Kenneth Thomas Mistler, July 29, 1940 to December 27, 2017
Kenneth Thomas Mistler passed away Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, at St. Vincent’s hospital from complications after heart surgery. He was surrounded by his wife, his daughter and his two sisters.
Ken was born at the original location of that same hospital July 29, 1940, to Marie Cecelia Rasmussen, daughter of Danish immigrant Andy Rasmussen, and his wife, Birdie. He would be followed by sisters, Cindy and Eilleen and brothers, Walter, Terry and Ted, in that order. Kenneth’s father for most of his life was his mother’s second husband, Phillip J. Mistler.
Ken and his brothers and sisters grew up in the Garden Home and Metzger areas, attending Garden Home Grade School and Beaverton High School. For much of high school, he worked at the Chevron service station owned by his uncles, Paul and Wilbur Rasmussen, which still stands at the intersection of Hwy. 99 and 217.
He was the first person in his family to attend college, putting himself through Portland State University as the nighttime manager of the downtown YMCA. It was while working at the YMCA that he met his first wife, the nighttime switchboard operator and a fellow student at PSU, Kathy Simer, with whom he had one child, a daughter named Mickey, born in 1967.
After PSU, they worked hard to put him through Lewis & Clark Law School, where he was one of the founding editors of the first environmental law review in the country. He would sometimes show people the letter he received from President Nixon commending him on this achievement.
Kenneth received a special dispensation from the Oregon State Bar to start working as a Deputy District Attorney for Washington County before he’d actually had a chance to take the bar exam, which he said really put the pressure on to pass it (which he did).
Prosecuting criminals was rewarding, but emotionally grueling work. He often described his job as mostly prosecuting men for hurting their wives, girlfriends and children. Eventually, he decided to quit the law and went into real estate, founding his own real estate brokerage, Oregon First, which he grew to one of the largest in the state.
It was at Oregon First that Kenneth met and married his second wife, Mary Louise Monahan, over 27 years ago. With her, he shares four more children, 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, all of whom he loved very much.
Kenneth was buried in a private ceremony at the same cemetery as both his sets of grandparents. He will be greatly missed for his sense of humor; his desire to learn from others and to share his knowledge with them; his commitment to doing the right thing, even when it’s difficult; and most of all, his kindness.