OBIT KennethAverill


Kenneth Earl Averill, M.D., resident of Los Altos, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on November 30, 2017. He was 88.

Ken and his identical twin brother, Keith, were born in Flint, Michigan, to Prescott and Eula Averill. They were joined a few years later by their younger sister, Patricia. At Central High School in Flint, Ken and Keith were star football players, with their team winning the state championship. Both brothers attended the University of Michigan where they earned their undergraduate and medical school degrees.

While a medical student, Ken met and married the love of his life, Bernadette (Bernie) Poch. After Ken completed his military service with the Air Force, he and Bernie moved to the Bay Area where Ken set up his medical practice at a new medical complex, surrounded by orchards, at the corner of Fremont and Mary in Sunnyvale.

Ken was also a founding member of the medical staff at El Camino Hospital when it opened in 1961, and saw the very first ER patient to come through its doors. His successful medical career spanned four decades.

Bernie and Ken moved to Los Altos in 1962, where they raised their three kids and lived the rest of their lives. Also in 1962, Ken and Bernie joined the Los Altos Golf and Country Club, which became the center of their social life and where the family enjoyed spending time. Many lifelong friendships were forged at the Club. Ken and Bernie and their group of wonderful friends traveled extensively. Very athletic and an avid golfer and tennis player, Ken was a member of the Club for 50 years.

Family and friends knew Ken to be a humble man of grace and integrity, and generous almost to a fault. He was a loving and dedicated husband and father. For those lucky enough to call him their doctor, he was a gifted, kind, and compassionate physician who was always available to his patients. An extraordinary diagnostician, he was admired and respected by his colleagues and beloved by his patients. He kept his habit of staying current with the medical literature long past retirement, up until his last days.

In the last few years of his life, Ken developed a chronic, progressive pulmonary ailment that made him less active. Rarely complaining and always courageous, he lived to the end on his own terms. He was a truly remarkable and inspirational man who considered himself very lucky to have had a long and wonderful life. He will be missed.

Ken was preceded in death by his beautiful Bernie and his lovely daughter, Kristin, both in 2008, and his twin brother, Keith. He is survived by his sister Patricia (Jack) Krapohl of Wisconsin; half-sister Norma Ward of Michigan; sister-in-law MaryAnn Brown of Pennsylvania: sons Dr. Kenneth (Michele) Averill, Jr. of Aptos and Jeffery Averill of Long Beach; grandchildren Claire, Kenneth III, Bryce, Celeste, Maxwell, Jeffery Jr., Neil, and Keith, two great-grandsons Josiah and Taz; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services will be private. Memorial gifts in Ken’s name may be directed to the Pathways Hospice Foundation at 585 North Mary Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94085 (, or the American Red Cross- Central Coast Chapter at P.O.Box AR, Carmel by the Sea, CA 93921.

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