Kenneth Alexander Helms Black
Kenneth Alexander Helms Black, 62, of Bishop for 38 years, passed away Aug. 15, 2012. Ken was born Oct. 3, 1949 in Mt. Clemens, Mich. His biological parents were Ralph J. Helms and Wilma E. Beck/Humbles/Ardizzone. Ken was adopted at age three months to Alexander Rankin Black and Hilda Vivian Wormsbacher/Black. Ken grew up in Mt. Clemens and graduated from Mt. Clemens High School in 1968. He enlisted into the Marines in 1969 and served in Viet Nam.
He later moved to Bishop in 1974 where he made his decision to stay. He loved this Valley and the people in it. In 1975, Ken trained to be a meat cutter for Safeway/Vons and worked for the next 28 years here in Bishop. Ken met his loving wife Lisa in 1980 and they were married January 16, 1982.
In 2003, Ken retired from Vons. Ken did the usual things that most guys here love to do. He loved to fish most of all and spent quality time with Lisa and his animals. His other pastime was taking pictures of the local wildlife and sunsets and sunrises. Ken and Lisa’s favorite getaway was their annual trip to the Upper Twin Lakes, staying in a cabin on the lake for a week-long vacation, which they’ve done for the past 26 years.
Ken has three children and six grandchildren: daughter, Shannon Thurman who resides in Michigan, along with her four children, Jeffery, Jamar, Andrea and Nathaniel; daughter, Kimberly Collier and her two children, Tiana and Kayla; son, Adam and his wife, Cassie Black who reside in Roy, Wash. He also leaves behind his loving and adoring wife, Lisa Black; and many friends he’s made over his past 38 years here in Bishop.
Ken was an Elk member for many years and he loved to do research on his families’ roots.
Ken has a half-brother Nick Ardizzone and three half-sisters, Mona Boure, Yvonne Nipper and Robbin Zimmerman.
Ken spent countless hours researching his family clear back to the 1700’s in Virginia, where their name started out as Helm and later added on the S from his great-grandfather William James (Jasper) Helms. Over the years, Ken and Lisa met with many of Ken’s relatives and loved every minute of it, sharing stories and pictures of his family.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, and brother, Frank Ardizzone.
A Celebration of Ken’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 23 at East Line Street Cemetery for all Friends and Family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ken’s memory to the local “I CARE” project for animals, P.O. Box 76, Bishop, CA 93515.