Kenneth A Powers, age 89, was born November 23, 1929 in Iola, Kansas. Kenneth completed his journey on this Earth on May 4, 2019 in Richmond, Kansas.
Kenneth was the 7th of 8 children born to Aca and Hazel (Whitcomb) Powers. Kenneth grew up on the 200-acre family farm in rural Kincaid, which was founded in 1875 by his great-grandfather, Daniel Davidson Powers. The farm was named a “Kansas Tradition Farm” in 1988 and is registered with the Kansas State Board of Agriculture and the Kansas Center for Historical Research. Kenneth was the fourth generation to live on this homesteaded land.
Kenneth attended a one-room schoolhouse before attending and graduating from Kincaid High School in 1947. Kenneth attended one semester at Kansas State University where he majored in agriculture, participated in ROTC and worked as a kitchen helper at one of the sororities. He then returned home to help his mother manage the family farm when his father became ill and passed away. Kenneth continued farming as long as he was capable.
In 1953, Kenneth married Iva Martin in Uniontown, Kansas. To this union were born four children – Debra, Gregory, Donna and Deanna. When Deanna was about three, Iva became ill. Kenneth diligently took her to see specialists across the state as they tried to determine the cause of her illness. In 1968, Iva passed away following neuro-surgery in Wichita, Kansas. Kenneth has shared with his children that he “never expected your mom to die”. In spite of his own grief and offers from family members to help raise the children, Kenneth kept his children together.
Kenneth married Carolyn Eytchison on October 5, 1974. Carolyn joined Kenneth, Donna and Deanna on the family farm. She brought a daughter, Tammy, whom Ken accepted and treated as his own. Kenneth enjoyed having Carolyn by his side as he continued his life journey.
When asked about his life and memories, Ken shared that his first “job” was pulling cockleburs out of corn. He earned 25 cents a day. Laughing, he said that his older brother got 50 cents because he could do 2 rows for each one that Ken did. He also shared that his favorite past-times when young were ice skating on the pond and mowing in the summer.
Kenneth followed in his father’s footsteps by serving on the local school board, which he did for 24 consecutive years. During 16 of those years, he served as President of the Board. Ken also served as the ANW Co-op Kansas delegate for approximately 15 years. Kenneth was active in the community as a volunteer on the Kincaid Fair Board and was the master organizer of the famous Turtle Races during the fair. Always one to step up when needed, you often found Kenneth umpiring softball/baseball games and helping with the yardage chains during football games. He traveled across the countryside to watch his children cheer and play school and recreational sports.
When asked to share what he felt were his greatest achievements, Ken stated “being on the school board for 24 years and keeping you kids together after your mom died”. He stated he was most proud of “how my kids turned out – the type of work they do, degrees they earned.” Although he added that he had to wait until he had a grandson before someone went to KSU.
One of Kenneth’s favorite family traditions was making ice cream during the summer. With eggs from the chickens and milk and cream from his dairy cattle, it was an inexpensive and cool treat after a long day in the fields on an open tractor.
Kenneth is preceded in death by his parents, Aca and Hazel and six siblings, Corinne, Arlene, Jean, Joan, Charles and Shirley as well as his first wife, Iva, son-in-law, Robert Gudenkauf and great-grandson, Jude Gudenkauf.
Kenneth is survived by his wife, Carolyn of the home; one brother, Daniel Powers of Jenks, Oklahoma; three daughters, Debra Gudenkauf of Leawood, Kansas, Donna Powers of St. Petersburg, Florida and Deanna Ozment and husband Steve of Punta Gorda, Florida, one son, Gregory Powers and wife Kristi of Winfield, Kansas and step-daughter, Tammy Miller and husband Rick of Moran, Kansas; grandchildren, Gary, Justin and Kevin Powers, Jared and Amy Gudenkauf and step-grandchildren, Candice Gardner and Shawn Reed; great-grandchildren, Emily, Ethan and Jocelyn, Theodore and Daniel; and step-great grandchildren, Jasmine, Jacob, Joey, Zander and Charlie.
Graveside inurnment services will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., in the Fairview Cemetery, Mildred, Kansas.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Kincaid Fair Board, hopefully to recognize Kenneth’s many years organizing the Turtle Races.
You may send your condolences to the family at www.feuerbornfuneral.com.