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Kenneth was born on January 2, 1933, to Gilford and Ellen Lawton in the Fruitvale area of Grand Junction, Colorado. He was ushered into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on December 18, 2023, surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren singing some of his favorite hymns.
Kenneth graduated from Appleton High School in 1950. He had the honor of being chosen as the valedictorian of his class. He graduated from Mesa Junior College in 1952 and then enrolled in Colorado A&M, which later became CSU. He graduated in 1954 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Kenneth spent approximately 18 months in New Jersey working for RCA. Due to his father’s health, he returned to Colorado to help his parents.
Kenneth was inducted into the U.S. Army on November 8, 1956. After completing basic training, he was stationed at Dugway Proving Grounds. He was honorably discharged on August 7, 1958.
In the fall of 1958, Kenneth enrolled in some classes at Intermountain Bible College, where he met Bettie Stewart, and they began courting. They were married in Montrose, Colorado, on June 26, 1960. They were blessed with five children, seventeen grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Kenneth and Bettie enjoyed 63 1/2 years of marriage. The family was a highlight of Kenneth’s life. He rejoiced with the birth of each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild. One of his greatest desires was that the legacy of his faith would be passed on to each one, and they would come to know Jesus personally.
Kenneth spent many years partnering with his parents, operating a dairy, and doing custom farming around the Grand Valley. In 1972, they sold the dairy, but continued doing custom farming. When he was old enough, his son, John, joined the partnership and continued the custom farming. During this time, Kenneth took bookkeeping classes from Mesa State College and in 1976 opened Lawton’s Bookkeeping and Tax Service. He enjoyed helping people with income tax preparation until his health declined in 2012.
Kenneth loved to serve others in various ways. He served the church as an elder and also as a Sunday School Teacher. He enjoyed teaching various ages. He occasionally would be called upon to fill in for the minister. For several years he served on the board of directors for Intermountain Bible College until they closed in 1984. Thursday mornings Kenneth would sing hymns and lead a short devotional for the Family Health West Assisted Living Residents until the facility closed. Along with his wife Bettie he led a church service approximately once a month at Fruita’s various elder care facilities.
Kenneth is survived by his wife Bettie of 63 years; his five children; Mary Ellen (Steve) Lotze of Burlington, Washington; Becky (Brent) Hall of Silver City, New Mexico; Margaret Lawton of Fruita, Colorado, John Lawton of Loma, Colorado, and Gil (Taneil) Lawton of Grand Junction, Colorado, seventeen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, his brother Donald (Rose) Lawton of Sun City, Arizona, as well as many nieces nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Gilford and Ellen Lawton, and his sisters, Virginia Lepinotes and Gladys Steele.
A memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday, December 27, at 10:00 a.m., with the viewing first at 9:30 a.m. at the Fruita Christian Church at 208 North Maple Street in Fruita, Colorado—interment at 1:00 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery. A dinner for family and friends will follow at the Monument View Bible Church at 1173 17 1/2 Rd, Fruita, Colorado.