Kenyon “Ken” Harold Trout

Kenyon “Ken” Harold Trout, 83, father of long time Mason Valley News/Leader-Courier reporter Keith Trout, died on July 5 in Modesto, Ca. due to complications of colon cancer surgery.

He was born on July 21, 1933, in Los Angeles to Charles Harold and Catherine Wolf Soemo. The family moved to Altadena when he was young. He suffered tragedy early in life as his father died in an automobile accident that also resulted in serious injuries to his older sister Margaret. Another sister died in a backyard accident before he was born. Ken was later adopted by his stepfather.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Margaret (Return) Moore (2015) and his wife Frances (2014).

Ken attended schools in Altadena and Pasadena and later earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1955. Just days after graduation he married his first wife, Mary, with whom he had five children. He played football, basketball and baseball during high school and played football and baseball at UCSB.

Ken began his love of the mountains, climbing in the San Gabriel mountains near his home as a boy. During college he enjoyed working summers in Yosemite, enhancing that love.

After earning his BA, Kenyon attended graduate school at San Jose State, earning a master’s in psychology. He then began his teaching career in Hayward before moving to his beloved mountains in 1958, living initially in Twain Harte, when he began at Sonora High School. He coached football for 20 years with the late Bud Castle and also coached basketball. During his early years teaching he served as manager of Twain Harte Lake.

Ken then moved closer to Sonora when his oldest daughter entered high school. He married fellow SHS teacher Frances in 1977.

Ken retired from SHS in 1988, after which he began contract work with truant teens with his long-time friend, the late Bob Buck. He then spent about 20 summers working as a painter at his beloved Kennedy Meadows.

In 2015, he married Janet Welbourn Rawe, whom he first met in junior high school in Pasadena, and moved to Modesto.

Ken is survived by his wife Janet and her family; eight children: Colleen (Jay) Trout of Colorado; Jerry (June) Fitch of Oklahoma; Karin (Dan) Baldwin of Turlock; Karen (Matt) Kuhlman of Sacramento; Keith (Teri) Trout of Nevada; Kelly (Anthony) Mena of Moccasin; Gary (Mary) Fitch of Missouri; and Kenyon (Cindy) Trout of Utah; 26 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and his first wife Mary Fitch of Sonora.

A graveside service will be held on August 10 and a celebration of life is scheduled for 3 p.m. Aug. 10 at Kennedy Meadows. The family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society or to Sonora High School for a scholarship in his name.

4 thoughts on “Kenyon “Ken” Harold Trout

  • Fayma Gray Fulkerson

    My favorite teacher for Senior Problems ,1963. Very insightful and helpful.

  • Keith Trout

    I believe my father really enjoyed the senior problems class although it was discontinued later as it wasn’t offered by that name by the time I got into Sonora High in mid ’70s. Thanks for your comment.

  • Carl Murry

    Coach Trout is a friend I will always remember. The Sonora High faculty was a special group of friends in those days … helping each other on weekends …. Friday night after game parties …. “Sportsmen of Sonora” (SOS club at Melonies) …. Strategy and game planning with Bud, Ken, Guff, Buck, Hoot, Jerry at Joes Office …. Seminars at Kennedy Meadows,……so many good times!

  • Bob Carroll

    I worked with Ken during the summers in Yosemite. He had a job as a porter which was hard to get as a temp. He knew my wife at that time Ruth Meairs. Always very professional. He was a best man at my wedding and we kept in touch for a while until we both got busy raising families. Had several fun times interacting with tourists and employees. Like Ken I kept on loving the outdoors and backpacking all over the Sierras. Trips up Mt Rainer, and in Alaska. I had taken several trips to Kennedy Meadows and wish we knew Ken liked the area. The reason I am writing this is that my granddaughter asked for a picture of Ruth and I at our wedding, and then noticed Kenspicture. Sorry about his passing as he was a talented, ethical and humorous friend.


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