Kenneth Sean Munzlinger, of Albuquerque, died at the age of 50 on July 10, 2021, after a valiant battle with cancer. Ken is survived by his beloved son, Kyle Logan; his loving wife, Laura; his adoring mother, Sara Leta Bard Munzlinger; his siblings, David Munzlinger, Diane White, and Tricia Edgel, numerous nephews and a niece, aunts and uncles, a core of wonderful friends, and his devoted cat Lucy Furr. Ken was preceded in death by his father Frederick David Munzlinger. Shortly after his cancer diagnosis Ken shared a TedTalk by BJ Miller explaining snowballs as a metaphor for life's special moments. Think about it: it takes the right conditions for snowballs to be made, the weather has to be right, the snow itself needs to be the proper consistency, and somebody needs to actually pack it into a snowball and throw it. Snowballs are beautiful and fun, but they are fleeting. Ken deeply understood their temporary nature and celebrated the "snowballs" in his life and worked to create them. His favorite snowball moment this past year was remarrying Laura. He liked to say he loved her so much he married her twice. Laura and Kyle are the loves of his life.
Ken found humor in everything, even cancer. He told Laura, "We have to find humor in this if we are going to get through it." And they did. Ken frequently used Alexa to send love notes and silly messages to Laura and Kyle. The house echoed with Alexa's digital voice saying, "I love my family!!" when his was too weak to speak. Together Ken, Laura, and Kyle laughed and cried in the face of cancer, treasuring precious time. Another huge snowball moment occurred when Ken told his siblings that whoever won the final Monopoly game would have eternal bragging rights. He was always ready with a witty pun or a practical joke. For years he went out of his way to prank his mother on April Fool's Day. Once he turned all the pictures in her house upside down and waited for her to notice. Another year, he tied a rubber band around her kitchen faucet so it would spray her. His sense of humor never left him.
Ken was always kind, but when he became sick, his kindness and gratitude magnified. It didn't matter who he was talking with, he made a point to be acutely considerate of others. He wished everyone peace and love. Surprisingly, early in his career Ken got feedback that he wasn't very approachable. It is hard to imagine that now. His Dad suggested he put candy at his desk to encourage people to come by. Soon after, Ken also bought a hoodie that resembled Mr. Rogers from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and his friends and coworkers began stopping at his desk to chat, calling him Mr. Rogers. Ken loved that connection because he embraced and emulated Mr. Roger's philosophy of kindness and acceptance.
Ken lived a life full of wonder and he pursued his creative talents throughout his life. He was a gifted computer programmer. He was nine when he began mastering computers, which became not just a career at SAIC and Intel but his life's work. He shared this talent with Kyle building computers together. He also loved music. The Beatles inspired him, and he could often be found playing Blackbird on his guitar. He discovered keyboard synthesizers when he was in high school and ever since he loved composing with a vast custom digital library. Ken found beauty in the natural world and enjoyed capturing it with his camera. He shot both macro and micro images and took photographs of the world that intrigued him. Many of his photographs are published. Everything aside, Ken's greatest joy in life was being a father, and more particularly, being Kyle's father. From the moment of Kyle's birth Ken's life and purpose changed completely. Fatherhood was his greatest love. Kyle tips the scales of Ken's life toward eternity.
Ken is soaring in the eternities now, and this quote from another person he emulated, Captain James T. Kirk, seems a fitting send-off: "They used to say that if Man was meant to fly, he'd have wings. But he did fly. He discovered he had to."
Fly Ken. "All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise." - Lennon & McCartney
Ken's family offers their sincerest gratitude to the nurses and doctors at Lovelace Cancer Center and the Ambercare Hospice team. The care and compassion they provided will always be remembered. A private interment of ashes will be held on July 22, 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations made in Ken's honor to Watermelon Mountain Ranch animal shelter in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
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