Kenneth John Wydock (the man, the myth, the arachnophobe), 53, was born on July 6th, 1970, in the relatively small town of Toms River, New Jersey. He was the youngest of five children to Robert L. Wydock and Veronica Irene (Ramsey) Wydock. His birthday and proximity to our Nation's birthday proved to be an excellent backdrop to what would become Ken's life.
Ken joined the United States Air Force on August 2nd, 1988, and after Basic Training became what the Air Force lovingly called 1C371 - Command Post Craftsman. Ken worked all over the world, most notably, he spent time in Alaska at Elmendorf Air Force Base, home to Alaskan Air Command and Eielson Air Force Base home to the 354th Fighter Wing. He spent time training at Dyess Air Force base in Texas, where the 7th Bomb Wing assigned to the Global Strike Command Eighth Air Force resides. Also, McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, home to the Air Mobility Command's 22nd Air Refueling Wing.
From there Ken joined what was the highlight of his career with the Air Force, the National Airborne Operations Center or NAOC. He was extraordinarily proud of his flying time on that modified 747. His job as Airborne Command Controller was to support the President, Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In case of national emergency or destruction of ground command and control centers, the aircraft provides a highly survivable command, control and communications center to direct U.S. forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities. To the men and women who worked with and flew with Ken on that jet, he was just "Red".
During his prestigious career he earned and was awarded many accolades. Those include, Meritorious Service Medals, receiving Achievement Medals nine different times, two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards, three Outstanding Unit Awards and of course the obligatory “been there, done that” awards.
From there he went on too many other locations, countries, and time zones before returning to the United States and wooded, the rolling hills of west-central Missouri. There Ken finished his illustrious military career at Whiteman Air Force base. Whiteman Air Force base is home to the B-52 Spirit Bombers.
Ken retired on August 31st, 2010, after 22 years and 29 days of active military service to the United States. He spent over 11 years of his career serving outside of the continental United States. Upon retirement he moved to Florida where he joined another elite community and took his many talents to Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom where he started his career in security as a Blue’s Host. He spent time in that role before moving into other parts of Disney’s Security team ultimately finding his home in Security Investigations. While he enjoyed his contributions to the safety and security of park guests with his work, he loved having the ability to take friends and family into the many Disney parks to explore. He truly enjoyed seeing people for the first time in the parks and the awe and amusement on their faces.
Anyone who knew Ken, knew of his love of video games, electronic gadgets, flashlights, knives, reading glasses, turning his house into a secure location that even James Bond would be jealous of, D&D, and an inexplicable fear of spiders which would, in his own words, cause him to "flee, screaming like a little girl." He loved D&D Tuesday nights around the table and would happily recount his devious Dungeon Master adventures to anyone willing to listen. Ken was an avid New Jersey Devils hockey fan and Miami Dolphins football fan, he made fun of all the other sports, calling basketball "punkin pouncin" and baseball the longest sport in the history of sports, "they have 700 games a season."
He was preceded in death by his mother and two of his older brothers, Stanley Francis Wydock and David Wydock. He is survived by his Father, sister Lorraine Wydock and brother Robert L. Wydock, Jr. More importantly, Ken is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and so very many friends and co-workers.
"What is a garden? A garden is the growth of life itself. So special, so fragile, it must not be taken for granted. It requires work and love, patience and caring. In the end, the love that gets put into your garden will reward you with its treasured gifts that will last a lifetime." - The Garden by Ken Wydock
The family requests in lieu of flowers a donation in Ken’s honor is made to Tunnels to Towers Foundation (t2t.org) or the Veteran charity of your choice.