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Obituary: Kenneth Harshbarger, New Whiteland

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Kenneth Harshbarger

Kenneth Harshbarger, 85, died Sunday, June 15, 2014, at his home in New Whiteland. He was a former resident of Atwood, Illinois.

Ken was born in Atwood, Illinois, on Oct. 13, 1928, to Kenneth Keith and Elsie Mae (Brumfield) Harshbarger.

He graduated from Decatur High School in Decatur, Illinois, in 1946.

Ken worked for the Decatur Herald & Review newspaper as a teenager at the switchboard, being the first to receive news of VE (victory in Europe) and VJ (victory in Japan).

Ken served with the Illinois National Guard, 44th Division Military Police in 1948 and 1949. He was drafted and served with the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, first with the 28th Ordnance Medium Maintenance, and then with the 148th Field Artillery Headquarters Battery.

After mustering out he returned to Decatur and was employed by Leader Iron Works and then USI Chemical (Quantum) Inc. in Tuscola, Illinois. He retired from Quantum Chemicals as a shift supervisor in the denaturing plant in 1991 after 37 years with the company. After retiring he moved to New Whiteland and worked part time for L.S. Ayres & Co. and Sister’s Place before retiring for the second time.

Ken married Ella Mae Connor on Oct. 8, 1950, in Decatur, Illinois. She survives along with one sister, Jacqueline Daniels of Shelbyville, Illinois; daughter, Linda Harshbarger of Greenwood; two sons, Michael (Pam) Harshbarger of Kokomo and James (Christina) Harshbarger of Indianapolis; four grandchildren, Jay (Wendy) Robinson, Jon (Vickey) Robinson, Alan Harshbarger and Erica Harshbarger; and three great-grandchildren, Monica, Andrea and Noah Robinson.

Preceding him in death were his parents; and a sister, Charlotte Neill.

Ken enjoyed spending his time with family, reading novels, watching movies and laughing with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the employees of the Clark Pleasant branch of the Johnson County Public Library for their diligence in locating large-print books for Ken as his eyesight began to fail.

Memorial (monetary) contributions in honor of Ken may be made to the Johnson County Public Library, 49 E. Monroe St., Franklin, IN 46131; 738-9835.

A celebration of life gathering for friends and family will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. June 28 at Ken’s home in New Whiteland, to remember his life and share memories of Ken.

Jessen Funeral Home, Whiteland Chapel, is handling the arrangements.

Information: 535-6880; www.jessenfuneralhome.com.

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