Ken died Friday November 10th from complications after surgery to remove a tumor on his liver. He was 66. He was born Sept. 17, 1935, in La Junta, Colo., to Fred and Geneva Jolley Kesey. The family moved to Springfield in 1943 and Kesey attended the University of Oregon, where he was active in fraternities and college plays and won a scholarship as a wrestler. He married his high school sweetheart, Faye Haxby, on May 20, 1956, and graduated from the UO in 1958 with a journalism degree. After graduation, he received a scholarship to attend the creative writing program at Stanford University.
In 1968, he settled down on his farm, raised a family of four children and immersed himself in the community, joining school boards, raising cattle and sheep and supporting several businesses.
He received the Oregon Service Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UO, among numerous other awards.
He loved spending time with family and friends, especially his grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his mother, of Springfield; a son, Zane; two daughters, Shannon Smith and Sunshine Kesey; his brother, Joe "Chuck" Kesey; and three grandchildren. His son, Jed, was killed in 1984 in an accident while returning from a wrestling match for the UO. Kesey is buried in the family cemetery, next to Jed, at his Pleasant Hill property.
Bio by: Ron Moody: Acclaimed Writer. He was the author who broke onto the literary scene with "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." In 1964 he rode cross-country in an old school bus named "Furthur" with his Merry Pranksters, an odyssey documented in Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test". Kesey was given a memorial service in Eugene, Oregon, and then his body was taken (in a tie-dyed coffin) back to his family farm where it was buried alongside that of his son Jed, who died years ago in a bus accident. (bio by: A Friend)