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Harold "Kenneth" Stilwell
Tahlequah Daily Press
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
June 27, 2012
Submitted by: Jo Aguirre

Harold “Kenneth” Stilwell, the son of Charlie Stilwell and Rose Ella (Rhodes) Stilwell, was born May 9, 1927, in Stilwell. He left this life while surrounded by his loved ones, to be with the Lord, on Monday, June 25, 2012, at the age, 85 years, one month, and 16 days.

Kenneth grew up and attended school in Stilwell. He was inducted into the U.S. Army at the age of 18. After basic training he served in Berlin, Germany, for 18 months. Upon returning to Stilwell, he met his future wife, Norma Yount in 1948. They were supposed to go skating on Sept. 1, Labor Day, at a traveling skating rink which had already moved on. Instead, they went to a movie where they talked rather than watch the movie. That date set into motion a relationship that would prove to stand the test of time. They married on May 29, 1949, at Norma's home in Cave Springs. Norma's grandfather, John W. Perry, performed the ceremony, and they recently celebrated 63 years together.

After the birth of their first daughter in Stilwell, Kenneth attended and graduated from Okmulgee Technical School in auto body work. The family then moved to Borger, Texas, in 1952, where Kenneth worked for Davis Chevrolet, and they were blessed with two more daughters and a son. The family attended Fellowship Baptist Church, where all the children accepted Christ as their savior and learned to worship and serve Him by the example set by their parents. They moved to Oklahoma City in 1972, and then on to Tahlequah in 1976, where Kenneth worked for Greenhaw Eddings Ford for 20 years before retiring. Kenneth spent much of his time in the yard tending to the flower beds, water garden and the vegetable garden, as well as tending to and watching the horses run, or catching a nap on the swing in the shade. He enjoyed spending time with his family and especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved pushing them in the tire swing (they called him 'Papa Swing'). He always made sure they had a place to pop fireworks for the Fourth of July. Kenneth was an active member and a Deacon of Park Hill Baptist Church for 34 years. He taught the Cornerstone Sunday School class at Park Hill and served in many other areas. In the evenings before bed he would often be seen sitting in his chair studying his Bible and enjoying a bowl of ice cream. Kenneth will be missed, but his memories will be cherished by all that had the privilege to know him.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Melodese Hale and Jewell Girdner; and three brothers, Doss, Ralph and Bill Stilwell.

Left to cherish his memories include his wife, Norma of the home; four children, Joyce Kay Rittenhouse and husband David of Park Hill, Sandra Jayne Foote and husband Mike of Edmond, JoElla Norvell and husband Joe of Oklahoma City, and Harold Kenneth “Kenny” Stilwell, Jr. and wife Vicki of Park Hill; 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones.

A celebration of Kenneth's life will be held Thursday, June 28, at 10:30 a.m., at Park Hill Baptist Church with Pastor John Lee officiating. Interment to follow at Park Hill Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers are Kenneth's grandsons, Kendil Stilwell, Kevin Stilwell, Kyle Stilwell, Craig Rittenhouse, Nicolas Norvell and Lance Norvell. Honorary pallbearers include Ralph Thomas, Ben Cornell, Hugh Dotson, Tim Booth and Hamid Vahdatipour.

Those wishing to make donations are asked to consider giving to the Park Hill Baptist Church Missions Fund.

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