July 18, 1937 ~ July 14, 2009
Newkirk, Kenneth Don
After a courageous battle, Kenneth D. Newkirk succumbed to bone cancer on July 14, 2009. Ken was born to Opal and Frank Newkirk on July 18, 1937, in Kirksville, Missouri. At age eight, the family relocated to Needles, California where Ken's Father worked on the Santa Fe Railroad. Ken graduated from Needles High School in 1955 and continued his education in junior college. He obtained his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of San Francisco.
Ken was employed in the Aerospace Industry (Hughes, North American Aviation, TRW, and Lockheed Martin) for approximately 50 years. However, his first love was trumpet playing. Ken began playing trumpet at the age of nine, and his talent provided him with many opportunities to play the music he so loved. In high school, he led the dance band; auditioned and was accepted to the Midwestern Music Camp at the University of Kansas; and was selected as the first Needles recipient of the Aaron's Music Award. While attending Santa Monica Junior College, he marched in the Pasadena Rose Parade. As a young adult, he continued to perform at various corporate parties.
Ken leaves behind his wife of 46 years, Judy; four sons - Jeffrey, Kevin, Eric (Jessica), and Michael; the daughter he never had, Luisa Cano; three grandchildren - Kaila, Christopher, and Alyssa; his sister, Demarious Artz of Logan, Utah; numerous nieces and nephews; and his favorite Boston Terrier, Rusty, who gave him so many hours of unconditional love and pleasure. Ken was predeceased by his parents, Opal and Frank; his brother, Neil; and two sisters, Vonceil and Francis Jane.
Ken was a "people" person who never met a stranger. His friendly, outgoing personality, compassion for others, and eternal optimism, will be forever missed by those who knew and loved him. Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 18, 10:00 a.m. at the Rice Mortuary Chapel with a reception to follow in the Lighthouse Reception Room adjacent to the Chapel. Ken will be laid to rest at Pacific Crest Cemetery.
Please use this website, www.LAfuneral.com to send the family messages, share memories, or to obtain directions to the services.
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