Kenneth Kay Walker, son of Arville O. and Mildred K. Walker, was born in Langdon, Missouri, on September 7, 1936. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. He attended Langdon and Rock Port schools, graduating in May 1954 and entered the United States Air Force at 17, serving his country for four years during the Korean Conflict. He was trained as an Airway Operations Specialist, and was honorably discharged in May, 1958.
Ken met Pat while she was on a visit to Rock Port that same month. He was building grain bins and awaiting acceptance to Federal Aviation School in Oklahoma City. Ken entered Northwest Missouri State at Maryville, continuing a courtship with Pat by train from Kansas City.
Ken received the appointment to report to Air Traffic Control School. They married in October 1958 and honeymooned at Oklahoma City. After graduation, the Federal Aviation Agency assigned him to Midtown Airport in Kansas City, where their first son, Jeffrey Scott, was born in December 1959.
When the stress of Air Traffic Control became a health issue, they moved to Louisville, Kentucky, for employment at Bob Kelley Foods. During that time, their second son, Michael Kevin, arrived in February 1961. Homesick for Rock Port, they returned, and Ken joined Jones and Melvin Lumber Company. They welcomed a daughter, Cynthia Kay, in March, 1962. Ken then worked at Kline Truck and Tractor as Bookkeeper until they closed.
Ken then worked at Bennington Chevrolet, Standard Oil, Oakview Construction, MBPXL, and Rolf Fertilizer. He retired from the United States Postal Service due to declining health from a brain tumor in 1984.
Ken had a great appreciation of nature. He was happiest when he could be out in it: early days hunting and fishing with his Dad, fishing, trapping and goose hunting at Swan Lake with his sons, family vacations, hiking and mushroom hunting, trout fishing in the Ozarks, horse racing around the country. Ken was an avid Royals and Chiefs fan.
In later years, travel to Maine in the summers and winter trips to Florida were a highlight. He was extremely proud of his children and their accomplishments. He marveled at granddaughter, Shannon Nichole Burton, when she graduated with her Doctor of Physical Therapy. He was promised a grandson to carry the Walker legacy and welcomed Olin Michael Walker. And he was amazed again at the blessing of another granddaughter, Natalie Grace Walker.
Ill health followed in 2012 after 2 major surgeries and numerous strokes, the inability to converse and limited mobility. Ken never lost his good humor or willingness to try. More importantly, he kept the faith. He was the epitome of grace, courage and humility. His Spirit will always be with us. Ken passed away Wednesday, June 22, 2016, at his home in Rock Port at the age of 79. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Monday, June 27, 2016, First Lutheran Church, Rock Port, Missouri. Interment followed in Hunter Cemetery, Rock Port with military rites under the auspices of Ralph Greer American Legion Post # 49, Rock Port. Services were conducted by Rev. Dave Klappenbach.
In addition to his parents, Kenneth was preceded in death by brothers-in-law, A.J. Barnhart and Dick Garst. Survivors include wife, Patricia Ann, Rock Port; sons, Jeffrey Scott (Jillinda) Walker, Kansas City, Missouri, Michael Kevin (Anna) Walker, Redondo Beach, California; daughter, Cynthia Kay (Walker) Burton, Destin, Florida; grandchildren, Shannon Nichole Burton, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Olin Michael and Natalie Grace Walker, Redondo Beach, California; sisters, Shirley Lea (Jerry) True and Jeanne Garst, all of Rock Port; sisters-in-law, Connie Lusher and Rebecca J. Kelley, both of Louisville, Kentucky; brother-in-law, Robert B. (Ann) Kelley, Fairfax, Virginia; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be directed to Rock Port First Responders or First Lutheran Church, Rock Port. Online obituaries and condolences at www.minterfuneralchapels.com ~Services under the direction of Minter Funeral Chapel.