Ken volunteered for the draft and entered the United States Army in 1968. He took basic training and Advanced Infantry training at Ft Lewis WA. He entered Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Flight School in November 1968 and graduated August 26, 1969. After a brief assignment at Ft Benning GA, he completed UH-1 Instructor Pilot training. He was assigned to Charlie Co, 158th Combat Assault Battalion, 101st Airborne Division and served as Aircraft Commander/Company Instructor Pilot at Camp Evans during his tour of duty in Vietnam 1970-71.
In 1972, he married Susan Westerman in Lincoln NE. Ken and Sue moved from Lincoln to Bradshaw NE in 1977, then to York NE in 1997. After a severe injury at home in 2016, he made his final home at Fairview Manor in Fairmont NE.
Survivors include Ken’s wife Sue of York, daughter Shelli Mayberry of Evergreen CO, son John (Shana) Mayberry of York, grandchildren McKenzie Mayberry and Jaydin Mayberry, both of York, granddog Kali Mai of Evergreen CO, sister Bonnie (Don) Paulsen of Niobrara, brothers and sister-in-law David Westerman of Cooper Landing AK, Joan Kennedy of Houston TX, James Westerman of Rapid City SD and many nieces, nephews and cousins, a host of friends, and his flying fraternity brothers with whom he kept close in close contact, the Phoenix of Charlie Company. Ken was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 pm, Monday, January 3, 2022 at the Bradshaw United Methodist Church in Bradshaw, NE. Graveside services with military honors will be held at 2:00 pm, Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at L’Eau Qui Court Cemetery in Niobrara, NE. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 1-8 pm, with family greeting friends from 2-4:00 pm at the mortuary.
Memorials may be directed to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Bradshaw United Methodist Church or to the Lighted Cross Fund at Fairview Manor.