Kenneth Scott Bottom

Kenneth Scott Bottom
December 19, 1936 – September 6, 2015

Kenneth Bottom, 78, of Bryan, TX, passed away on Sunday, September 6, 2015 at his home. Life Tribute Ceremony for the family and friends of Kenneth will be at 2:30pm on Sunday, September 13, 2015 at the chapel at St. Michael’s Episcopal School, 2402 South College Avenue, Bryan, TX. Cremation services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home. No reception to follow the service.

Kenneth was born December 19, 1936 in Wichita, Kansas to parents Virgil E. and Thelma F. Bottom. He was the youngest of three boys with older brothers Eldon and Paul. In his early years, Kenneth was a wrestler in high school and college. He played football and also played clarinet in the band. While in college, he met his first wife Diane Alexander. His son, Robert S. Bottom was born in 1958. After achieving a Bachelor of Science Degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Biology, he began his career in the Oceanographic field working for Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California. In 1961, while in San Diego, he met his second wife, Dorothy Lois Breckwoldt. Into this marriage, Dorothy brought seven year old Edward R. Webb II and six year old Katherine A. Webb. In 1963, this new family then welcomed Brenda L. Bottom. In 1964, the family re-located from San Diego to Bryan, Texas.

Kenneth then continued his oceanographic career at Texas A&M University. Kenneth was the Marine Tech Supervisor for the Technical Operations Group. He also was an expert scuba diver, serving on the diver safety board. He also piloted the two-man submarine for the Oceanography Department. He was with the Oceanography Department with Texas A&M University from 1964 up until his retirement. In his long lifetime, Kenneth also had many wonderful travel experiences. He traveled extensively with the TAMU Oceanography Department enjoying locales such as the Fiji Islands, South America, and parts of Africa and Southeast Asia.

Kenneth enjoyed life and his family. He and his wife Dorothy loved to travel within the United States especially their cruise to Alaska. They enjoyed fishing and camping with their children. His favorite hobbies were golfing, fishing, and watching sports. During retirement, he could usually be found on the golf course at his favorite country club in Calvert or keeping up with his favorite sports team on TV.

Kenneth is survived by his wife Dorothy L. Bottom and children Robert S. Bottom and wife Cathy, and Brenda L. Yeomans, his stepson Edward R. Webb and wife Andrea, 9 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren, brother Paul Bottom and his wife Kathy and Eldon’s wife Arliss Bottom. He is proceeded in death by his parents, his step-daughter Katherine Webb and brother Eldon Bottom.

Expressions of condolence can be made at The family asks that in lieu of flowers, to your favorite charity or to the scholarship set up in Kenneth’s father’s name, Virgil E. Bottom Scholarship fund for Physics students at McMurry Univerity in Abilene, Texas.


  1. Ken Bottom played an important role in my early days at A&M Oceanography. Ken was chief MT (Marine Tech) at the time, and he helped me carry out several cruises with R/V Gyre in the Gulf of Mexico. I learned a great deal from Ken and ET Eddie Webb and R/V Pittman about rosettes, water bottles, CTDs, current meters and (ugh) titration on the ship.
    My sincere condolences to Ken’s family. We will all miss him. I can hear his voice and laughter as I type this.

  2. I could not have completed my thesis without Ken. “The Techs” — also Dennis, Eddie and RV — were always there for us students, and I think many of us learned as much from them as from our instructors. I went to sea with Ken several times, and always came home with a new skill; I once assisted (handed him tools) while he dismantled and rebuilt a rosette on deck. His humor was as arch and dry as they come, with no suffering of fools. I have missed him a lot these years in O&M, and will continue to miss him.

  3. It was such a joy for me to work in the Oceanography Department at TAMU because of people like Ken. Never did I our paths cross that Ken didn’t take the time to stop and share a joke, a laugh, a friendly pat on the back. His smile and dry sense of humor always brightened my day. I have missed him since our retirements. My sincere condolences to Dottie, Eddie, and the rest of the Bottom family. He will be sorely missed.

  4. Ken changed my life by giving me a job as a marine technican in 1981. His honesty, integrity, and “do the job right ” attitude set an exemplary standard that few others have. We enjoyed hunting together. He was a devoted husband to Dorothy. Ken was the best “boss” that I ever had and a true friend. He will be greatly missed.

  5. Ken and Dottie Bottom are among the best people I have ever known. Ken played a major role in my life as an undergrad and grad student at Texas A&M. I will always remember the friendship, fishing, golfing, and bar g ques we shared along with the cruises on the Gyre.

    My deepest sympathies to Dottie, Eddie, and Brenda and Best Wishes as you continue your own journeys.

    Colonel Hank

  6. I worked with Ken at TAMU / Tech Ops (1985-1986) and couldn’t have asked for a better boss and friend. Ken treated me with respect and kindness while mentoring me through the ways of working on a ship full of mostly men. His sense of humor and breadth of experience at TAMU created a positive, life-long memory for me. I will always remember him with kindness and a smile on my face.

    My heart goes out to Dottie and the rest of the family. I know how much Ken cared for and about his family. My sincerest condolences to all.

  7. I worked with Ken at TAMU Oceanography Department from 1970-1973, and had many adventurous sea duties with him on the R/V Alaminos and R/V Orca. I just found out about his passing in 2015, and very sorry that I missed his funeral. The last time I saw him and Dotty was about 2010 in College Station. I took them out to dinner after I went to a scientific conference at TAMU. Ken and I started the dive team when I was a Marine Technician working for him. We did studies of anchor scaring impacts on the Flower Garden Reef for Dr. Tom Bright, which later let to ceasing all anchoring there and the designation as a National Underwater Preserve. We also did a lot of diving for Dr. Dan Taylor on collection of grouper in the Gulf of Mexico for heavy metal concentrations as a bio-indicator species of pollution. When we would get back from long cruises, Ken would take me and another Marine Technician, Al Morales, golfing or fishing to relax from the rigors of sea duty. We had a great time working and relaxing with him. I have never enjoyed working with such a professional, caring, and fun person as Ken Bottom. I had planned on seeing him and Dotty again, but lost contact with them. I will miss Ken very much for the rest of my life, and send my sincere condolences to his family and our TAMU friends and colleagues.


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