|Birth: ||Jul. 1, 1916|
|Death: ||Nov. 29, 1996|
CIVIC LEADER, ARTS VISIONARY KEN TETER DIES AT AGE 80
BRUCE WESTFALL - Columbian staff writer
December 1, 1996
Kenneth E. Teter, a champion of public art and a relentless civic activist, died in a Portland hospital Friday of complications related to heart disease. He was 80.
Teter, a retired railroad worker, may have been best known for a series of donations of public artwork. But he was also a Vancouver City Council member and a Clark County commissioner. He pushed hard during those years for various public improvements, said Jean Norwood, who served with Teter on the council. "He was never really satisfied with things the way they were," she said Saturday. "He wanted to get things done."
Teter was often blunt along the way. "He was one of those types who made his opinions known. He didn't hold back at all," said Ted Van Arsdol, a Vancouver author and former Columbian reporter.
Van Arsdol said Teter was a student of Clark County history and a stickler for accuracy. He was a member of the Fort Vancouver Historical Society and even attended the society's annual luncheon the middle of last month. "Ken had a remarkable memory for events and people in the Vancouver area," Van Arsdol said. "He told me one time he had big ears. He listened to the old-timers and he really remembered it. He kept it in his head."
In addition to knowing Clark County history, Teter was also part of it.
He was born July 1, 1916, in Vancouver and lived here all his life. He worked 28 years for the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway.
Teter and his wife, Eunice, bought the Cougar Store in 1947. They were the eighth owner in five years. They stayed for three years and sold the store for a profit, Teter told The Columbian earlier this year. In October 1995, the couple donated a bronze cougar statue to the small community 29 miles of Woodland.
He was a member of the Vancouver City Council from 1956 to 1963.
He was elected to the county's Board of Commissioners in 1962 and served until 1967.
While a commissioner, he was instrumental in the purchase of Lacamas and Daybreak parks and increased the size of Lewisville Park.
He loved visual arts, said his widow, Eunice. That led to the couple's multiple donations of artwork that included the "Buckskin Brigade" sculpture over the door of the Clark County Courthouse, a fountain in Vancouver's Waterworks Park, the Cougar statue and, most recently, a bronze figure of aviator Carlton Bond placed at the front of the new Jack Murdock Aviation Center at Vancouver's Pearson Field.
Teter also commissioned before his death a bronze sculpture of George B. Simpson, the only state Supreme Court justice to hail from Clark County. He learned last June the county would accept the gift. He joked at the time that he wondered if he'd live long enough to see the gift accepted.
A longtime supporter of Boy Scout causes, he made a sizable donation to Camp Lewis, a scout camp on the East Fork of the Lewis River. Its name has since been changed to Camp Teter.
Among other organizations, Teter was a member of the SP&S Railway Historical Society, the Minnehaha Grange and Elks Lodge 823. He is survived by his wife and a son, Eugene C. Teter of Vancouver.
Park Hill Cemetery
Plot: Area "C", Section 352, Bench Marker
Created by: Rev. Rob
Record added: Apr 24, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14058882