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Info/Obituary - Kenneth Lee "Ken" Strand

Died 1 July 2016 - also see "Strange Strand" War Story Discussion Page ………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Strand, Kenneth L. USA Flight Class: 69-21

Kenneth Lee Strand "Ken, Kenny and Kenneth," was called to his heavenly home on Friday, July 1, 2016, on
his wife's and son Greg's birthdays at a local care facility in Great Falls, MT.

Ken had "fought the good fight, he had finished the race, he had kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7), as he battled Parkinson's Disease, Type II Diabetes, and Neuropathy due to his extensive exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam as an Army Helicopter Pilot.

Ken was born on December 11, 1947 to Gorden Albert and Irma Mae (Lowell) Strand in Denver, CO. His family moved to Great Falls, MT in 1957, and he resided in Great Falls the majority of his life. Ken graduated from C. M. Russell High School in 1967 and was drafted into the military on April 1, 1968 when he was told by the Draft Board that this most assuredly was not an April Fools' joke

Ken fell in love with his wife after being drafted, and he married Patricia "Pat" A. Morris on August 9, 1969, in Great Falls, MT, and they were blessed with three children.

Ken retired from Benefits Healthcare as a Network Administrator in 2009 due to health issues. He also was a retired Policeman and Detective with the Great Falls Police Department and had owned and operated Big City Electronics with his partner, Rolland Leitheiser.

His military education and training included Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Hunter Army Air field, GA, AH-1G Trans and Gunnery, Air Traffic Control School at Kessler AFB, MS, WORWAC (Primary) at Fort Wolters, TX, WORWAC (Advanced) Hunter AAF, GA, Code of Conduct, Mil Justice, and CBR.

Ken also was an air traffic controller, a helicopter pilot, a Fixed Wing Instructor Pilot, taught mountain flying courses, and was a licensed test pilot. He served in the Army and Army Air National Guard in Helena as a helicopter pilot.

While in the service, Ken was awarded many decorations, medals, badges, and commendations including the National Defense Service Medal, Army Avi- ator Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal with 45 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal with V Device with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Civic Actions Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Marksman (Pistol .45 Cal), Expert (Rifle M-14), Expert (Rifle M-16), GCMLD (1st Award), and NDSM. On one of Ken's missions in Vietnam, he single handedly saved a whole troop and received a plaque from the troop that said, "Thank you for saving our a**."

Ken also attended MSU and majored in Electrical Engineering. Following his education at MSU, he attended the Novell Computer School and became a Novell Network Certified Engineer.

Ken's favorite Bible verse was John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Ken was one of the "good guys" and was always there to help others, had a great heart, a beautiful smile, was generous in teaching others computer skills, carpentry, mechanical work, and even helping a friend to learn to throw the discus when he was still in school. Using his skills, he built two homes for his family in Great Falls and a home for his sister in Palmer, AK, with logs from Montana.

Ken is survived by his loving wife of nearly 47 years, Pat; two sons, four grand- children and three sisters. He was preceded in death by his daughter Lisa Sue Strand, his parents, five uncles, and two aunts.

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