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Kenneth Leroy Alcorn

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Kenneth Leroy Alcorn

Kenneth Leroy Alcorn died at his home Tuesday, June 9, 2009, due to complications of heart disease. Born in Sanger, California on January 15, 1945, Ken moved to Westhaven with his family at the age of seven. After graduating from Trinidad elementary school in 1959, he went on to Arcata High School, transferred to McKinleyville High, and became a member of the first graduating class of that school in 1963.

As a young boy and in high school, he played and excelled at football, basketball, and baseball. His love of sports continued throughout his life. While he loved the Giants and the 49ers, what he truly enjoyed was watching his children and grandchildren play any sport; and he was arguably the biggest and proudest fan in the stand. He was never one to hold back his emotions.

After high school, Ken began his career in the retail grocery business. He was a conscientious and hard-working employee and proud member of the union. He believed in doing a job well and doing it right. Ken could have written a book on quality customer service - he valued it highly, and thoroughly enjoyed helping out and dealing with his customers. During his career he worked at several local grocery stores; but most will remember him from Safeway, starting in McKinleyville and eventually transferring to Arcata. One of the things Ken loved most about working in Arcata was the diversity of the people who came through his line. He happily stayed at that store until he retired in 1998 at the age of 53.

Ken married his first wife, Barbara, with whom he had three daughters. In 1985 he married his wife of 23 years, Carol, and together they raised their five children. Ken devoted his entire adult life to raising his children, and with twenty-two years between the oldest and youngest, this was no simple task. Ken also contributed to and influenced the lives of countless other children by retiring early to lovingly run Carol’s daycare so that she could return to college and fulfill her dreams. He was well loved (and even adored) by both the children and their parents.

Ken’s greatest joy was spending time with his family. He was fiercely loyal to the people he loved, and made them all feel safe and secure. He was a devoted son who, with his siblings, lovingly cared for their mother throughout a very difficult and lengthy illness, making certain she lived in her own home until her death in 1996. While his parents were living, Ken bought a piece of land next to theirs which enabled him to spend a great deal of time with them. He enjoyed going over to their house to visit, have some coffee, and help them out around the house. Ken was also an intensely proud father and grandfather, and he believed down to his soul that they were each the best at everything they did. When two of his sons joined the military, he was concerned for their safety, but respected and supported their decisions. He anxiously waited for their safe return from Iraq, and was overjoyed when they each came home healthy and whole. As a grandfather he was extremely devoted, attending school functions, sporting events, and field trips. He frequently traveled long distances to visit children and grandchildren who had moved out of the area.

When not spending time with his family, Ken loved spending time in his favorite places: Forks of the Salmon and Heppner, Oregon, where he spent his time hunting with his sons and close friend Paul. Among Ken’s passions were hunting, fishing, and agate hunting. He loved walking on the beach and in the woods, loved animals (especially his dogs), respected nature, and enjoyed watching the birds that came to his many feeders to feast. Ken also had a beautiful singing voice, and spent many years with the Trinidad Town Choir. Most recently in his retirement Ken adopted the philosophy of “work hard, nap harder.” He spent a lot of time remodeling his home, and deeply enjoying quality time with Carol. He loved a leisurely morning of reading the entire newspaper, front to back, drinking his coffee, and “resting his eyes,” before really getting started on his day. He loved the simple pleasures in life, but was in no way a simple man. A staunch democrat, he kept himself well-versed on what was happening in the world and could talk politics with anyone; and while he had strong beliefs, he was always willing to listen to what others had to say. He would do anything for those he loved - drive to the ends of the earth if someone needed him to. If there was anything he could do for someone, he’d do it.

We, who love Ken, know that he was the kindest, most loyal, loving, and honest man; and there are not enough words, not enough ink, not a newspaper large enough to express the love and admiration we have for him. This world is richer, better, more filled with love, laughter, and beauty because he was in it. And for all of us lucky enough to have loved and been loved by him, our worlds are forever changed by this tremendous loss. We will each cherish the time we had with him, and miss him every single day.

Ken is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Carol Alcorn; daughters: Carole Meng and her husband Mike, Cathy Tobin and her husband Mike, Connie Echols and her husband Shawn, Keysha Maples, and Beverly Alcorn; sons: Patrick DePriest and fiancée Jessica, Garrett Alcorn, and Joe Alcorn and his wife Robin; sisters: Donna Goddard and her husband Don; Norma Nored and her husband Gene; and sister-in-law, Norita Alcorn; grandchildren: Katelynn and Cameron Meng; Rebecca, Emily, Nathan, and Zachery Echols; Briar Maples; Hunter, Auna, Jakob, Rebecca, Raychel, and Kalob DePriest; Faith and Aniyah Alcorn; and Lucas Alcorn; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by parents Granville and Alice Alcorn, brothers Clyde and Virgil Alcorn, and niece Debbie Alcorn.

Anyone who wishes is invited to visitation on Friday, June 12, from 4 - 8pm, and Saturday, June 13, from 10am - 2pm, at Paul’s Chapel, 1070 H Street, in Arcata.

A private burial will be held for the family at 3:30 on Saturday at Greenwood Cemetery, 1757 J Street, in Arcata; and a celebration of his life for all who knew him at 5pm Saturday at Trinidad Elementary School (in the gym), 300 Trinity Street, Trinidad.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Trinidad Elementary School in Ken’s name.

Arrangements are under the care of Paul’s Chapel, Arcata, CA.

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Published in Eureka Times-Standard on June 12, 2009