Kenneth Lee “Ken, Kenny” Strand

Kenneth Lee “Ken, Kenny” Strand

Death 1 Jul 2016 (aged 68)
Burial Belt, Cascade County, Montana, USA
Memorial ID 166575985 · View Source
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Kenneth Lee Strand "Ken, Kenny and Kenneth," 68, was called to his heavenly home on Friday, July 1, 2016, on his wife's' and son Greg's birthdays at a local care facility in Great Falls, MT. Ken had "fought the good fight, he had finished the race, he had kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7), as he battled Parkinson's Disease, Type II Diabetes, and Neuropathy due to his extensive exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam as an Army Jet Helicopter Pilot.

Visitation and viewing will be held on Friday, July 8, 2016 from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Schnider Funeral Home at 1510 13th St. So., Great Falls, MT. Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 11:00 am at Bethel Lutheran Church. Burial will follow at Big Willow Cemetery outside of Belt, MT.

Ken was born on December 11, 1947 to Gorden Albert and Irma Mae (Lowell) Strand in Denver, CO. He was baptized on October 25, 1953 at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Denver, CO with his two sisters, Wendy and Connie, by Pastor Alvin J. Starke. His family moved to Great Falls, MT in 1957, and he resided in Great Falls the majority of his life. Ken was confirmed on May 28, 1961, at Trinity Lutheran Church by Pastor E. T. Leckband in Great Falls. Ken graduated from C. M. Russell High School in 1967 and was drafted into the military on April 1, 1968 when he was told by the Draft Board that this most assuredly was not an April Fools' joke. Ken fell in love with his wife after being drafted, and he married Patricia "Pat" A. Morris on August 9, 1969, in Great Falls, MT, and they were blessed with three children.

Ken retired from Benefis Healthcare as a Network Administrator in 2009 due to health issues. He also was a retired Policeman and Detective with the Great Falls Police Department and had owned and operated Big City Electronics with his partner, Rolland Leitheiser. His military education and training included Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Hunter Army Airfield, GA, AH-1G Trans and Gunnery, Air Traffic Control School at Kessler AFB, MS, WORWAC (Primary) at Fort Wolters, TX, WORWAC (Advanced) Hunter AAF, GA, Code of Conduct, Mil Jus, CBR. Ken also was an air traffic controller, a helicopter pilot, a Fixed Wing Instructor Pilot, taught mountain flying courses, and was a licensed test pilot. He served in the Army and Army Air National Guard in Helena as a helicopter pilot. While in the service, Ken was awarded many decorations, medals, badges, and commendations including the National Defense Service Medal, Army Aviator Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal with 45 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal with V Device with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Civic Actions Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Marksman (Pistol .45 Cal), Expert (Rifle M-14), Expert (Rifle M-16), GCMLD (1st Award), and NDSM. On one of Ken's missions in Vietnam, he single- handedly saved a whole troop and received a plaque from the troop that said, "Thank you for saving our a**." Ken also attended MSU and majored in Electrical Engineering. Following his education at MSU, he attended the Novell Computer School and became a Novell Network Certified Engineer.

Ken's favorite Bible verse was John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Ken was one of the "good guys" and was always there to help others, had a great heart, a beautiful smile, was generous in teaching others computer skills, carpentry, mechanical work, and even helping a friend to learn to throw the discus when he was still in school. Using his skills, he built two homes for his family in Great Falls and a home for his sister in Palmer, AK, with logs from Montana.

Ken loved his family, his church family, relatives, and friends dearly. His hobbies included camping, fishing, boating - especially on his pontoon boat - and traveling extensively in his RV from Montana to Alaska many times, as well as Florida, before he was unable to travel any longer.

Ken is survived by his loving wife of nearly 47 years, Pat; two sons, Greg (Diana) and Tim (Nicole); four grandchildren, Adam, Audrey, Rogen and Tragen; three sisters, Kathy (Lonnie) Oswalt of Niceville, FL, Wendy (Dave) Carter of Palmer, AK, and Connie (Jim) Baca of Greeley, CO; two nieces; four nephews; aunts June Johnson of Rapid City, SD and Zelda Strand of Hermosa, SD; uncle Jerry DesJarlais of Kirkland, WA; 102-year old mother-in-law, Inga Morris-Connolly of Great Falls, MT; brother-in-law Bob (Gail) Morris of Ulm, MT; and numerous cousins and their families.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Sue Strand, his parents, five uncles and two aunts.

Condolences for the family may be posted online at

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  • Created by: S. G. Williams
  • Added: 6 Jul 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial 166575985
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Kenneth Lee “Ken, Kenny” Strand (11 Dec 1947–1 Jul 2016), Find a Grave Memorial no. 166575985, citing Big Willow Cemetery, Belt, Cascade County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by S. G. Williams (contributor 46810763) .