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Kenneth's Story

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Kenneth R. Van Dyke, 82, surrounded by family and friends, left this earth and entered into everlasting life with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on May 7, 2017.
Ken was born on June 18, 1934, in New York. His family moved to California when he was only 9 years old. While traveling through Oklahoma on his birthday, his family celebrated the affair with a big cold watermelon. He never forgot what that birthday meant to him.
He graduated from Narbonne High School in Lomita, California, in 1952 and earned his associate degree from Long Beach Community College, California, in 1956.
Ken and Sally were married in March 1954, which resulted in a forever love of two wonderful daughters, Becky of Lompoc, California, and Ruthie of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and one treasured son, Paul of Kodiak, Alaska.
Kenny worked for the federal government right out of high school as a boat builder at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, California. He then became a carpenter working at the Port Hueneme Seabee Base, California, and then was selected out of 56 applicants as the structural planner and estimator for the Coast Guard Base in Kodiak, Alaska.
His volunteer work included helping to construct three churches, one being in Kodiak, God's real reason for him going there.
Ken and Sally loved Kodiak and continued to live there for 23 years before moving to Byars, Oklahoma in 2003.
Byars gave him the opportunity to live out his dream of being on a farm and being close to Sally's relatives, Bud and Symblene Barr and Doyle and Joan McElwain. He would start anew with his talents and skills to be used for wherever they may have been needed.
KoKoBear Grandpa was the name his grandchildren referred to him because of his Kodiak experience. He and Sally were also hosts of the Country Bed & Breakfast in Kodiak, Alaska, for five years.
Kenny is survived by his wife of 63 years, Sally; daughter and husband Becky and Alan Grant, daughter and husband Ruthie and Dick George, and son and wife Paul and Kelley VanDyke; his grandchildren Dan and Jessica Nelson, Bob and Jamie Nelson, Emily Grant and fiancé Andy Keilen, Caland Grant, Elizabeth and Dan Norrbom, Rachel and Ethan Welliver, Grace and fiancé Patrick Kearney, Luke Ratta, and Annie Van Dyke; great grandchildren Bailey Nelson, Daniel Nelson, Andrew Nelson, Avery Nelson, Ezekiel Nelson, Wyatt Norrbom, Liam Norrbom, and Finlee Kearney. He is also survived by his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Don and Bette Johnson, sister-in-law Dorothy Babcock, numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
Kenny was preceded in death by his parents, his wife's parents, his brother and wife Richard and Joanne Van Dyke, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jack and Muriel Berry, brother-in-law Hank Babcock, and his first son-in-law, Rev. Daniel Nelson.
A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Byars, Oklahoma. Burial was at the Byars Cemetery and a reception followed at the Byars Senior Center.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Byars Pentecostal Holiness Church, Byars, Oklahoma 74831.
Published on May 19, 2017
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