Kenneth R Spiker
Rochester NY: June 1, 2016, Ken died peacefully, at the age of 90. Ken was an extraordinary, devoted father, and a friend to all. I will forever miss him.
He was born and raised in Ft. Wayne IN and remained a Hoosier throughout his life. Ken attended South High School in 1940-1942. He moved to Philadelphia in 1942 following the death of his parents. In 1943, he volunteered for service in the Army Air Corps and served until November 1945.
After the war, he returned to Ft. Wayne and began his career as an apprentice tool & die maker. He relocated to Lawrenceburg TN in 1957 and remained a resident for almost 30 years. Following his retirement in 1987, he moved to Grapevine TX. He lived his final years next to his son, in Rochester NY.
He was predeceased by his father, Earl Keith (EK) Spiker and mother, Lillian (nee Shirbroun) when he was only 16.
He is survived by his four children, Keith (Terrie) Spiker of Jonesborough TN, Kathy (Gary) Farner of Cleveland TN, Doug (Lauren) Spiker of Henrietta NY, and Dori DeWitt of Woodbun IN; grandchildren, Tanya, Lara, Christie, Cindy, Joe, Michael, Jennifer, Ricky; 18 great-grandchildren, his brother Keith (married to Virginia Norton of Lawrenceburg) Spiker, a resident of St. Anne Home in Ft. Wayne IN, and 6 nieces & nephews.
His family was active in the 1st United Methodist Church of Lawrenceburg. Ken retired from Murray Mfg. in 1987, after 30 years service, as a Master Journeyman Tool & Die Maker. He was active in the community and served as a Babe Ruth baseball coach for over 10 years. As a lasting legacy, Lawrenceburg has thrice hosted the Babe Ruth World Series, in large part due to the efforts of Ken and several others, to build a world class Babe Ruth baseball facility.
A gifted basketball player, he was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets and played semi-professional ball for the Montgomery Rebels of the Southern Basketball League for three years.
A memorial service will be held June 17 at the Simpson United Methodist Church in his hometown of Ft. Wayne IN. He will be interred in Coon Rapids IA, on his beloved grandfather's farm, with his Father, Mother and Aunt Mabel.
He was also predeceased by his granddaughter, Melissa. He often said that he knew he had lived long enough when he lived to see children (she was 19) in his family pass away. In lieu of flowers, he asked that donations be made to 13thirty Cancer Connect. For information, visit http://13thirty.org/.
October 27, 1925 – June 1, 2016
The Dash Between The Dates
Born October 27, 1925, his life began in earnest.
Young and full of promise, he lived with pride and purpose.
But after 90 years, his work on earth was done.
And in his eyes, once bright and clear, I saw the setting sun.
As I sat there at his bedside, on the 1st of June just past,
I remembered all he taught me, the things that will ever last.
I considered pithy phrases, to mark his time on earth.
But finely chiseled characters, could not express his worth.
I envisioned his full name, inscribed in solid granite.
With two dates etched below, it seemed utterly inadequate.
Just two days out of many, so little do they mean,
As measured by that tiny dash, that lies there in-between.
That dash is emblematic, of each day he spent on earth,
A simple way to represent, his years of life since birth.
His value was established, by how he lived each day.
He filled his dash with goodness, wasting little on the way.
To himself and to all others, he was honest, kind and true.
He lived each day in his own way, doing all that he could do.
Forever helping others, through word and quiet deed.
He made the effort, took the time, was there for those in need.
One date I will remember, each and every year,
The 1st of June, I’ll think of always and always with a tear.
Alone I sat there crying, I cried, my father’s son
But life goes on and so must I, there’s much left to be done.
Left with loving memories, I’ll smile through my tears,
Remembering all whose lives he touched, by the dash between his years.