Kenneth Elmer Widstrand, 1926 ~ 2008

Kenneth Widstrand was born to Clarence Widstrand and Matilda Sanden on September 16, 1926 at Molalla, Oregon. At the time, Ken’s father was a trucker. At 6 years old Ken went to live with his grandmother after his mother’s sudden death. When Ken was 15 his father married Maritza Minouflet, a French seamstress, whom Ken soon learned to love very much. Ken had an adopted sister and three step-sisters.

After graduating from high school Ken worked for the summer at a Seventh-day Adventist-owned wheat ranch in eastern Oregon. There, he finally got the nerve to ask, “Virgil, why do you go to church on Saturday?” After getting the answer he wrote Maritza, his stepmother, asking what to do. Her answer was, “Ask more questions.”

Ken was a steady, observant, and very good worker. After working on the ranch Ken joined the Navy. He served from 1945-1948 during the occupation of Japan after WWII. Ken then went back to the wheat ranch and Virgil was happy to see him back. The other hired hands were all going to Walla Walla College and encouraged Ken to go along. That is where he and both parents were baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ken graduated with a Theology major in 1952 and on Sept. 18 that year Ken and Lorena Townsend were married in Powell, Wyo. Ken worked at religious book sales, a sawmill, and in the shipyards, while Lorena finished college. Lorena started teaching in 1953.

Ken later took more college work and began his teaching career in Laramie, Wyo. in 1957. He and Lorena taught school in Wyoming, and Colorado, five years in Alaska, and three years in Hawaii. Their time in Hawaii was cut short when Lorena’s father passed away. They had to help with the farm and Ken developed two other businesses there, one which was a carpet-cleaning business. They were then called to Castle Valley Academy to teach. Ken taught high school Bible class, math, history and worked on the farm. They were there for 18 years. At different times Ken was an elder, a deacon, and storyteller in the Adventist church.

At retirement they moved to Hurricane, Utah, where Ken re-started his carpet cleaning business, which he expertly ran until just recently. Witnessing was one of Ken’s biggest hobbies and he saw at least several people join his church for his efforts.

Ken is survived by his wife Lorena, two children, Patricia and Tema, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.