On Tuesday, February 20, 2024, Ken lost a short but aggressive battle with Stage 4 advanced lung cancer. He passed peacefully at St. Joseph hospital surrounded by his family.

Ken was born March 3, 1958 and adopted by Dr. Andrew and Josephine “Penny” Robertson. He became the younger brother to Andrew. Their father was in the Navy during the Korean War. They lived in the Marshall Islands (Kwajalein) as well as Hawaii before returning to Eureka. They moved to Walker Point road. That was where life really began for the boys. Ken made many life long friends in the neighborhood. In the early days of moving to the neighborhood, the family dog came up missing. That was when Ken met his lifelong best friend, James Ballew, and they may have found themselves in a bit of trouble from time to time.

Ken had his first job in high school as a delivery driver for a local pharmacy, Ritchie Woods. He then became a Certified Mechanic at Isaacson Motors. After that, Ken had many more delivery jobs. He worked for Heuer’s Florist as a delivery driver and always smelled so good after work. Then as a driver for his father in-law’s pizza parlor, Blue Max Pizza. He then returned to delivering pharmaceuticals for three local pharmacies: Redwood Pharmacy, Lima’s Pharmacy and Cloney’s pharmacy. And that was where he belonged — it gave him both the joy of driving as well as helping others, which were two of Ken’s favorite things to do. So many customers turned into friends. He was known for going above and beyond to help the older ladies make up weekly med boxes as well as driving over at 6 a.m. on their trash days to take the can out for them.

April 19, 1984, Ken and Ellen welcomed their baby girl, Courtney, into the world. She was the light in his life. Ken spent five years in Salinas, California before returning home to Eureka. At that time he had lost touch with his daughter. But in the last few years he was able to reconnect with her. This last year was when they really found the chance to connect and it was so beautiful to witness their reunion.

Ken met his wife Linda Willams-Ballew in 1978. At the time, she was married to his friend James. But life has a funny way with things and fast forward to 1993 they started dating. On September 14, 1996 Ken and Linda were married. Ken now had two new stepdaughters, Amy and Leslie. They enjoyed many camping trips and a family vacation to Montana together. He loved to travel. Especially to the many NASCAR events he attended, but To the Edge Music Cruises really warmed his heart. Most of the time, Ken could be found tinkering on something or working in the yard. He was always busy in the yard, whether it was planting the seasons bulbs or just mowing. He was also known to be a sucker for a stray. Ken brought home countless puppies and kittens “in need” and never turned away a stray or rescue . He was very passionate about his NASCAR. That is what you would find him at home watching every Sunday, February through November. He had a love for Ford vehicles and everything about the sky. Whether it was the clouds or the stars he could talk about them for hours. He could tell you when a satellite or Starlink was going to pass and would text to tell you to go outside to see it. He was very passionate about everything in life. He always had a smile on his face and a go-getter attitude. Even on his worst days he put on that well-known smile and made the best of things.

In 2021 Ken finally had a hit with his ancestry DNA test. He had a match to a maternal cousin. With the help of a genealogist he was able to find some information on his birth family. He had reunited with his daughter and had contact with some of his birth family. Ken had stayed in contact with his sister Millie Haecherl, although he never got to meet her in person. Having been able to reconnect with his daughter and family, Ken’s life was complete.

Ken is survived by his wife of 27 years, Linda Willams Ballew Robertson; his daughter, Courtney Robertson; step-daughters, Amy Thallheimer (Mike) and Leslie Pollace (Krysti) and bonus daughter, Dara Lawson; his brother, Andrew Robertson; brother-in-law, Jim Williams (Lyn); grandchildren Michael Thallheimer, Robert Brennan, Bradley Brennan and Payton Pollace; nieces and nephews Andrew Robertson (Katee), Patricia Robertson, and Tami Williams as well as many great-nieces and nephews. Ken was preceded in death by both his parents, Andrew Robertson and Josephine “Penny” Robertson, as well as his sister, Helen “Rose” Robertson; mother and father In-laws, James “Jim” Williams and Becky Williams.

There will be a Celebration of Life, Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m. in the afternoon at the Fortuna Volunteer Fire department. 320 S.Fortuna Blvd. Fortuna , 95540. The family asks that you wear your favorite flannel, Hawaiian shirt, band tee or NASCAR apparel. Please bring your memories for the memory box (both good or bad) the family will appreciate all memories and stories of Ken.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the Sequoia Humane Society or a charity of your choice.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Ken Robertson’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.