Ken Waldie was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston on September 11th, 2001. He leaves behind his wife Carol, 3 sons: Andrew, Jeffrey and Jonathan “JT”… and his daughter Meredith along with his brother Jack and his 3 sisters: Jane, Mary Louise and Grace.
Ken’s life touched many people. This was shown by the turnout at his Memorial Service, estimated at 1,500 people. He was the type of guy who always saw the bright side of things and was the first to offer encouragement and find something positive to say.
While attending Bethel Park High School, Ken participated in several activities, including track, student council, Junior Class Vice-President and NHS, but it was swimming where he excelled. After participating in the AAU/youth program from the age of eight (8), he went on to swim for the Varsity Swim Team for four years. His senior year he was tri-Capitan of the team and led by example with his strong competitive attitude. The team earned the WPIAL Championship by one point, with Kenny swimming and placing in three events.
His personal accomplishments were many. The team leader, he graduated with several pool records. At the WPIAL Meet, Ken finished 2nd in the 100-yard freestyle, 3rd in the 400-yard freestyle relay, and 4th in the 50-yard freestyle. At the PIAA State Championships, Kenny earned All-State honors in the 50 Yard Freestyle.
After graduation, he accepted an Appointment to the United States Naval Academy. He continued his swimming career at this level and also participated in Brigade boxing and intramurals. His personality and leadership enabled him to be voted class president each of his four years -something in the rich tradition of the academy that had never been accomplished. His classmates continued to vote Ken president of the 1978 alumni group until he relinquished it in 1999.
He fulfilled his military commitment, with a five-year tour that included Australia and the States.
With his mathematics degree from the USNA, he accepted a job with Raytheon Corporation. He was a dedicated employee who taught classes to less experienced co-workers and won numerous work awards. He obtained his Masters Degree from Northeastern University, graduating first in his class. Keeping his family a priority, he was known to pick promotions that would not effect his time at home. As impressive as these achievements were, it did not come close to what he accomplished in his personal life. Ken was the Director of Methuen Youth Basketball, active in the Little League Baseball Program and refereed AAU Basketball.
He gave respect and easily earned it. Words like leader, champion, and inspirational are used over and over in the tributes to him. He treated everyone the same, whether it was a one-time meeting or an on going friendship. The sight or mention of his name would always bring a smile.
Ken will forever be in our thoughts and in our hearts.
“Do your best and trust in God”