Kenneth M. Wortinger


Kenneth M. Wortinger, 94, of the Franklin United Methodist Community in Franklin, and formerly of Elkhart and Paoli, passed away Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis.

He was born Sept. 20, 1922, in Goshen, to Chester and Ruby (Cripe) Wortinger.

He married Norma Marie (Merchant) on June 21, 1945, in Elkhart; she preceded him in death in March of 2004.

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He was a 1940 graduate of Goshen High School.

He was a U.S. Navy Veteran of World War II, having served in the South Pacific Theater as an airplane mechanic with the rank of Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class. He was stationed at various military airstrips in the Pacific including Tarawa.

He owned and operated Wortinger Construction in Goshen for 20 years and later owned and operated the Tastee-Freeze restaurants in Niles, Michigan and Elkhart, and the Hungary Man restaurant in Elkhart.

He also later was the manager for Band Instrument Credit Union in Elkhart.

He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Franklin, and was active in the Gideons organization.

Survivors include his son, the Rev. John K. Wortinger (Linda) of Greenwood; his daughter, Judy Lynn (Wortinger) Detweiler (Howard) of Paoli; five grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; one niece and two nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Norma Marie (Merchant) Wortinger; his brothers, Keith Wortinger in World War II in 1944 and Dallas Wortinger.

The Rev. Andy Kinsey will conduct a service at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Wright Chapel of the Franklin United Methodist Community, 1070 W. Jefferson St., Franklin. Friends may call from 9 a.m. until the time of service on Thursday at the chapel. A graveside service will follow at 3:30 p.m.  Thursday at West Goshen Cemetery in Goshen, with burial to follow.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 140800 Nashville, TN 37214-0800.

Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center, 300 U.S. 31 South (Morton Street) in Franklin, is handling the arrangements.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at