Kenneth L. Craven

Kenneth L. Craven, age 90, of Liberty, MO, died Dec. 19, 2019, at Norterre in Liberty. Ken was born Oct. 18, 1929, to Earl S. and Mary E. (Moffitt) Craven in Cowgill. He was the youngest of four children. He was married Jan. 12, 1952, to Patricia Gardner of Colorado Springs, CO. They were happily married for 68 years and have three children and five grandchildren.

Ken graduated from Braymer High School in 1947 and attended William Jewel College for one year. He enlisted in the US Army in 1948 and trained as a Combat Engineer at Fort Lewis, WA. He served in the Korean War, where he achieved the rank of Master Sargent and was awarded two Bronze Stars for meritorious service. After graduating from CMSU in Warrensburg, he was commissioned an Officer in the Army Reserves, where he served as a 1st Lieutenant until his service separation in 1962.

Ken was a career educator, serving 30 years as a public school teacher and coach in Rich Hill, Hamilton, and in the Kansas City School District at Northeast, Lincoln and Van Horn High Schools. He taught physical education, social sciences, history and math and coached football, basketball and track. He was especially proud of the two years his Hamilton football teams of 1958 and 1959 went undefeated and won Grand River Conference Championships. He was also a valued employee of Bross & Spidle Funeral Home for many years.

Ken had been a lifelong member of the Community of Christ Church (RLDS). He had served in many capacities, including as pastor of the Chillicothe, Liberty, Gladstone and Norton Heights congregations, and most recently as an Evangelist. 

Ken had also been a member of many organizations to better serve the communities in which he lived or worked. He had been a member of Rotary Club 13, Kansas City, MO, and a past member of the Rotary in Hamilton and Lee’s Summit. He served as a board member of the Liberty Park and Recreation Department, member of Phi Delta Kappa education fraternity, and Tribe of Mic-O-Say in the Boy Scouts of America. He was a life member of the American Legion Post # 95 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4043 in Liberty, and a Life Member of the National Rifle Association. 

Ken was preceded in death by his parents Earl and Mary Craven; his sister, Margaret Genevieve Smith; and brothers, Clifford R. Craven and Harold L. Craven.

He is survived by his wife Patricia; his children, Sharon Diddle (James), Phillip Craven (Kelli), and Misti Mengel (Greg); as well as grandchildren, Melissa Diddle, Laura Diddle, Aaron Craven, Alex Craven (Tara) and Kaitlyn Craven. 

The family would like to especially acknowledge with gratitude the care and kindness of Dr. Burroughs and the staff at Cobblestone Family Health, the compassionate caregivers at Estes House at Norterre, and the staff of Good Shepherd Palliative Care. A visitation will be held on Monday Dec. 23, at 1:00 p.m. with a memorial service to follow at 2:00 p.m. at the Community of Christ Church, 1220 Liberty Drive, Liberty, MO  64068. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Rotary Youth Camp, 22310 N.E. Colburn Road, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086.  

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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