Kenneth Bradley Bordwell

Bordwell—Kenneth Bradley Bordwell, 75, on October 30, 2017, at his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, unexpectedly but peacefully, from a heart attack. Ken was born on February 1, 1942, in Dayton, Ohio, to Katherine Lucille and Bradley Hobart Bordwell. He supported social and racial justice from boyhood. As a volunteer with the Peace Corps from 1966 to 1968, he worked on literacy and community development in Brazil. He did community development for Cincinnati for 31 years, retiring in 2002 from an effective and joyful career.

He was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 39 years, learning from this organization to live each day with gratitude and freedom from expectations for the future. Working to make the world a better place through advocacy and community service, he was active with Amnesty International, Bread for the World, and Ohioans to Stop Executions. He served on the boards of the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati and Over the Rhine Community Housing. For 20 years he participated with the American Council of the Blind of Ohio, enjoying winter sports with visually impaired people.

He attended New Thought Unity Center before becoming a dearly loved and active member of Community Friends Meeting in Cincinnati in 2000. He lobbied for Friends Committee on National Legislation and served on House and Grounds, Peace and Social Concerns, and Ministry and Counsel Committees, but his favorite role was as a greeter. His cheerful smile and warm handshake welcomed Friends on the meetinghouse porch. The day before he died, Ken shared his spiritual journey after meeting for worship. He said of his spiritual life that he didn’t have visions, but he sometimes heard God speaking to him through the words of other people. He said he experienced the Spirit as a river, and when he was moving with the flow of the Spirit, he knew he was following God’s leading.

He loved opera and was a member of the American Handel Society and Wagner Society. Having taken up hiking as a young man, on August 24, 2012, at age 70, he reached his goal of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. He said he experienced God in nature, especially during these hikes. He also enjoyed bicycling and had a number of remarkable rides in the United States and Ireland.

Ken is survived by his wife, Mary Anne Curtiss; three daughters, Carolyn Rospierski (Charlie), Katherine Flenniken (Greg), and Victoria Bordwell (fiance James Coleman); four grandchildren; a sister, Sue Ellen Bordwell (Bill Richards); three stepsons; and two former wives, with whom he maintained friendly ties.


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