Obituary: Kenneth Washburn


Kenneth Lloyd Washburn, Jr., age 79, of Walcott, passed away unexpectedly from a heart related issue on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, at his home.  A visitation was held from 4–7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 10, at Bentley Funeral Home, Durant.  A funeral service was held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 11, at First Baptist Church, Davenport.  Following the service, Ken will be cremated and interred this summer in Fayette, Ind., where his mother and father wait.  Memorials may be directed to the Durant Ambulance, Walcott Fire Department or the First Baptist Church in his memory.  Online condolences may be left at

Ken was born on Nov. 2, 1944, the son of Kenny and Hazel (Everett) Washburn Sr., on the family farm in Fayette, Ind.  He had many adventures on the farm from the one-room schoolhouse on the property, to hanging out with classmates at Perry Central, to 4-H, but most of all, working on the homestead alongside his sisters whom he loved very much.

A lifelong Purdue fan, he received his bachelors in 1967, and masters of agronomy in 1969. At Purdue, he made long lasting relationships that would change his life forever. He was paired with his roommate, Ron Hathaway, but more importantly, he spied a cute, little red-haired librarian, Susan. He would work in the fields, study, read the paper and talk to her. He proposed, and they married on Dec. 27, 1969. They were together for over 53 years.

A couple of babies later, Ken left the Air Force and moved his young family to Walcott in 1978. He was the chief agronomist at Twin States (Liqui-Grow) for his entire career, retiring after 40 years. He was a staple in farm fields in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  He ran test plots around the area for many, many, many years, where people would stop by to see “what Ken was seeing in the fields.” He loved those visits and even after retiring he frequented Walcott Liqui-Grow and people still asked him about his observations.  He and Susan raised their family at First Baptist Church.  They had the same Bible Study group for over 35 years and were privileged to call them friends.

Ken loved NASCAR, but was passionate about Indy Car racing and often attended the 500 with his son, James.  Ken was involved with Troop 670 Boy Scouts for many years.  He was a member of numerous professional organizations and won awards in his field.  His crowning achievements, besides his lawn, was his love for his family, especially his grandkids. He had connections and interests with each of them and he would often be heard regaling people with their latest achievements and antics. 

Most of all, Ken will be missed by his wife, Susan. In recent years they were helpmates to each other in sickness and in health. Ken fought heart and prostate issues. He was a man who wanted to stay with his family but was unable to.  We will miss him truly.

Ken will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Susan; two children, Elizabeth (Robert) Galbraith of Rock Island, and James (Molly) Washburn of Portland, Ore.; four much beloved grandchildren, Andrew, Colin, Kate and Meredith; and two sisters, Jill Jones and Kay Seymour; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his eldest sister, Sue Cox; and by his lifelong friend and cousin, Aaron Everett.


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