Kenneth Charles Assmus became known as the “Hummingbird Whisperer” for his ability to draw the tiny, flitting creatures in for the perfect photo – a pursuit that combined his love of the outdoors and photography. He also helped in recent years to capture, band and research hummingbirds at Rudeen Ranch, which hosts an annual “roundup” to study and preserve the birds, near American Falls, Idaho.
Born in Durango, Colorado, Ken spent most of his youth in Arvada, Colorado, before embarking on a 40-year career in the mining industry. He married his wife, Tracy, in 1980, and they raised four children while moving around to different states for his career. They were faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Ken served in many capacities, including as a member of the bishopric and as young men’s president.
They have lived in Spokane for 25 years, and Ken and Tracy celebrated their 40th anniversary last June. He died on Jan. 5 at age 63.
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