March 29, 1923 ~ August 30, 2013|
Our beloved father and grandfather, Kenneth L. Rothwell, peacefully returned to his Father in Heaven on Friday, August 30, 2013. He was born in Springville, Utah, on March 29, 1923, to James Andrew and Bertha Weight Rothwell. He was the fifth of their six children.
Ken's family resided in Springville during the school year and spent their summers at the family farm in Idaho's Lost River Valley. Ken spoke fondly of his summers on the farm and often shared memories of his growing-up adventures in Idaho. He was also very active in sports and was a forward on the Springville High School basketball team. His performance on the court also drew the attention of his future wife, Elaine Mason, whenever Springville faced off against Elaine's Tintic High School.
After graduation, Ken entered Brigham Young University, where he was a member of the freshman basketball team. However, college was soon interrupted with the onset of World War II. Ken joined the Navy and was stationed in Virginia and Rhode Island. With his knowledge of engines, he was an instructor to the men maintaining the Navy's aircraft which had been sent back from the front lines for repairs. He can proudly claim membership in the Greatest Generation which saved the world.
Following the war, Ken returned to B.Y.U. where he was invited to join the varsity basketball team, but he declined, as he wanted to "get on with his life." He married Elaine on April 4, 1947, and they were later sealed in the Provo LDS temple. They had one daughter, Lana.
Ken graduated with a degree in Accounting, and the family moved to Orem, where they later built their permanent home of forty-five years. Ken was employed as an accountant at the newly-constructed Geneva Steel, where he spent his entire career and cultivated many friendships.
Ken was a man of many talents, such as landscaping and woodworking. Most importantly, he was an outstanding husband, father, grandfather, and friend, always solid, steady, and fun. Ken participated in many outdoor activities and played numerous sports with his grandsons, jokingly teaching them the art of the underhand free-throw from his time as a basketball player. He was actively involved with his grandsons' lives, teaching them invaluable life skills and instilling in them the values of family, personal responsibility, and hard work.
With Elaine, Ken visited Lana's family in Japan nearly twenty times, along with an occasional side trip to Hong Kong. In the summers, he also traveled with his family on numerous other family vacations throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, which memories we treasure. He especially enjoyed returning to Idaho.
Ken is survived by his sister Ellen Anderson; daughter Lana Gilbert; grandsons Richard, Brett, and Andrew; and eight great-grandchildren, the first of which was born on Ken's eightieth birthday and the most recent of which was born this August 19th.
A viewing will be held at Sundberg-Olpin Funeral Home, 495 S. State Street, Orem, UT 84058, on Monday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m., with a viewing from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., at the LDS chapel located at 641 S. 400 E., Orem, UT 84097.
Interment will be in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SundbergOlpinMortuary.com
Published in Deseret News on Sept. 1, 2013