Kenneth Vernon Fast, age 96, of Jefferson City, Missouri, passed away on April 17, 2018.
Kenneth was born in Burrton, KS, the son of Pete and Marie Teten Fast. He was married June 8, 1946, in Columbus, OH, to Lois Ellen Jones.
As a young child, Ken moved with his family to a farm outside Marionville, MO. He was a 1939 graduate of Marionville High School. He received an associate degree from Southwest Baptist College in 1941 and a Bachelor of Science degree from Southwest Missouri State Teachers’ College (Missouri State University) in 1943. He played basketball at both institutions. He was allowed to complete his studies early in December 1942, to volunteer in the United States Army during World War II where he served in the Pacific theater as a signal corps operator. He met his wife, Lois, while in army training.
Kenneth was a dedicated science educator and life-long learner. Kenneth began his teaching career in Aurora, Missouri, where he taught high school science and served as an athletic coach. In 1953, he accepted a teaching job in Webster Groves, MO, High School. He completed his public education career at Kirkwood, MO High School. He also taught science and science education part-time at several colleges and universities including Webster University, Northeast Missouri State University (Truman State University), Maryville University, Fontbonne College, the University of Montana, and Washington University. Upon retirement, Kenneth and Lois moved to Jefferson City, MO.
Kenneth obtained Masters degrees from both Ohio State University and Oklahoma State University. He earned his doctorate in science education from the University of Maryland in 1972. During the early 1960’s, Kenneth served as a chemistry consultant and coordinator for the USAID and Columbia University Science Institutes in Hyderabad, India. Kenneth served as the Regional Chairman of the NASA-National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Science and Skylab Student Projects. He also was involved with developing new chemistry curriculum through the NSTA. He was an active member of the NSTA, the American Chemical Society, the Science Teachers of Missouri, and the National Education Association.
In addition to his wife, Lois, Kenneth is survived by his children Sarah Fast (John Madras) of Jefferson City, MO, Julia Calfas (John) of Oakland, CA, Charles Fast (Sandra) of Tampa, FL, and Alice Fast (Mark Smith) of Kirksville, MO, and his son-in-law John Christensen of Webster Groves, MO. Kenneth was preceded in death by his daughter, Emily Christensen. Kenneth is also survived by his grandchildren Alex Christensen and Lois Christensen of Webster Groves, Mo, Anna Nelson (Andy) and Joseph Madras of Springfield, MO, Megan Hooper (Justin) of Miami, Florida, and Katy Fast of Gardner, Montana, and his great grandchildren Caroline, Margaret, Henry, Molly, Bryce, and Maddox.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 1:00 until 2:00 pm Sunday, May 6, 2018 with a memorial service following at 2:00 pm.
Graveside services with military honors will be held at 11:00 am Monday, May 7, 2018 at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Springfield, MO.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to The Dr. Kenneth V. and Mrs. Lois E. Fast Chemistry Operational Fund, Truman State University, McClain Hall 205, 100 E. Normal Ave., Kirksville, MO 63501 or Hospice Compassus, 600 Monroe St. Suite 100, Jefferson City, MO 65101.