POLSON — Kenneth John Chernikoff, 78, of Polson, passed quietly away in his home late on the night of Dec. 27, after spending a lovely day watching football with his wife and visiting with friends. Ken was born on Feb. 26, 1942, in Huntington Park, California, to parents Albert and Alice Chernikoff.
He grew up there, revealing his innate and extraordinary athletic prowess in school, both as a football player and fabulously beautiful diver. Ken was also one of the last of the “long board surfers.” In the 1960s, he surfed every beach up and down the Southern California coast and in Hawaii. Ken traveled all over the world as a merchant seaman and then moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, where he skied for five years.
Returning to Laguna Beach in 1975, he found his soulmate, Katrina, and embarked on a 42-year love affair with her and a wonderful journey of sobriety that took them to Polson where they’ve lived ever since, raising two adoring and amazing children. He shared his love of skiing with both Michael and Amy, skiing on top of Big Mountain.
Ken established and ran a courier service with his kids, supporting his loving wife, (with her adoration for dogs, cats, horses, and a little cockateel) and their perfect way of life in their cabin in the woods. He was an avid and daily swimmer at the pool, and a dedicated friend to so many people who eventually became family to him. With the deep affection of his family, he leaves a legacy of such strength and wisdom in his sobriety, living spiritual principles and creating lasting and wonderful memories for us all.
Ken is survived by his beloved wife Katrina, precious daughter Amy, her children Trey and Harper, their father, Cody; Thomas and Laura; Ken and Katrina’s newfound children. He leaves an adoring sister, Beverly Spring and daughter Susie, husband, Jason and son, Easton and a host of relatives and friends too numerous to list. His integrity, decency, and strength will live in all our hearts forever.
A celebration of Ken’s life will follow this summer. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at lakefuneralhomeandcremation.com.
Arrangements are under the care of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.