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Kenneth W. Straw
June 19, 1935 ~ October 7, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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Kenneth W. Straw, 88, of Johnstown, passed away October 7, 2023, at McCullough Place.
A resident of Ebensburg since early childhood, he was born June 19, 1935, in Belsano, son of the late George E. Straw and Gertrude (Cameron) Straw. Preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Elizabeth “Betty” (Lloyd), with whom he shared almost 68 years of marriage. Also preceded in death by his brothers George “Ed” Straw, Wayne “Dorsey” Straw, Jack Howard Straw, and Leslie Straw. Survived by his children William “Bill” Straw, Ebensburg; Margaret “Peg” (Cass) Pursell, California; Linda Lee (Randy) Blick, Patton; Catherine Jean (Paul) Seymour, Ebensburg; Karen Marie Straw, Johnstown; Richard Dwight “Rick” Straw, Johnstown. Ken was a loving grandfather to 14 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.
He was a caring, generous spirit to his daughter-in-law and sons-in-law; he patiently shared his expertise and taught them many life skills they in turn passed on. A highly skilled mechanic, Ken worked as shop foreman and retired from Cambria Tractor and Equipment Company in Ebensburg, where he also mentored students from nearby vocational schools as well as new hires. Known for his strong work ethic and pride in a job well done, in his life-long career he missed less days of work than can be counted on two hands.
In his early 20s, after working long hours at his job, he spent evenings and weekends remodeling the house his family lived in all their lives, work that required stripping parts of the house down to its studs in some cases. Later in life, he enjoyed riding his motorcycles with friends, sometimes family, sometimes alone. He was a man who knew how to be comfortable in his own company. He learned to drive a tractor at age 8 and was a hard worker on his parents’ farm. Ken was an expert gardener, who kept his children well-fed with fresh vegetables, and with canned and preserved vegetables year-long, thanks to his wife’s industriousness. Ken loved fruit: all kinds of fruit! As recently as last year, he remembered a fruit salad he’d eaten in Phoenix, while on a business trip there many years ago. His favorite pie was blackberry: especially the blackberry pies his son Bill made.
A longtime member of the First Christian Church in Ebensburg, he served many years as an Elder, and he took pride in composing and posting weekly messages on the church’s outdoor sign board, giving passersby something to think about—and enjoying an occasional mini-controversy his messages evoked. He loved puns and wordplay and he had a quirky sense of humor. He was contemplative and valued the quiet companionship of others. Ken strove to be a measured and fair-minded thinker, and was known and valued his entire life for his sharp intelligence and giftedness.
All funeral arrangements are private. Private burial at Lloyd Cemetery, Ebensburg.