September 24, 1924 - August 19, 2021
Reedley, California - Kenneth Lee Preheim was born in Spivey Kansas on September 24th 1924 to Jacob and Lydia Preheim and died peacefully on August 19th 2021 in Reedley California. He was the fourth of seven children and while still a child the family moved to Reedley where they successfully operated a farm while forging bonds that lasted a lifetime. Throughout his life there was nothing more important or cherished than family. On August 29th 1948 he married Billie Frances Yeager of Orosi and in Coalinga California they started their own family of three children: Steven Douglas, Ellen Kay, and Rodney Louis. Weekends and vacations were for traveling to visit his parents, brothers, sisters, and in-laws. The way he lived instilled the same love of family in his children and nothing made him happier.
"Kenne" as he was usually known, was a terrific natural athlete who excelled at most anything he enjoyed. He was a skilled boxer, and a formidable opponent in bad-mitten, horse shoes, pool, volley-ball, golf, and bowling. He took on the duty of scoutmaster while living in Coalinga and led troop 171 on many camp-outs and demanding backpacking trips. He was also an active member of the First Baptist Church and served as treasurer. Kenne began work in the petroleum industry as a book keeper for Tidewater Oil Co. in Coalinga and retired in Bakersfield as a division accounting supervisor for Getty Oil Co. After retiring Kenne and Billie built a house outside of Reedley on ten acres of of farmland left to him by his father. This move brought him near old friends but more importantly many of his brothers and sisters lived nearby.
Kenne's desire to help others was well known to friends and family. Driving an elderly neighbor to the barbershop or a years long commitment to the needs of his wife Billie during a long illness were among many selfless duties he did not fail. When Kenne's own ability to live independently began to decline he alone made the decision to leave his house and live in Sierra View Homes Retirement Community, to stop driving his car and give it away, and to increase his level of care when needed. He did not put his children in the difficult position of making those decisions. At the age of 96 Kenne was thankful for the joys in his life and refused to complain about his limitations and pain. His was in essence a life well lived.
The funeral service will be small and private due to concern of covid-19, to be followed by a celebration of life at a safer date. In lieu of flowers a donation to Sierra View Homes Retirement Community, Reedley CA in his name would be appreciated.
Published by Fresno Bee on Sep. 8, 2021.