Kenneth J. Christopher, 91, Seymour, passed away Monday Feb. 4, 2013, at Lutheran Community Home.
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Ken, also known as Chris, graduated from Indiana University in June 1948 with a bachelor's of science degree in business administration. He worked at Cummins Inc. for 28 years. After taking early retirement, he realized his dream of owning his own business - Christopher's Country Store in Dudleytown. He often referred to that time as "the most enjoyable 10-year period of my life." After meeting all of his goals for his business, Ken went on to selling real estate for five years with Pollerts Inc. in Seymour.
As a little boy growing up in Dudleytown, he loved spending time in his father's grocery store doing little jobs such as crating eggs brought in by local farmers and rinsing out cuspidors. Later, he enjoyed earning money by trapping and selling wild rabbits and other fur-bearing animals. Music was a huge part of his life in high school, where he played violin in orchestra and ensemble and sang bass in the school choir and male glee club.
A member of what Tom Brokaw called the "Greatest Generation," he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 as a battalion and regimental yeoman at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. He was accepted into the Navy V-12 Program and the Midshipman Training Program, which led to a commission of ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He served as supply corps officer aboard the U.S.S. Lamar in the Pacific Theater. He was proud to have served his country.
Ken was very active in his community and church. He was involved with Boy Scouts for six years, serving as assistant Scout master, a district vice chairman and as a member-at-large with the Hoosier Hills Council. He was presented the Scouter's Award and the Silver Beaver Award for Distinguished Service to Boyhood. Ken was a lifelong member of the Lutheran church, serving as chairman, elder, treasurer, Sunday school teacher and singing in the church choirs. He also served on the Lutheran Community Home Board of Directors.
For the past 20-plus years, Ken made wooden games and puzzles that he sold at craft shows. A fixture at Seymour's Oktoberfest, his booth was a favorite of children and adults alike.
Music continued to be an important part of his life. He played fiddle for the country bands Laddermen"and Sounds of Yesterday,
brightening the days of residents at nursing homes and retirement centers. A faithful booster
of Indiana University
basketball, he enjoyed helping Bob Knight and his successors coach the team from his living room chair.
Gregarious, involved and interested in many things, Ken lived life to the fullest.
Born on April 28, 1921, in Dudleytown, he was the only son of Fred H. and Lena (Melloncamp) Christopher. He married Lillie M. Arnholt on June 20, 1948, at St. Paul (Clifty) Lutheran Church, Columbus.
Survivors include his beloved wife, Lillie M. Christopher, Seymour; son, Fred (Debbie) Christopher, Muncie; three daughters, Carla (Richard) Sekula, Indianapolis, Linda (Colin) Scheidt, Columbus, and Gina (Mark) Zimmerer, Sandy, Utah; grandchildren, Kaus (Raquel) Christopher, Karryn (Adam Fike) Christopher, Matthew (Dana) Scheidt, Elizabeth Scheidt, Katherine Scheidt, Ryan (Sarah) Sekula and David (Jade) Sekula; and great-grandsons, Kiehl Christopher, Finley Christopher, Nathan Scheidt and Peter Scheidt.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Lila Christopher.
Funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday at Emanuel Lutheran Church, Dudleytown, with Pastor Scott Kozisek officiating. Burial will be at Emanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery with military graveside rites conducted by the American Legion Post 89, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925, Disabled American Veterans 47 and Vietnam Veterans 7, all of Seymour.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Burkholder Funeral Chapel and from 10 a.m. until time of service Friday at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran Community Home, Emanuel Lutheran Church Capital Improvement Fund, Trinity Lutheran High School, Schneck Medical Center Hospice or to the donor's choice of charities.
Remembrances and condolences can be shared at www.burkholderfuneralchapel.com.
Published in Tribune from Feb. 6 to Feb. 10, 2013
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