Terminally ill, former Assemblyman Ken Stout is in his 'last days,' family says

Kyle Hopkins
Bob Hallinen

Former city Assemblyman Ken Stout, 84, is terminally ill and receiving hospice care at home this week in Anchorage, his family says.

Stout was head of the Alaska Republican Party in the early 1980s and represented East Anchorage on the Assembly from 2004 to 2007. He is the father of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher DeeDee Jonrowe.

"He's in his last days. It's day by day now, and in the last 24 hours it's deteriorated to where he can't get up anymore," Jonrowe said in a phone interview. The family announced Stout's condition to reporters in a news release Saturday.

Stout was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, a form of skin cancer, more than a year ago.

Doctors told him he wouldn't live to see his daughter race the 2013 Iditarod. Yet there he was on Fourth Avenue in early March, cheering Jonrowe's 31st start.

"At 84 years old, who wants to get a lot of treatment?" Stout told the Daily News at the time. "I'd rather have the best quality of life I can than be drugged up with chemo."

Stout was doing well and traveling out of state as recently as three weeks ago. Lately he has been weakening rapidly, Jonrowe said.

Stout was hospitalized recently and on Tuesday was allowed to leave for hospice care at home -- meaning that doctors said there is nothing more they than do for him and he is not expected to recover, Jonrowe said.

Jonrowe and her mother, Peggy Stout, are both breast cancer survivors.

Stout retired from the U.S. Army in 1974 and served as chairman of the state Republican Party from 1980 to 1985, his family said. He met his wife-to-be at a USO event in the Washington, D.C., area when Peggy was a first-year teacher.

"They had their 61st anniversary last Thursday when I took him to the hospital," Jonrowe said. "We were going to celebrate it once dad started feeling better."

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