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Ken Wiltse

May 16, 2017

Kenneth Lee Wiltse passed away on May 16, 2017 – he will be forever loved and remembered by his family and friends that were so important to him. He is survived by the love of his life – his wife of 56 years, Peggy and their two sons and families: Jeffrey and Heidi with daughters Madeline, Charlotte, and Cassandra; Ross and Jenny with son Joey; and Rhonda’s son Grayson Hatfield. He is also survived by his brother Keith, and was preceded in death by his daughter Rhonda, and his parents Orville and Ruth.



Ken’s passing brings to an end a lifetime of work in the insurance industry that started as a local agent with Farmers Insurance in 1963 and continued for over 50 years until his retirement in 2014.


Ken stepped away from his insurance work in 1968 and spent ten years with the Institute of Cultural Affairs. Ken and Peggy used their passion for helping others to lead better lives through the word of God. That work took them across the U.S. and around the world, including stops in Seattle, Milwaukee, Chicago, Boston, and Singapore.


But Ken’s love and dedication for the insurance world and those that worked in it never left him and he returned in 1978 to continue that work. His legacy and final chapter was the founding of BGI Agency Network, a member and master agency of the Northwest region for SIAA.






I met Ken in 1970 at the Ithaca House (loosely related to the Ecumenical Institute) when I was pastor of the University Baptist Church. He was dedicated to church renewal and that conviction seemed to undergird his entire life. He and his family became part of the staff of the Seattle Religious House on Capitol Hill, a place I visited often. A few years later, 1974-75, I served with Ken, Peggy and Jeff and Ross on the staff of the Boston House of “E.I.” and the Institute of Cultural Affairs, where I worked closely with Ken.


Ken was a bright and knowledgeable person of faith who possessed the remarkable gift of combining idealism with clear-headed realism. He lived a belief in “A new heaven and a new earth” balanced with the understanding that down to the earth, hard-headed strategies, tactics and clear-eyed financial details and accountability were necessary for the success of any significant endeavor. He was the kind of person that any organization or community needs to make an impact, and hundreds were the beneficiaries of Ken’s wisdom and hopefulness.


For me, he was an illuminating light that will be sorely missed.

~~  George Lawson