In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
SCOTTEN, Kenneth Ralph - Ken peacefully sailed away from the jetty one last time on the 19th of July.
A prairie boy, born in Sioux Lookout to Martin and Gladys Scotten, Ken had his sights set on the sky, as can be attested by his sister Dianne Tennant and his brother Marty Scotten. However, when seeing the sea and Lynne for the first time, fell in love with both at the age of 19 in Victoria.
1n 1959, Ken embarked on his Navy training, fully embracing Venture’s motto – “A New Undertaking, to Dare and Not to be Afraid”. Ken graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1970.
His 56-year naval career was defined by a commitment to service and a profound sense of humanity. As an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, his leadership was recognized and respected. However, it was HMCS Provider’s heroic act of saving 90 Vietnamese refugees adrift in the South China Sea on the 19th of June 1990 that marked his legacy.
As the commanding officer, Ken was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross for “demonstrating outstanding leadership, initiative, and dedication. Captain Scotten provided exceptional humanitarian assistance.” This was an honour he shared wholeheartedly with all the brave men and women who supported in the rescue. His thoughts were often with the sailors he served with, and he shared many warm stories from his times at sea, including from the HMCS Athabaskan, his first command.
An innovator and a visionary, Ken led the establishment of the first simulator and training center for naval training in Canada. He loved mentoring the next generation of naval officers. Many of the naval cadets who trained with Ken in the simulator are now commanding officers of their own ships and continuing the naval tradition.
Away from the sea, Ken was a devoted husband of 60 years to Lynne, a loving father to Jennifer and Haakon and Mike and Liz, and a passionate grandfather to Chris, Hannah, Marin, Emma-Jane, and Odin. He was known for his imagination and his ability to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. His children and grandchildren fondly recall his engineering approach to cutting vegetables and his spectacular 3D cakes that transformed birthdays into unforgettable experiences. The question growing up was not what Ken could do, but what Ken could not do.
In his later years, Ken used his adventuresome spirit to instill a sense of exploration and curiosity in his grandchildren. From backyard camping to making model boats, he ensured every moment was an adventure, a treasure trove of stories that will be passed down generations.
Ken was a beacon of resilience, service, and love. His life’s journey, much like the sea he came to love, was filled with waves of excitement and achievements. He navigated it all with unwavering grace, leaving behind a legacy that will inspire many. He will be profoundly missed by his family, friends, and those who had the privilege of knowing him.
George Bernard Shaw said, “A true gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.” Few fit that definition better than Ken.
Fair winds and following seas, Captain. Your voyage may have ended, but your stories and spirit will continue to guide us.
The family would like to sincerely thank Dr. Russell Grimwood, Dr. Sylvia Argouarch, Dr. Chasta Bascu and the BC Cancer Society for their support and compassion. Honouring the request of a humble prairie boy, no service will be held. Ken’s ashes will be scattered in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Victoria Hospice. (McCall Gardens)
Ships served in:
HMCS ATHABASKAN - 6th Commanding Officer 02 Aug 1981 - 31 Mar 1984
NATIONAL DEFENCE COLLEGE OF CANADA - For Course 31 - 1984
MARPAC HQ ESQUIMALT, CHIEF OF STAFF (READINESS) - 1985-1987
HMCS PROVIDER - Commanding Officer
SACLANT (Staff) -1990