Kenneth Alan McKusick passed away peacefully at his home on November 3, 2020. Ken was born and raised in Newton. Ken’s early years on the farm helped shape his character and strong value system. He had fond memories of delivering milk with his father, Harold, and as the baby of the family, the special attention he got from his four older siblings and stepmother, Jesse.
Beginning with an academic scholarship to Bowdoin College, Ken continued his education studying medicine at McGill University and later at Johns Hopkins. As an internal medicine physician for many years, Ken’s intellectual curiosity drew him to continue his studies in the then emerging field of Nuclear Medicine. Ken spent 25 years as the Director of Nuclear Medicine at Mass. General in Boston, contributing to his profession during his career and long after his retirement. As a pioneer in his field, he was a contributing author to numerous studies and texts, served on numerous national committees, and lectured nationally and internationally. Throughout his life Ken used his medical training and keen intellect to help others.
Ken’s professional accomplishments are extensive, but nothing gave him greater pride than his family. His marriage to the love of his life, Gussie, and the merging of their two families brought him untold joy. Be it the family trips, celebrations, sharing their home on Cape Cod or vacation house in Key West – Ken was always bringing out his calendar to plan time for everyone to be together.
Ken served as an example of a life well lived. He embraced every experience as an opportunity to learn something new and to meet new people. He and Gussie traveled extensively across six continents, experiencing new cultures and meeting people around the globe. He shared his life with many friends and colleagues, always making time for others to listen, give advice, and to share his good humor. He was committed to his community and over the years served on numerous boards and committees, using that time to extend his knowledge, improve his community and create opportunities for others to contribute. The blaring bagpipes of his ringtone were a frequent reminder of his zeal for this life and his connection to others.
Ken’s scientific mind made him want to understand the world and his generous heart made him listen. Time spent with Ken meant time spent being valued and heard. He sought to understand, listened attentively, and honored others for who they were, unequivocally.
Ken was one of a kind. His love and wisdom have impacted many generations and we count ourselves amongst the lucky to have had him in our lives. We are grateful for the time we had with him and will miss him dearly.
A memorial visitation will be held in Ken’s honor at Nickerson Funeral Home, Orleans, MA on November 21 from 1-4 p.m. Social distancing and face masks will be required and strictly enforced. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations in memory of Ken to the Orleans Conservation Trust, 203 South Orleans Road, Orleans, MA 02653. For online condolences, please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com