Harold Kenneth Koehn
Harold Kenneth Koehn, husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and friend went peacefully to the big rodeo arena in Cowboy Heaven on March 30, 2021. He died in his home in Lawrence, Kansas, surrounded by his loving family. He leaves behind his wife, Sarah “Cis”; sister, Velma; daughters Deena (Phil) Goodman, Jodi (Dave) Funke, Lisa (Paul) Jackson, and Kathy Utech; 13 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Harold was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia; father, Henry; and brother, Vernon.
Born July 31, 1929, in Great Bend, Kansas, Harold grew up through the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era on a farm near Radium. He later attended Fort Hays State University. On Aug. 15, 1950, Harold married Sarah “Cis” Pinkston. After 70 years of marriage, he would say, “You only get 50 years for murder.” You had to love that cowboy humor.
Harold strived and succeeded in many occupations. Early in his marriage, he was an oil field roughneck. He then established himself in farming and cattle in Pawnee and Stafford counties. With partners, he started Pawnee Beef Builders Inc. in 1969, which he managed until its sale to National Farms Inc. in 1991, then serving in the role of vice president. He was also a founding partner in Ark Valley Implement Inc.
Harold loved the cattle business and was president of the Kansas Livestock Association in 1984. He also served in numerous leadership positions in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, advocating for the cattle industry nationally and participating in international exchanges. He shared his insight and cowboy humor in PBI’s weekly newsletters and on the radio for more than two decades. Harold loved people and never met a stranger. The more he could do to help others, especially youth, the better his day.
Harold’s family always came first; he was present for every music and dance recital; tennis, soccer, basketball, and softball game; track meet; and an emergency trip to the hospital. His many hobbies included piloting, cowboy jokes, art and stories, stained glass, painting, and taking his grandchildren and great-grandchildren fishing. After retirement, Harold and Sarah moved to Sun City West, Arizona, where they square and round danced for hundreds of hours. During their extensive national and international travels, they enjoyed meeting and talking with new friends. Known as Grampa Moses to the local Sun City West stained glass club, Harold created stained glass art that adorns many homes throughout the United States and some in Spain. After their move to Lawrence in 2017, Harold found much enjoyment in talking to and teasing others, as well as his continued work in stained glass.
Expressions of sympathy can be made through Douglas County Visiting Nurses Hospice, 200 Maine St., Suite C, Lawrence, KS, 66044; online at www.kansasvna.org; or through a charity of your choice.
There will be a celebration of his life at a date yet to be determined.