Kenneth Pulliam

Kenneth Pulliam

Created by: Lee Pulliam

Ken had a logical mind, a musical bent, artistic talent, a generous spirit and a delicious sense of humor. A strong believer in education and a life-long learner, he was intolerant only of willful ignorance. He had a beautiful baritone voice and sang and acted with various amateur theater groups. In school he played the baritone horn and later tackled the ukulele, banjo, guitar, keyboard, flute, recorder and harmonica, with varying degrees of success. His sculptures, drawings and woodcarvings were much admired. He never turned down a request for help, though reluctant to ask for any. Raised in the Great Depression, he learned to be self-reliant and independent. He could build anything and fix anything. He was a staunch foe of injustice, a deep thinker, a good listener a witty correspondent and the go-to guru for friends and colleagues with a problem. He was the most marvelous, wonderful husband and put up with me for nearly sixty-four years.

Ken valued humor, intelligence, art, music (jazz to bluegrass to Bach), and enjoyed live theater and films, foreign and domestic. He loved the English language and used it well. Though an introvert, he loved relaxing with friends and was an engaging and welcome guest. He read voraciously and liked to always have books around him. He was constantly thinking–one could almost see the cogs turning–and solving problems was his heart’s delight. His favorite automobile was a 1953 red Austin-Healy that called to him from a used car lot in 1957. A year later he taught me to drive in it, a challenging test of his nerves. He liked to take things apart to see how they worked, sometimes a test of my nerves. He was a calm and reassuring presence in any storm, convincing the worriers that everything would be all right.

Ken was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at age 73 after 3 years of symptoms. He met it head-on and continued to fight with dignity and courage for another nineteen years. He donated his body to Wake Forest Medical School for research.

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