BUTLER — Kenneth Graham, age 99, a quiet man of deep wisdom, died peacefully in his sleep Thursday, April 10, 2014.
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He was born in New Mexico in 1915, where his parents, Will and Vesta, homesteaded. The family moved to Virginia after his brother Richard died. As a young boy, he spent much of his time roaming the woods, climbing trees, attending a one-room schoolhouse and wrestling with his brothers. The family moved to Auburn, Ind., when he was a teenager.
Kenneth was a confirmed bachelor until his sister Ruth went to college and brought home her roommate, Rose Carter. Kenneth was positive that college would change his sister, but instead it changed him! Kenneth and Rose married and raised five children on the "tree farm" east of Butler.
He never tired of looking at his beautiful trees or gazing across the field as the landscape changed with the seasons. He loved walking in the woods and when walking became difficult, he'd drive his tractor or riding mower to enjoy time outdoors.
He was an artist and spent hours painting the scenes that brought him so much joy: the farms, fields, wildlife and trees that surrounded him each day.
Kenneth served in WWII (oldest veteran in DeKalb County), as did his brothers, William, Robert, John, Jim and brother–in-law, Pete. All came home safely except Jim. Today, there is surely a great reunion as Kenny and the "boys" catch up on everything that has happened since they last saw each other. Also, joining in this celebration will be his sister, Helen; niece, Sylvia; nephew, Hal; and his wife, Rose.
If we measure wealth by the amount of love and serenity a person has in life, then Kenneth was rich beyond measure. We celebrate his abundant life and are better for having known this peaceful, gentle and kind man. He lived life honestly, simply and found beauty everywhere. He treated everyone with grace and respect. He loved music, camping at Lake Superior, poetry and times with his family. He was cheerful and always found the good in every situation. His life was blessed with many friendships and the love of his family. In his own words to a friend: "I think I must be the most blessed man on earth."
He is survived by his children, William, Richard, Bonnie, Scott and Miriam; grandchildren, Ian, Brigitte, Wendy and Dave; sisters, Ruth and Dorothy; and the love of many friends.
Memorial services will be announced at a later date.
Published in KPCNews on Apr. 12, 2014