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Kenneth Robert Child

Kenneth Robert Child was born December 8, 1918, to Art and Clara (Steinhaus) Child at their farm home located on Wounded Knee Creek, near Albany, Nebraska.  He joined older sister Kathleen and sister Helen was born three years later.  His early years were spent in the Albany neighborhood.  He attended Gordon High School, graduating in 1937.

Ken served in the Army Air Force from 1942 to 1946.  In 1944, after serving as the engineer on 13 successful combat missions, his plane was shot down in Romania.  He spent 3 weeks as a prisoner of war before his camp was freed by the Russians.  He was always impressed by how well he was treated by the Romanians.  They were happy to have the Americans helping them. 

In 1945 Ken married Pearl Bruns in Biloxi, MS.  They lived in Riverside, CA, until Ken was discharged from the service and then returned to the farm northwest of Gordon.  Four children were born to this union; Sharon, Bob, Sandra and Tim.  Pearl passed away in 1977.  Ken was always a strong family man, but after Pearl’s death he was especially strong.  He would gather his clan together every weekend for a meal and homemade ice cream.  His birthdays were always celebrated with Christmas tree cutting and homemade ice cream.

In 1982 Ken and Norma Reeves Davis were married.  He gained 4 step-children at that time; Merna, Owen, Gary and Glenda and their families.  During their years together Ken and Norma enjoyed many bus tours, spending time in every state but Hawaii.

Ken was an avid farmer his entire life.  At one time he raised pigs and, for several years, many of the 4-H pigs entered in the Sheridan County Fair were from his breeding program.  Later in life, he continued to go out to “the farm” every day, helping his sons and then his grandson with the work.  One of his passions was helping keep the weeds under control.  He spent many hours out on a 4-wheeler with his sprayer.

Ken was an active community member over the years.  He spent much time helping the Albany 4-H Club with various activities.  Range judging was one of his favorites.  He donated many hours to helping 4-H members, and especially his children and grandchildren, gain the ability to recognize varieties of grasses and weeds.  In 1980 his team (Kenny Bayliss, Mike Bayliss, Dennis Child and Jeff Rucker) won the state range judging contest, won the regional contest and went on to place 4th at nationals in Oklahoma City, OK.

The other 4-H activity he thoroughly enjoyed was the annual Albany 4-H trail ride.  For many years the community gathered together with their families and their horses for a two day ride in a variety of locations- Nebraska sandhills, Beaver Wall, Niobrara River, Mission Ranch, to name a few.

Ken leaves to celebrate his life:  wife Norma; daughters Sharon (Jerry) Fochtman and Sandra Child; sons Bob (Carol) Child and Tim (Teresa) Child; stepdaughters Merna (Bernie) Ganshert and Glenda Capler, all of Gordon, NE; stepson Owen (Marlene) Davis and brother-in-law Bill (Deanna) Bruns of Rushville, NE; sister-in-law Helen Bruns of Walla Walla, WA; brother-in-law Eldren (Jean) Reeves and sister-in-law Anna Allison of Gordon, NE.  Grandchidren, Kenny (Maggie) Bayliss and their children Jordan and Derrick; Mike (Staci) Bayliss and their children Jake, Grace and Ellen; Stacy (Matt) Hartman and their children Logan, Keagan and Carly; Kristy (Darren) Shanks and their children Dylan and Kenly; Dennis Child; Kristi (Gary) Rose and their children Kenna and Kayli; Jay (Carrie) Child and their children Shane, Quin, Beau and Austin; Patty Child and her children Cassidy and Jackson; Katie (Doug) Pascoe and their children Ryan and Taylon and Jo Morrison.  Step grandchildren Shawn Capler; Jaime (Marc) Lebanoff and their children Jonah and Austin; Chris (Dixie) Ganshert and their children Christopher, Jacob and Alex; Scot Ganshert and his daughter Rose; Eric (Brenda) Ganshert and their son Eriq; Rhonda (Scott) Johnson and their children Blake, Kaitlyn, McKenna and Tanner; Jeff (Gina) Davis and their children Ashton and Delani; Greg (Denise) Davis and their children Marc, Gavin and Aubrey; Julie (Bryan) Linders and their children Michaela, Mariah, Paige and Rylan.

Preceding Ken in death were his parents Art and Clara, his first wife Pearl, sisters Kathleen Foster and Helen Child, stepson Gary Davis, granddaughter Jenny Child, grandson Andy Child and great-granddaughter Jenna Rose.

Ken died peacefully on Monday October 6, 2014, at Countryside Care in Gordon.  Services for Ken were held at the United Methodist Church, Friday October 10, 2014, 2:00 PM.  Burial with Military Honors was held in the Gordon Cemetery.

A memorial has been established for the Sheridan County 4-H and FFA Range Management projects.  Donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366 Gordon, NE69343.

© Sheridan County Journal Star 2017