Kenneth Kay Kidder of Harpster died Jan. 6, 2019 at the age of 98 at Meadowlark Homes in Grangeville. He was born April 1, 1920 near Gaylord, Mich., to Ray R. and Flo I. Kidder. The family moved to Idaho in 1926.
At 5 years of age he attended first grade in Winchester. In the spring of 1927 the family moved to Grangeville where Ray worked for John Spencer at the “Guernsey Farm.” Ken went with Spencer’s sheep into the backcountry east of Grangeville for summer grazing. He worked another summer in a Blister Rust camp near Pierce. He finished his schooling by graduating from Grangeville High School in 1938.
The same year he graduated the family bought a 172-acre ranch four miles SE of Harpster at the end of Lee Road. They raised a small herd of cows and sold cream for cash. They raised hay on 39 acres of rough fields using a team and put up loose hay. It was a very fulfilling life before the road was graveled or power lines in and they talked with neighbors using a crank phone over No. 9 wire strung in the trees or visited on horseback.
Ken was inducted into the Army July 28, 1942. He spent time in England and France, getting honorably discharged on Oct. 30, 1945.
He returned to the ranch and helped his folks for years and also worked at Idapine Mills for 11 years. Life got even better when he married Linnie Anderson on July 3, 1984. They spent time in town and at the ranch. They enjoyed fellowship with the Evangelical Free Church and meals and dancing at the Senior Center.
Ken was a lifelong fiddle player and used to practice at home listening to CFCN, Canadian radio. Starting in 1966, he and his siblings played music monthly for as many as three nursing homes and two assisted living facilities in Grangeville. His other hobbies were cutting wood, stacking it precisely and rebuilding fence on steep hillsides.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Linnie; brother Jesse Kidder; sister Eileen Gribble; and nephew Virgil Kidder. Ken is survived by his sister, Angele Hazelbaker (Burt, Lark, Nick); brother-in-law Melvin Gribble (Bob, Jim); nieces Jan, Nancy, Michelle; nephews Jack and Vaughn (Jesse); and two stepdaughters, Cheryl Spengler and Susan Anderson (Linnie). He has numerous other great- nephews and nieces who loved and learned from him. He is also dear to the hearts of several neighbors near the Ranch in “Harpster Heights.”
Visitation will be held on Sunday, Jan. 13, from 2-4 p.m. at Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville.
Funeral services are scheduled for Monday, Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. at the E- Free Church, 408 N. College St., Grangeville. Burial will follow at the Harpster cemetery and a meal will be served afterwards at the church back in Grangeville. Services are under the direction of Blackmer Funeral Home.
The family would like to thank Dr. Griffiths, The Meadowlark and Syringa Hospital Hospice for their loving care. Send condolences to the family to Blackmerfuneralhome.com.