Kenneth Vernon “Ken” Harker

It is with great sadness, that we announce the passing of our wonderful Dad, Papa & Great Papa Kenneth Harker at his last residence of River Valley Lodge, Keremeos.

Ken was born on December 25, 1921 in Yellowgrass, Saskatchewan. Raised with his 3 sisters and 2 brothers, the family moved to Chilliwack B.C. when Ken was a young boy, as their father was seriously ill & medical advice was, to move to a different climate. Dad had to quit school before the completion of grade 8, to help support the family and ensure that his baby sister, Doris, would attend college.

Ken was a ranch hand for years on the Frank Ritcher Estate, which is now known at the ‘Ace Elkink Ranch’ on Hwy 3A towards Osoyoos. While employed there, he met and married our beautiful mother, Marjorie Agnes Manery in September 1944. They raised 5 children, 2 of which still reside in the Keremeos -Cawston area.

Employed by his father in-law, Samuel Manery on the family ranch in Cawston, where Ken’s wife was born and grew up, he did orchardist work, fed cattle, milked cows and also had horses and chickens. Ken was an incredibly hard worker and spent long hours, in the orchard doing the many jobs a fruit farm entails. This kept him from ever getting away to enjoy a real vacation, but he never complained.

He loved his family, his home, his roses and his vegetable garden. He was also a 4-H leader for many years in the valley working alongside his wife Marj and also with Wilson and June Clifton. All five of the Harker children were involved in the local 4-H Beef Club.

In July 2008, Ken lost the love of his life for 64 years. Shortly after Marj’s death, Dad was admitted to Orchard Haven Care Home, with early signs of Alzheimers. He was moved to River Valley Lodge in October 2009.

Ken was a kind caring wonderful Christian man that always put his family first, very well liked and respected in this valley, he was a great friend to many. Although Alzheimer’s disease had robbed him of most of his memories, he could still greet you with a handshake, a wink and a smile, and sometimes even a hug.

Predeceased by his wife, Marjorie (2008), 2 sisters Myrle and Doris, 2 brothers Gerald and Kelly. He is survived by one sister (Bealah age 98), survived by his 5 children, Rick (Marlene), Rand (Sharon), Geraldine (Roger), Bruce (Kathy) and Deb (John), 16 Grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers of RVL in Keremeos for their devoted care and compassion for our dad. He resided at the facility for over 8 years.

A celebration of life was held on July 30 at Cawston Hall. Thank you to Pastor Jason of Elim Church for a beautiful cowboy “goodbye” to an amazing man. Thank you to the large gathering of people for attending and giving us your love and support.

Rest Peacefully “Daddy”. 

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