Ken Oka 5/25/13

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Ken unfortunately died after a CRW wrap on Saturday.

My favorite CRW incident ever involved Ken :-) Probably around 2000 or so - we went to Elsinore for the day because Perris was still finishing up Nationals. It was Friday the 13th, we were on the 13th Otter Load of the day to 13k, and when Ken docked 13th, the formation went to shit (not his fault). Ken and I ended up having a double cutaway. Good times..

I also remember showing up at the Tokyo Skydiving center and seeing a Ken Oka pull-up cord tied to a random gear bag. I had to laugh...

His pull-up cords will live on forever.. BSBD Ken..

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You are kidding...
Gosh, blue skies Ken!!!

Wow, I met him a few years ago, and gosh... I got plenty of Ken Oka Women CReW pull up cords. Crap... Holy cow...

This is the last thing I expected...

Blue Skies Ken!!! I'm going to really miss you....

Ken, enjoy the formations with the others... until I see you again!!!

(a sad) CReW Skies,
"Women fake orgasms - men fake whole relationships" – Sharon Stone
"The world is my dropzone" (wise crewdog quote)
"The light dims, until full darkness pierces into the world."-KDM

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I met Ken in the mid-90's at Perris. He was one of the hard core of competent CRW jumpers that came together there on a regular basis.

Ken motivated me to undertake my first CRW cutaway. He was dislodged from the formation above and somehow managed to appear, headfirst, moving in a generally downward manner taking my center cell with him as he went. A cheerful Cya and I was outta there.

In retrospect I may have pulled the trigger a bit earlier than I should have but I never heard a word of criticism from Ken. We were back up attempting the formation as soon as everyone could find their gear (I was not the only cutaway on that load)and get repacked.


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More than an icon, bigger than a legend, Ken was a watchtower, the lighthouse, he both lit and flew the way of CReW.

A balm to be with

Although any candle you can snuff, Ken's lights the lives in all of us.

Blue sky, sky brother. Blue.
Pat Works nee Madden Travis Works, Jr .B1575, C1798, D1813, Star Crest Solo#1, USPA#189,

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Of the 3 fatalities this weekend, Ken was the one I knew the longest.

We first met at Marana in 1982 when we both only had a few hundred jumps.
Ken actually did RW then too.

He worked for IBM and took a nice severance pay package when they downsized.
He moved to NorCal.

Several years later I also moved to NorCal.
I saw him all the time at the DZ, but we rarely jumped together because he went to the darkside of CRW-Dawgs. ;)

We also saw each other because we went to events at Perris, Elsinore and Eloy.

I remember the first time he gave me one of those 'Ken Oka' pull up cords.
I didn't know what to make of it. At first I thought he was handing them out because he was running for the BOD. He said he wasn't running.
It was this very humble man that wanted to make sure people remembered his name.
At the time he wasn't know nationally.

Over the years, he must have given me +20 of those pull up cords.

I saw him at Nationals for the past +13 years, plus other events.

Even tho he was a CRW-dawg and I was into FS, we still chatted and chilled together.

Ken you are missed and everyone that met you knows your name.

Blue Skies Ken.

Make It Happen
Parachute History

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I got The Cord in April 2009, when Ken was one of three CReW dogs who went out of their way to introduce a Dutch newbie into four-stack rotations. Not that I ever held the illusion I was a very active participant in that formation.... My role was limited to looking about me going "wow"...

I'll always remember the first words he spoke to me:
"And remember: The first rule of CReW is: don't kill Kenny".

You'll be missed, Ken.
CReW Skies.

"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."

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