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, to send the family messages, share memories, or to obtain directions to the services.

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  1. Ken was a very kind and sweet man who I enjoyed working with. Mike, my heart goes out to you and your family. Carlie & Darren Garber

  2. Dear Judy, We are so sorry to hear about Ken and my heart goes out to you. Although we don’t see each other very often, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Cherish the memories, Love, Kathy and Rich

  3. To Judy and family, Our deepest condolences to you and your family. Even though we had known Ken for a few years, we felt that we had known him for a long time. He was such a good man and he will be missed dearly. Our fondest regards, Julie Valukonis and family.

  4. We loved Uncle Kenny. We fondly remember his birthday here 11 years ago, when he played the trumpet for us and we had to call the fire department because of all the candles on the cake! (1998) We send all our love. John, Karen and kids (carter)

  5. Dear Aunt Judy and family, I am so sorry to hear about Uncle Ken. I have such wonderful memories of the trips we made to visit you and Ken when I was growing up. He was such an outgoing person with a fantastic sense of humor. Please know that you guys are in my thoughts. Love, Karen, Tim, Christopher and Lauren

  6. Ken Newkirk was a wonderful man. He always brings joy and laughter into my life. He will be missed but not forgotten. My prayers goes out to his family. He is one of the angels now, looking after his dear ones. Joana and Carlos Gramajo

  7. My heart goes out to the entire Newkirk family, especially Ken’s beautiful wife Judy. I am so thankful to have him and his family in my life. There would have been a lot of waves not riden and hooks not biten if it wasn’t for Ken driving Mike and I around. He will be missed. Warmest Condolences, Mark

  8. Dear Judy, Jeff, Kevin, Eric & Micheal, I’m so sorry to hear of your losses.I also have a lot of memories of the adventures and fun we went through growing up on 187th street.I hope all is well.I’d love to hear from you. My E-mail address is Scott Mcknight

  9. Dear Judy, I was saddened to read about Ken’s passing. Even though I did not know him personally, I feel as though I did when were shared about our families with each other. My thoughts are with you and your sons at this difficult time. I have thought of you off and on since you retired and wondered how you were. I retired two years ago this April. A friend from your past, pam breeze ~ Pam Breeze, Redondo Beach, California

  10. Dear Judy, Jeff, Kevin, Eric & Micheal, I have such fond & fun memories growing up on 187th Street neighborhood with the Newkirk family. I am deeply saddened by the news of your loss of Ken and father. May you find comfort and peace that only God can bring. You will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers during this time of procsessing and grieving. ~ Sheril (McKnight) Burns, Littleton, Colorado

  11. Dear Judy & Family, Sorry to hear about Ken’s passing. We will keep you in our prayers. Stella Marsh & Marie Marsh Ryba

  12. Dear Judy and Family, We were so sad to learn of Ken’s passing. We pray for God’s comfort in this time of grief. ~ Roland & Joan McKnight, Fallbrook, California

  13. Mike, You have our sincere condolences on the loss of your father. Our thoughts are with you and and your family through this difficult time. Love, Chad and Megan Lucius ~ Chad Lucius, Torrance, California

  14. Ken was such a great guy and I am so sorry about your loss. He had a great sense of humor and always seemed so happy and full of life. He will be missed very much by all of us who knew him. ~ Jennifer Salvino, Redondo Beach, California

  15. Dear Judy, Jeff, Kevin, Eric and Michael, I am so sorry to hear about Ken’s passing. His great smile and outgoing personality will be missed. Our prayers are with you… Love, Robyn and family

  16. Dear Judy, I have great memories of Ken and his smiling face. It was nice to have had the chance to work with him in R2 he was always so easy going and had a big heart. He was a very thoughtful man. From time to time I would see him in How’s market and we would chat. Our prayers are with you and your family during this time.

  17. Dear Judy, Jeff, Kevin, Eric and Michael, I have such great memories with the Newkirk family. Going to Love’s BBQ restaraunt for all the kid’s birthdays. Going to the baseball field, playing pool at the BULL’S and most recently when Ken, Judy and Michael attended my parents’s 50th wedding anniversary party here in Boise. I am so glad I had that opportunity to visit with Ken before he died. Love you all, Alan, Lori and Dylan Bullinger. P.S. Now Ken and Marilyn can have a shot together like old times.

  18. We both want to extend our deepest sympathies to Judy and family. Ken was a “kind soul” and God is watching him now. Love to you all, /s/Mary and Carl Holcomb

  19. Dear Judy, I was deeply saddened by the news. I wish I would have heard earlier so I could have attended the service. Even though I have been out of contact, you and Ken always meant so much to me growing up. Ken was such a character and I always loved the way he joked around and teased. He was always fun to be around and always made me smile. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I still have your phone number so I will call you soon. Please give Kevin my best along with a big hug.

  20. Dear Judy,Jeff,Kevin,Eric,& Michael, I am so very sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. I just found out yesterday. Our family would have definitely been at his service if we had known. I know how difficult it is to lose your partner in life. I lost my husband to cancer in December of 2006. The grieving process is painful. But with God’s help we get through it, one day at a time. My thoughts and prayers are with you,

  21. Judy and Family, I am very sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. Unfortunately for me, I did not find out until Monday July 20. I deeply regret that I was unable to pay my last respects — and Ken deserved the most respect. He was such a great person to know and to just be around. His zest for life was contagious. He made the most of his time on earth. He is already missed. I will be sure to visit Ken at Pacific Crest to pay my last respects. All my prayers.

  22. My sympathy to the family. I worked with Don at TRW, and one of the reasons I know you will miss him badly is because HE WAS SO MUCH FUN! (He was also so sharp that he made the work look easy….) We are all lucky that we had some time, however brief, to spend with him.

  23. I just heard about Ken’s passing yesterday and I’m so sorry for your loss. I know Ken from the good ole TRW day’s and he definitely had an outgoing personality, every one knew Ken. He was kind and generous. He was a hard worker and cared about the quality of his work. God Bless you in your time of sorrow ..

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