Kenneth Lee Blackburn was born September 2, 1928 in Klickitat, Washington to Claudius Elvin Blackburn and Pearl Wilma Williams. Ken was the oldest of 6 brothers, 1 sister and two half-brothers and grew up in Burley and Murtaugh, ID, later moving to Riverside and Juntura, OR, due to his father’s job assignments on the railroad. He left home when he was 14 to take classes at Coyne Electrical School in Chicago, Ill. then returned home and started working for Idaho Power Company as a meter reader when he was 16 years old.
Ken met his sweetheart, Shirley Adams, while visiting family in Cascade. Ken proposed to Shirley but since she was only 16 and he was 19 at the time they decided to postpone marriage until Shirley finished High School. Ken enrolled in the Air Force for 4 years and served in Japan during the Korean War. They later married on June 18th, 1952 in Cascade, Idaho. Ken and Shirley had 5 daughters who they raised in Kimberly, ID until getting transferred to Shoshone. They lived in Shoshone until 1975, when they were transferred to Vale, OR and later settled in Ontario where Ken retired as a District Manager from Idaho Power in November, 1985 after 42 years of service. Ken and Shirley then served for 26 months in the Boise, Idaho LDS Temple.
Ken was very active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Lattter-Day Saints. He was a member of the Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce in the communities that he lived in. He loved to go fishing, hunting and golfing and enjoyed taking his family on camping trips. He loved his girls and although he was a quiet and sensitive man, he was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Ken is survived by his sweetheart, Shirley, his daughter, Denise (Kit ) Christensen, (Bedford WY), his daughter Ronda (John ) May, (Peoria, AZ), his daughter Tammy (Dale) Sorensen, (Weiser, ID), his daughter Lori (Dion) Garner, (Chandler, AZ) and his daughter Marisa (Jeff) Lamm (Eagle, ID). He is also survived by his sister, Diane (Tom) Hale (Cedar Hills, UT), his brother, Reid (Betty) Blackburn (Boise, ID) and his half-brother, Tim (Jan) Blackburn (Vineyard, UT). He has 16 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the staff of Ancora Hospice in Fruitland and the staff of Indianhead Estates Assisted Living in Weiser for the care they have provided for both Ken and Shirley. On behalf of Kenneth, please feel free to make a donation to the Veterans Admistration or The American Cancer Society.