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Kenneth Terwilliger - June 03, 2012


Kenneth Terwilliger was born southeast of Grant, Neb. on Oct. 16, 1922 to Nile and Esther Brown Terwilliger. He spent his early years on a farm southwest of Grant with his four brothers. His mother died when he was eight and he was raised by his maternal grandparents. He attended high school in Grant and graduated from Perkins County High School in 1939. After graduation, Ken started farming with his grandfather, Joe Brown. During this time he became very active in 4-H and participated in state and national competitions.
When the United States became involved in World War II, Ken enlisted in the Army Air Corps in October of 1942. After his basic training, he attended Morningside College for intensive flight training. He graduated from the cadet program in April of 1944. He was transferred to Del Rio, Texas to complete B-26 training and later was transported to Scotland on the Queen Mary and was stationed 90 miles north of Paris. He piloted a B-26 bomber for 28 missions over Germany. Ken received several medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was honorably discharged on Feb. 26, 1946.
After his return to the farm he was married to Ramona Houser on Sept. 1, 1946 in Grant. They made their home on a farm southeast of Grant where they raised their two children. He raised wheat and corn in addition to black angus cattle for 43 years. Ken and Ramona moved from the farm in 1989 into Grant.
Ken was very active in his retirement years and kept his body in good shape and stayed active on the farm. He had developed a malignancy and had moved to his daughter’s house in Denver in February. He had been transferred to the Denver hospice unit the day before he died. He died on Sunday, June 3, 2012 at the age of 89.
Ken was always a strong proponent of 4-H and had served as the president of the Perkins County Fair Board for nine years. He was a member of the Grant American Legion and was honored in September of 2011 to make the Rocky Mountain Honor Flight to Washington D.C. where he was selected to place the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
In addition to his parents, Ken was preceded in death by one brother, Keith.
He is survived by his wife of over 65 years, Ramona; his daughter Sonja and husband Jack O’Connor of Denver; his son Marlin Terwilliger and special friend Chris Wendell of Grant; five grandchildren, Angela O’Connor, Sean and wife Lisa O’Connor, and Tiffany and husband Mehul Patel, all of Denver, Troy Terwilliger, and Ryan and wife Judy Terwilliger, all of Lincoln; eight great-grandchildren; three brothers, Paul in California and Ronald and Leyndel Terwilliger, both in New Mexico; three half-brothers, Bill, Roger, and Ronnie Terwilliger and three half-sisters, Bernita Dodge, Nancy Grube, and Norma Coulson, other relatives and friends.
Committal services will be held on Friday, June 29, at 2 p.m. at the Grant Fairview Cemetery with John Long officiating.
A flag presentation will be made by the Perkins County Veterans.
Cremains will be buried in the Grant Cemetery.
Bullock-Long Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.