Cover photo for Kenneth W Waugh's Obituary
Kenneth W Waugh Profile Photo
1919 Kenneth 2017

Kenneth W Waugh

December 17, 1919 — September 29, 2017

Dr. Kenneth W. Waugh, 97 of Canyon, passed away in an Amarillo Hospice, Friday September 29, 2017.  He has been looking forward to spending eternity in Heaven with his dear wife, Jean.  Services will be at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, October 2, 2017 in the First United Methodist Church of Canyon with the Rev. Rick Enns, Pastor, officiating.  Burial will be in Memory Gardens Cemetery by Brooks Funeral Directors.  Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. on Sunday, October 1, 2017 at First United Methodist Church.

Kenneth was born December 17, 1919 in Blairstown, Missouri to Neal D. and Stella D. Waugh.  He graduated from Norris High School in Blairstown, Mo. as valedictorian in 1937.  That Fall he enrolled in Central Missouri State University and from 1939-1942 served as a teacher in a one room rural school in Henry County, Missouri.  Kenneth entered the U.S. Army in 1942 and served in the European Theatre of Operations (England and France) during World War II for 4 years and 3 months.  After the end of hostilities he was accepted in the American University in Biarritz, France for further higher education.

Upon his return to civilian life, Kenneth again enrolled in Central Missouri State University, where he met his future wife, Jean Frances Higbee.  They were married on December 19, 1948 in Kansas City, Kansas.  Ken and Jean had hoped to celebrate 60 wonderful years of marriage together but the Lord called Jean home on November 24, 2008, just 3 1/2 weeks short of that celebration.

Although Kenneth loved history, he had originally aspired to be a Civil Engineer, but ultimately devoted his professional life to Education and the helping profession.  He graduated from Central Missouri State University in 1947 with a Bachelor's degree in Education.  While Ken held down a full-time job, he was a part-time graduate student, first at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and later at Northern Colorado University where he earned a Master of Arts in School Administration in 1952.  Ken soon realized that his chosen career path needed a higher level of professional education.  To achieve his goals, Kenneth enrolled in Indiana University and was awarded a Doctor of Education degree in 1959.

Ken's educational journey took him from teaching in a one room rural school to being selected to serve as the master teacher in the Demonstration School at Central Missouri State University.  He served as Principal and Superintendent of Schools in Piper, Kansas, Director of Guidance and Counseling services at the Indiana State Department of Public Instruction and, in 1956, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Education at West Texas State University.  He was soon promoted to Associate Professor and then Full Professor.  He served as Coordinator of the Counseling Education Program and for many years he was the Director of the Testing and Counseling Center at West Texas State University until his retirement.

Starting in 1966, WTSU initiated a program unique to the United States.  Under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Education, it was designed to explore methods to meet the needs and improve the educational services for 92 school districts in Texas.  This initiative was known as the Panhandle Education Services Organization or PESO Program for short and served as the model for education service centers throughout Texas and other states.  Kenneth served as the Director of Diagnostic and Evaluation Services for this very successful program.  He also served as Educational Auditor to the U.S. Office of Education Bi-lingual Programs.

Kenneth was the recipient of numerous significant awards during his tenure at WT, including: receiving the first Panhandle Educator of the Year award, being named Outstanding Counselor Educator in Texas; having the Outstanding School Counseling award named in his honor as well as WT naming their Annual Counseling Conference: the Ken Waugh Counseling Conference.  Kenneth was elected President of the Texas State Counseling Association and was later elected President Emeritus of that Association.  The Panhandle Counseling Association also granted emeritus status to Dr. Waugh in recognition of his services to the counseling profession.  He was also elected to emeritus status in The Texas State Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors, to signify superior leadership and service in his profession.  Kenneth Waugh served West Texas State University well until his retirement in 1984;  however, he continued with part-time teaching assignments until 1987.  WTSU granted Dr. Waugh Professor Emeritus status there in 1993.

Dr. Waugh enjoyed writing and co-authored 4 professional books which were acclaimed for their contribution to the field of counseling and learning disabilities.  Three of these books enjoyed world wide sales and each of the 3 became Book of the Month selections for numerous publishers.  Colleges throughout the US selected these books as classroom textbooks.  Concurrent with his research and publications in the field of counseling and learning disabilities, Kenneth was invited to be a keynote speaker, or a special speaker, at numerous state, national and international conferences.  He was later honored to be invited to speak at 3 prestigious European International Conferences held in Denmark, Scotland and Belgium.  At one he was the keyote speaker.  Kenneth's expertise resulted in him serving as a consultant to numerous public schools in Texas and New Mexico and to numerous universities throughout the United States.  He also served as a consultant to area businesses, organizations, and to the Cabot Corporation international business.

Ken was also involved with Lions Clubs International for much of his professional life.  He has held all offices at his local Canyon Lions Club, including President and then served as Zone Chairman, Deputy District Governor and then Governor of District 2-T1.  He has served on numerous district committees and was granted several awards including the Lynn Cherry award, Life Membership in the Texas Lions Camp, a Fellow in the Texas Lions Foundation, and a Fellow Melvin Jones award.  He had also earned an award, possibly unique in all of Lions Clubs International, for starting 5 new clubs in one year.  In 2002 Ken was 1 of 5 Lions in the state voted into the Texas Lions Hall of Fame.  In 2016, Lion Ken was recognized for his 60 years of continuous membership and service in the Canyon Lions Club.

Ken's enormous energy also lead to a busy personal life.  He loved to travel with his wife, Jean, and family members.  His travels took him and Jean to 5 continents and to Europe in excess of 20 times.  His restless curiosity and love of history would often lead him to research the region he would be traveling in for items of interest.  During his active years, Ken was active in his church, taught Sunday School classes and volunteered to work with Meals on Wheels.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his beautiful, loving wife, Jean, his parents, Neal and Stella Waugh, a brother, Robert Waugh and a sister Mitzi Whitesell.  Survivors include: son Michael and wife Sue of Amarillo, Texas; daughter Patti Steen and husband Sam of Canyon, Texas; two granddaughters, Dr. Denae’ Rickenbacker and husband Robert of Leander, Texas and Lacey Stone of San Antonio, Texas; a grandson Dr. Kenneth Steen and wife Dr. Amanda Steen of Wylie, Texas.  Kenneth has five great-grandchildren: Peyton Rickenbacker and Paxton Rickenbacker, both of Leander, Texas; Ethan Stone and Kenna Stone of San Antonio, Texas; and Kenslee Steen of Wylie, Texas; plus brother-in-law Thomas Higbee of Prairie Village, Kansas; and several nephews and nieces.

The family wishes to thank Dad’s longtime friend, John Barnhart, for all of the time, energy and friendship he has given to our father.  We also want to thank Dad’s loyal health caregiver, Pamela Stewart, for her tireless attention to our father’s needs.

The family suggests that memorials be made to the First United Methodist Church of Canyon, 1818 Fourth Avenue, Canyon, Texas 79015 or the Kenneth and Jean Waugh Counseling Scholarship Funds in care of the WTAMU Foundation Office, P.O. Box 60766, Canyon, Texas 79016.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth W Waugh, please visit our flower store.


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