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“Ken;Thank You for your Service. We are forever in your debt. Condolences to all. ”
1 of 19 | Posted by: A friend

“My Deepest Sympathies to the entire family, I was a young Boom Operator in 1972 when I was also assigned to Plattsburgh AFB and was there until Ken...Read More »
2 of 19 | Posted by: Jacob Benscoter

“Boom Stowed. Checklist complete! Rest in Peace Brother. ”
3 of 19 | Posted by: Eric ""Rick" Riker, MSgt, USAF (Retired)

“Judy, this is a sad day for many of us. Few people in our lives have planted such positive memories in our lives as Ken. I have no doubt those...Read More »
4 of 19 | Posted by: Lou and LuAnne Jones

“Judy, our condolences to you and family. We always will remember your trips around the lake, waving & laughing on your beautiful pontoon boat,...Read More »
5 of 19 | Posted by: Lynn Kirkpatrick

“Judy, I was saddened to hear that Kenny had passed away. He was a great classmate and we had so many fun times in high school. Glad that I got to...Read More »
6 of 19 | Posted by: A friend

“So sorry I didn't get up to see Ken. My loss. ”
7 of 19 | Posted by: Roger Reeve

“Judy our deepest condolences on the passing of Ken. We didn't know him personally but he was a brother in arms. Take care Judy. See you at the...Read More »
8 of 19 | Posted by: Jon Rickett and Sharon Morcom

“Judy & Family, so sorry to learn of Ken's passing. Will always remember that happy face and positive attitude when he came into my insurance office...Read More »
9 of 19 | Posted by: Gerry Stille

“So sorry to hear of Kenny's passing. Flew with him several times while at K. I. ”
10 of 19 | Posted by: Mike Vairo

“Dear Judy we send our sympathy and prayers two all of you. Ken was a wonderful man. He is in heaven praying for you. I am glad you have Your family...Read More »
11 of 19 | Posted by: Bill&sharon; landry

“So sorry to hear about the loss of such a wonderful man. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. ”
12 of 19 | Posted by: Geri Peterson

“Ken was a mentor to newly assigned boom operators in the 46th Air Refueling Squadron at K.I. Sawyer. He took me on my very first air refueling...Read More »
13 of 19 | Posted by: Jim Holden - Murphy, TX

“Dear Judy, we are so sorry to hear about Ken's passing. You are in our prayer's and are happy in the knowledge that you have a great family with you...Read More »
14 of 19 | Posted by: Bob and sandy v.

“We will alway fondly remember Ken and all the great times ,especially son Jeff who always talked about his visits with you and Judy. You were the...Read More »
15 of 19 | Posted by: Sandy Weeks

“Judy, I feel very sorry for the loss of Ken. We will always have our memories at Judy, I as very sorry to hear about Ken. H was probably one of...Read More »
16 of 19 | Posted by: Mary Kay LaBo

“My deepest and most sincere condolences to my adopted family, the Courtrights. Ken was like a second Dad to me and a great influence on me as a...Read More »
17 of 19 | Posted by: Clint Asher

“We love you and are remembering all the great times. When I was a teen it was fun going to Gwinn with my Dad and going to see ( the guy my Dad...Read More »
18 of 19 | Posted by: Bobby glenn Brown

“Judy I remember you and Kenny, as my dad referred to him, with affection and awe at your life together. I hold fond memories and am grateful for...Read More »
19 of 19 | Posted by: Margo Caldwell - Spokane, WA


Kenneth Wayne Courtright of Gwinn, aged 79, passed away peacefully after a 16 year battle with Parkinson’s Disease on Friday, July 7, 2017, at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans, with his wife at his side. Ken was born November 12, 1937 to Carroll and Maxine (Reeve) Courtright at the rural family farm near Albion, Michigan (the home later declared a “Centennial Farm”, owned by the Courtright family for 100 years). He attended a one-room schoolhouse for the first eight grades, finishing in six years. He went on to graduate from Springport HS in 1954 at the age of 16. Back in “country school” at age 11, his school played a neighboring school in softball one day, where he met the “new girl” Judy Dowding; there was never another girl for Ken. He entered the Air Force at age 17, and became an “In-Flight Refueling Specialist” (Boom Operator) on KC-97 and KC-135 refueling aircraft, declaring it the “best job in the Air Force”. His crew was sent overseas continually, but he had only three permanent bases: Dow AFB, Maine; K.I.Sawyer AFB, and Plattsburgh AFB, NY where he retired in 1976 as Senior Master Sergeant, returning to the home he’d built on East Bass Lake, Gwinn. For the next 10 years he worked as Service Manager for Morrow Marine in Gwinn, where he got to work on (and play with) his favorite things with motors: snowmobiles, snow blowers, outboard motors, lawn mowers. Until his final retirement, he worked for Federal Civil Service as a heavy equipment operator, clearing the runways at K.I.Sawyer. Ken was a Life Member of the Gwinn VFW Post 5670; an active member of the Forsyth Snowmobile Club especially grooming the trails, and of the Gwinn United Methodist Church where he was the Chairman of Trustees through many major church renovations. Ken was a supporter of the arts, especially the Gwinn High School Drama Club and the Marquette Symphony. He married his childhood sweetheart Judy on June 22, 1957, and through the years they shared many activities including square dancing, snowmobiling, water skiing, boating, and life at the lake. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his younger days, and eagerly anticipated going to “deer camp” with his Gwinn friends. Ken and Judy enjoyed traveling to class and squadron reunions, and attending the many events of their grandchildren. Special memories include an Appalachian Trail hike, an Alaskan adventure and visiting Isle Royale with his family. Ken will be lovingly remembered for his countless hours piloting his boats, his evening martini, and his hearty laugh. Ken is survived by his wife of 60 years, his children Karen (Walt) Maki of Skandia and Kevin (Sun) Courtright of Lexington Park, Maryland, four grandchildren, Jill (Jeremy) Connin, Wayne Courtright, Keith Maki and Susan (Ed) Korpi, six great-grandchildren: Leslie and Micah Connin, Jazmine, Carter, Aidan and Silas Korpi; a sister Carole Courtright Hovey and several nieces and nephews. A celebration of life service will be held on Tuesday, July 11 at the United Methodist Church in Gwinn. Visitation will begin at 10am, with a service at 11 am, followed by a luncheon in the fellowship hall. The family would like to extend heartfelt appreciation to the staff at Jacobetti Veteran’s Facility for the care given Ken for the past ten months. Memorials in Ken’s name can be made to the United Methodist Church, P.O.Box 354, Gwinn 49841. The Canale-Gwinn Funeral Home is assisting the family where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com