Ken Vannice

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At Wheel & Deal, 1997

Kenneth Earl Vannice
02 Jan 1944 - 15 Jan 2018

Clubs & Associations

Heads to the Center
Rosetown Ramblers

Medallion Dancer


Kenneth E. Vannice, 74, died Jan. 15, 2018 in Portland of cancer complications. He was born Jan. 2, 1944 in Bozeman, Mont., to Daniel Bratschi Vannice and Catherine Asimos Vannice where he grew up. After graduation from Bozeman schools and Montana State University he moved to Los Angeles to work as an Electrical Engineer for a stage and studio lighting company, Berkey-Colortran. In 1996 he followed his profession to Portland, to work for NSI, and then Leviton Manufacturing.

Vannice was a member of Gallatin Lodge No. 6 AF&AM of Bozeman, Mont., the Pacific N.W. Railway Historical Society of Portland and both the Rosetown Ramblers and Heads to the Center square dance clubs of Portland. He was active in codes and standards work through the Entertainment Services and Technology Association and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, of which he was a Fellow. Vannice was also active in establishing a certification program for entertainment electricians through the Entertainment Technician Certification Program.

Ken was particularly interested in all of the railroads that did and do pass thru his home state of Montana. He researched, mapped out, and could tell you all about almost every one. All of his travels almost always included a leg of travel on the train, if not the entire journey. Ken served as the Library Chair and as a Board member for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

He was preceded in death by his parents; stepbrothers; stepsister; aunts and uncles. He is survived by many cousins including, H. Lee Vannice of Corvallis. He is also survived by his friend and adopted family, Lila Stephens and her husband Bryan Ackler.

Services will be held in Bozeman, Mont., and a Celebration of Life will be held in Portland at 6 p.m., Feb. 24, 2018, at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Behind the Scenes Charity,, or the charity of your choice.[1]


Greetings Ramblers and Friends: I am writing with the sad news that long-time Rambler and devoted dancer Ken Vannice has passed away. We received word this morning that he passed quietly last Monday morning. Before his passing, Ken wrote his own obituary [copied above].

To this I will add that Ken made innumerable, valuable contributions to the Rosetown Ramblers, including his dedicated and trustworthy service as Treasurer and his work with lights for our annual Scares and Squares fly-in. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of trains, and he enlivened many a Ramblers Board meeting with animated accounts of his various railroad adventures. For years, Ken was a fixture as a square dance angel on Wednesday nights at the Ankeny Studio, and we imagine him continuing his angelic pursuits as he embarks on this next adventure.
Rick Hawes [2]

Memorial Panel

  • 3UR | Heads to the Center



  1. The Oregonian (Portland, OR) Tuesday, 13 Feb 2018
  2. Facebook posting, 19 Jan 2018