Kenneth Allan Nicholas, known as Kenny by family and friends, was born on January 22, 1946, in Seattle, Washington and adopted by Audrey and E. Kenneth Nicholas. His sister Elaine was adopted in 1949. As a child, he loved climbing trees and causing general mischief; he often boasted of breaking each arm four times. He attended Franklin High School and at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Army. While stationed in Germany, he met and married his first wife Marita and in 1966 had a son, Eric.
Kenny loved being in the military and was very proud but humble about his career. His 20+ year Army career included tours in Vietnam, the Honor Guard in Washington, D.C., and an instructor position at the United States Military Academy at West Point. For his extraordinary contributions in combat in Vietnam he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Air Medal, two Purple Hearts, a Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab. His most noteworthy award was his Legion of Merit.
After retiring from the Army 1985, Kenny experienced several life changes. He divorced Marita in 1988 and he went back to school and obtained a bachelor's degree in counseling from Western Washington University. He began dating the love of his life Stafne Flaten (whom he met in Junior High school) and worked as a drug and alcohol counselor for a number of years. Then, after living with Stafne, he changed careers and became a real estate agent. He had a wonderful time as an agent and early in his real estate career he always joked that he ‘specialized in ugly’.
After much success as a real estate agent, Kenny and Stafne bought their dream house with a spectacular view of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier. He married Stafne in 2011 and they enjoyed time with family and friends and fed a gaggle of wildlife including crows, squirrels, raccoons, and stray cats. Stafne took loving care of Kenny until his peaceful death at home on October 20, 2022.
Throughout his life, and as noted by his numerous accomplishments, Kenny was extremely brave and not afraid to take risks. Kenny was always the life of the party and could talk easily with anyone he met. He loved spending time with his granddaughter Alexandra, whom he adored. He liked fast cars and had a gold 1983 911sc Porsche that he referred to as the Garage Princess. He lived his life to the fullest and loved going out for dinner, to the theater and traveling to far flung places. As a testament to his love of risk taking, he went skydiving to celebrate his 70th birthday.
He is survived by his wife Stafne, his son Eric, and his two step children: Kira Birditt (husband, Gordie Todd), Ann Arbor, MI, and Brian Birditt (partner, Winkie Chen), Seattle, WA, and his granddaughter Alexandra.