Kenneth Emil Newell was born October 22, 1914 on a farm in Van Buren County, Iowa to Victor F. and Mary Clark Newell. On January 3, 2020, he left this earth to join his wife of eighty-one years, Margaret (Peg) Howell Newell, who predeceased him by almost three years. Ken was the youngest of five children who all attended the one room Bonnet school near Birmingham and were raised without the convenience of anything motorized. His farmer father raised Percheron horses until the farm was lost during the Great Depression and the family moved to Fairfield.
There, Ken learned more about hard work, working in a hardware store, a bakery, and managing a MaidRite sandwich shop. While a student at Fairfield High, he met a beautiful young woman student with amazing big brown eyes and a sparkling personality. They fell in love and married in 1936.They moved to Des Moines where Ken worked at a few different jobs related to transportation before becoming the first traffic manager of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Ken was active in the Transportation Association where he had many friends and acted as president for a period. After 30 years with Firestone, he retired in 1975 and he and Peg moved back to their hometown of Fairfield. There, Ken was affiliated with the Masonic Lodge and served for a period as Grand Master. They lived happily there until at 90 and 92 they left their home in Fairfield to move into a retirement facility in Pleasant Hill, east of Des Moines. They eventually moved to assisted living at Valley View Village in Des Moines, where they lived out their lives.
Ken is survived by his five devoted children, Carolyn, Donald, Nancy, Linda and Craig, ten grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Fern Crafton and Rachel Howell, both of Fairfield, IA and many nieces and nephews.
A Masonic service will start at 5:00 p.m. and visitation will follow until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 10 at Behner Funeral Home in Fairfield, Iowa.
The Funeral will be held at 11:00 Saturday morning, followed by a luncheon at the First United Methodist Church in Fairfield.
Memorials may be sent to Glasgow Cemetery, The First United Methodist Church of Fairfield or New Hope Village Foundation (Craig's home) in Carroll, Iowa.
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