MAJOR KENNETH HARLAN VANWAY, SR., USAF (Ret), 88, of Missouri City, Texas, bravely passed away and went to heaven on January 30, 2014. |
Ken - aka "Harlan" aka "Van The Man" - was born on July 19, 1925, to Leonard and Mary Vanway, and grew up a farmer in Fairfield, Illinois, becoming President of the FFA his senior year when he met the love of his life and bride of 65 years, Jackie Faye Dixon, whom he married on June 5, 1943.
At 18, he joined the Army where he proudly served his country for 20 years 2 months 1 day and a wakeup before retiring as Major (USAF) at Ellington AFB. His service included tours in Italy (WWII), Japan, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas before he retired from the USAF on December 31, 1963 and began a 50-year career in life insurance. He eventually created the Vanway Agency, where he made Conference of Champions, qualifying for many conventions to London, Puerto Rico, Toronto, Acapulco, Hawaii, Vancouver, and Nassau.
Community and Service were very important to Ken with Rotary playing a big part in his life for 48 years. He was the Charter President of Oyster Creek Rotary Club, a Master Mason with a 50-year pin, Area Governor of Toastmasters, Chairman of the Board for Belfort Christian Church, active in American Legion, Past-President of the Fort Bend Shrine Club, Sugar Creek Baptist Church, and was the proud holder of a 7-gallon mug for giving blood.
Jackie predeceased Ken on April 17, 2008. Their marriage was blessed with 3 children. He is survived by his children, Glenna Kaye Vanway, Pamela Raye Vanway, and Kenneth H. Vanway Jr. and his wife Carrie. Also in the legacy are 7 grandchildren, Gidget Hesselgrave and her husband Chris, Chris Anderson, Gretchen Philips Shelton and her husband Mike, Amanda Vanway Dingus, Christie Dingus Campbell and her husband Zak, Rachel Vanway, and Justin Harlan Dixon Vanway; 8 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandson. These descendants are Ken's greatest legacy.
Ken is also survived by his sister, Louise (Meritt) Dallmier; brother-in-law, Bud Dixon; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother, Glen Vanway; and two sisters, Eloise Venable and Eleanor Richardson.
When you asked Ken how he was doing, he would respond "Not bad for poor folks", but he knew he was rich with family, friends and community. He was a respected leader, a faithful friend, a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather. He was just Great.
Friends are invited to a visitation with the family from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at The Settegast-Kopf Co. @ Sugar Creek, 15015 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land (Williams Trace Exit), with a Masonic Service beginning at 7:00 PM. A joyful celebration of Ken's life will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, February 6, 2014, in the Morrow Chapel of The Settegast-Kopf Co. @ Sugar Creek, with Pastor Marty Mikelson, officiating. Interment will follow at Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, with full military honors.
For those desiring, memorials in Ken's memory may be made to the
@www.alz.org, or to the
Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 2, 2014