Obituary of Kenneth Maurice Wilson
Dr. Kenneth M. Wilson passed away on October 7, 2023, of sudden onset pneumonia, with his loving husband Tom Pendleton, and his sister, Lavonda Wilson, at his side. At 59 years old, his time on this earth was far too short, but heaven gained an angel in his passing.
Ken had a generous and fun-loving soul. Selfless, forgiving, joyful, funny, and affectionate, his presence in the lives of friends and family made the world a better place. A clinical psychologist by training and therapist for the past 25 years, Ken's sense of humor and playful spirit allowed him to easily engage with youth where others had failed. He had a gift for connecting with people, regardless of age, occupation, interests, or concerns. But that wasn’t just what he did as a profession, it’s who he was as a person. Ken’s warmth, curiosity, and genuine interest in others—not just what they did, but who they were, what they cared about, what made them laugh or cry, and what they yearned for—made him friends wherever he went.
Ken was a lover of the finer things in life, from tea to teacups and teapots, from good food to gorgeous peonies, to fine art and music, and from teddy bears to funny animal videos. His love of these fine things led him beyond being a simple collector. Whenever he and Tom traveled, Ken made sure they made the rounds of favorite craftspeople, artists, antique dealers, and plant nurseries. In so doing, he not only satisfied his deep interest in the creative process, but he also made lasting friendships. Ken was not only a collector but also a giver of much that he collected. He loved Christmas and shopping for gifts year-round. He spent hours elaborately wrapping gifts and finding the perfect cards, often using an oversized box to sustain the recipient’s expectations in opening the gift, stirring a big laugh. With Tom, he hosted many family gatherings, holiday celebrations, and dinner parties in their home, lavishing attention and gifts upon friends and family.
Ken and Tom often went to New York City for concerts at Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall or to see exhibits at the Met Museum, the Frick, and other museums and galleries. Ken loved all kinds of music, from Prince to Pavarotti; from jazz vocalists Shirley Horn and Ella Fitzgerald, to jazz musicians Charlie Hayden and Bill Charlap. In his youth, Ken himself was an enthusiastic musician. He played the baritone horn in middle school and had a sonorous bass voice as an adult. Whenever he phoned or left a voicemail, his trademark-spirited voice immediately let you know that it could only be Ken on the line.
Kenneth Maurice Wilson was born on March 3, 1964, in Ohio, and grew up in Bloomfield, Connecticut, where he attended Bloomfield High School. Ken knew from an early age that he wanted to be a psychotherapist and went on to earn his B.A. in psychology from Gordon College and his M.A. and Psy.D. in clinical psychology from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, New York City. In 1992, Ken and Tom moved into their first apartment together and Ken started on his graduate schoolwork. Following graduate school, he worked in a school-based counseling program in Upper Manhattan. Later he joined his graduate school colleague, Rosy Chhabra, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, working on NIH-funded research programs related to promoting youth development skills and healthy lifestyle-related approaches with youth. As part of this effort, he built a network of professional partners across nonprofit youth programs in the Bronx. For the past seven years, he worked as a successful child and family therapist in Putnam County, New York.
Inseparable from the day they met, Ken and Tom were true partners for more than 31 years. Together, they created a beautiful, welcoming home and ever-expanding garden for family and friends and several beloved dogs and cats. Ken was a much-loved and dedicated brother to his sisters, uncle to his nieces and nephews, and godfather to many others. He never missed an opportunity to visit or reach out to them to share a photo or a joke guaranteed to make them laugh and smile. The loss of Ken’s hugs, silliness, and most importantly his love has created a great void in
the hearts of his family and friends that cannot be replaced.
Ken was the first child and only son of William “Don” Wilson and Ora “Ponzetta” (Higgins) Wilson. He is survived by his beloved husband, Tom Pendleton, and by his father, Don Wilson; his sister Lavonda Wilson; and sister Harriet “Tami” Wilson-Davis and her husband, Thomas Davis; and was predeceased by his sister Yolanda “Rene” Wilson. Ken also is survived by his niece Briana Wilson Campbell and her husband, Vincent Campbell, and their children Adrienne and Donald; his nephew Jordan Wilson; and nieces Alicia Wilson and Chanel Wilson; as well as five nieces, two nephews, and a grand-niece on the Pendleton side of the family: nieces Abigail Maycock (husband TL Tutor, daughter Lyra), Lila Maycock (husband Ryan Scott), Babette Pendleton-McGeady (husband Samer Mosis), Rosemary Pendleton-McGeady, and Audrey Lightner (partner Spencer Lawn); nephews Cy Pendleton-McGeady (fiancée Saffron Van Rossem), and Luke Lightner (partner Jewels Rodgers).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Family and friends will celebrate Ken’s life on Saturday, November 11, 2023, from 1 pm to 3 pm at Katonah Presbyterian Church, 31 Bedford Road, Katonah, NY 10536. (The church is two blocks from the Katonah Metro-North station (on the Harlem line).To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenneth Wilson, please visit Tribute Store