Kenneth Mason Waugh passed away early Christmas morning. His ordeal with Melanoma began four years ago and resurfaced in June of this year. He chose an aggressive form of trial treatment to combat the disease unsuccessfully.
He was born the eldest son of Kip and Jean Waugh of New Braintree on March 31, 1946. He attended North Brookfield High School then went on to Wesleyan College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He enlisted in the Army in 1966 in an attempt to choose his position over being drafted. Ken served in Vietnam until 1969 as a medic. Upon his return he enrolled in Mass General School of Nursing and post graduation, he began his nursing career at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, MA, where he worked for thirty-nine years; it is said that he never missed a day of work throughout his career. He was a night nurse working the eleven to seven shift yet he almost always arrived at eight to do paperwork and remained after his shift to finish the paperwork – Ken felt his time with the patients was that important. For years the tributes of his nursing and care were expressed by many people. Much of his time and love was given to his church family, which was made visible by the Monday night suppers that he was a big part of. His garden and his generosity seemed to blend together in this gathering of friends and church members.
Ken loved to garden and make maple syrup. Most of the hours spent in the garden next to the sugar house were filled with him listening to the Red Sox games on his portable radio. A sports enthusiast all his life, he enjoyed playing hockey and was a life long Red Sox fan. If you spoke with him, you would get his personal take on the game as well as a deep historical knowledge of the sport; hitting was his favorite part of the game. Years of games at Fenway Park exposed Ken to the great players of baseball. He was thrilled at the World Series victories but felt great joy in his own opinion, of seeing the two greatest hitters in baseball, “Ted Williams from the left and Manny from the right”.
When Ken was young, his dream was to be a history teacher. His medical career changed this dream yet spending time with Ken was always a history lesson. He was a teacher in the garden and in his sap house. Many adults and children passed through his world and he took the opportunity to teach or reach them all some way. His sharp and intelligent wit was always evident in his jokes and sense of humor. Ken was constantly asking funny little questions that you would ponder for a moment and then, he would break the tension with a clever punch line. Ken also leaves behind a very special friend in the Philippines. He was a caring, generous, and giving person-all who knew him would attest to this. His presence on earth will be missed.
Kenny, you are loved by all. Ken has chosen to be a gift donor to the Tuft’s Anatomical Program thus; there will be no calling hours. A memorial service is planned for January 9th at 11 a.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 90 Main St., Worcester. Contributions to honor Ken, can be sent to a scholarship named the Waugh Cookie Fund in care of St. Vincent Credit Union 123 Summer St., Worcester, MA 01608. They may also be sent to the Monday Night Supper Group at the First Unitarian Church, 90 Main St., Worcester, MA 01608.