Kenneth  Harter


Kenneth was born in Independence, Missouri, on July 15, 1933, to Elmer and Dorothy (Kipp) Harter. He attended school through the early grades in Independence until his family decided to buy a farm in Missouri near Centralia. Upon arrival on the farm he briefly attended a country school until he started classes in Centralia. He graduated as valedictorian of his high school class in 1951 and attended college at Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa.
In the fall of 1953 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served until 1955 in Japan. After his service time was finished he returned to the states and finished his two year degree at Graceland College in 1956. While still in Lamoni he married Joyce Kean in August, 1957, and they moved to Maryville, Missouri so that Joyce could finish her teaching degree The couple had one daughter, Amy Jonele, and eventually moved to Pella, Iowa, where Joyce taught. Kenneth finished his four year degree in education with an emphasis on science at Central College where he graduated Cumma Sum Laude in 1964.
All of Kenneths 25 year teaching career, 1964-1989, took place in the Pella Junior High, grades 7 and 8, with classes in earth science. Kenneth enjoyed teaching and didnt just teach his subject, but also his students, paying attention to their individual needs.
Kenneths first marriage ended in divorce and in December of 1975 he married Marie (Butler) Shaefer. In 1976 the couple bought property with timber west of Sully, Iowa, and built a new home. They eventually built a pond and Ken created acres of prairie grass and planted and harvested two large gardens every year.
During winter and summer breaks the couple traveled extensively and made two trips to Europe to work on Maries family history. Ken retired in the spring of 1989 and Marie joined him in 1994. At that time they started spending their winters in Mission, Texas, through the winter of 2016. They made many friends and spent their time riding their bicycles and playing dominoes and doing whatever it is Winter Texans do. They also did a lot of biking in the summer, either on the trails close to home or in other states. Besides biking they were avid water skiers and pulled their boat to lakes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, and to the Mississippi River.
As Kenneths health declined they had to sell their 33 acres north of Pella and move to town in 2014. That was a very difficult decision for him and he was never as happy as he was in the country. On Sunday, January 13, 2019, he passed away at his residence, 625 Bos Landen Weg, at the age of 85 years.
Ken is survived by his wife of 43 years, Marie, a brother, Jim (Debbie) Harter, Independence, Missouri; and two sisters, Susan (Nick) Brown of Boise, Idaho, and Jeanne (Tom) Ewan of Farmington, New Mexico, a sister-in-law, Jane (Don) Harter of Independence, Missouri, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Don Harter. Interment with military honors was on Friday, January 18, at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter, Iowa. Memorial services were held on Friday evening, January 18, at the Van Dyk - Duven Funeral Home.
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Published on January 18, 2019
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