Kenneth Thomas Mistler obituary

Kenneth Thomas Mistler, July 29, 1940 to December 27, 2017

Kenneth Thomas Mistler

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.

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2 Responses to Kenneth Thomas Mistler obituary

  1. Mickey Lindsay says:

    This is from Mickey, Ken’s daughter — He would be pleased to know you put him in your newsletter. He was an avid reader of it, and would sometimes give me articles from it since I live in the house he helped his father build on 78th off Garden Home Rd.

  2. So great to see this! Dad was a big fan of the Garden Home History project. I was just forwarded today this email he sent to his brothers and sisters:

    “I am forwarding you some history after viewing the formerly forwarded piece from the Garden Home Historical Group which spoke of two people in my eighth grade and freshman school past.

    1951: William Logan, future principal, first hired as teacher and JV coach. Enrollment is 898 at the time.

    Mr. Logan started me at second base in our first game of the season in 1954 as a freshman. In those days freshman who were brilliant athletes were not allowed to play on the varsity, not that this was holding me back on the JV team. But it held Mickey Sinerud, an all-star in every sport, back. He was starting at shortstop. He was later signed as a bonus baby into professional baseball where he played for the next twelve years. This was the only organized baseball game I ever played and it was with an audience, since we were playing the Fredrickson (their father was a famous Brooklyn Dodger in the 30’s) Tigard team. Tigard became the state champions in baseball. I committed 3 errors in the second inning. Logan had to pull me off the field. Bill Logan had been a Marine sergeant in WWII during the invasion of two islands. One of those islands was Iwo Jima. He had a very gruff way with him.

    Mr. Gustafson, my eighth grade school teacher, was a star athlete (halfback) at OSU back in the early WWII years and thereafter served in the war. Bobby Day was our top athlete in my eight grade class. For the last half the day I went downstairs to the basement with what were not called the nerds in those days for advanced studies and the athletic kids stayed upstairs. I was the second string quarterback behind Bobby; the second string point guard behind Bobby; and started at second base on the softball team while Bobby was the shortstop.

    The principal of the grade school , Mr. Erickson, had been a spotter on an unarmed plane when the Japanese Kama Kazis attacked the American fleet off Okinawa in the last battle of WWII. He couldn’t go back to his carrier because anything in the sky was shot at by some very nervous sailors. I think instead he landed on the beaches of Okinawa in a controlled crash.

    1955: Article about Dorothy Johnson, Miss Oregon, runner-up to Miss America, was a resident of Garden Home. (Hummer 2/4/1955) She married someone in LA after some movie and TV work.

    She lived in a house on Garden Home Road with her parents located where the apartments now stand with addresses in the 7200s to 7400s. That year I drove her to downtown Portland in my ‘49 Mercury coup with a hopped up 1951 Mercury motor that was all customized interior and exterior. I may have had a learners permit to drive at that time. This was the beginning of my infamous womanizing years. (You bet!)

    Ah, what memories! They are always better than the real thing except when they are about my failures.


    You who have some attachment to the Garden Home past might ask to be included in Shreve’s e-mails. She constantly gets old pictures and people’s recollections of the past Garden Home.

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