scottsdale, Ariz. Mr. Quarles retired from the Alaska Steamship Company, where he worked for most of his life except for time spent in the Air Force in WWII and Korea, serving as a navigator and bombardier. Mr. Quarles was very proud of being a veteran and having been able to support his country.

After retiring, Mr. Quarles and his wife continued to fully enjoy their lives in the Puget Sound area by sailing extensively on Lake Washington and in the San Juan Islands, and by participating in many Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club activities. He also became interested in genealogy and participated in a research study that traced his family heritage back to the medieval village of Querueles in Norfolk County, England. While proud of his more current Southern heritage, he delighted in this historical study as well.

In 2006, Ken and Margaret generously entered into an agreement with Mercer Island to transfer a large piece of their property adjacent to Pioneer Park to be exclusively used for parks and recreation by all of the Island’s residents. In recognition of their generosity, Ken and Margaret were named the 2006 Citizens of the Year by the city of Mercer Island, and appeared as Grand Marshals in the Summer Celebration parade in 2007. Many of Mr. Quarles’ family and friends turned out to help him celebrate this occasion.

Mr. Quarles will be missed by his family and close friends for his generosity and support, and his special humor that made so many people appreciate his many good qualities.

A celebration of Mr. Quarles’ life will be held at a later date at his home on Mercer Island.