Kenneth E. Rohde, age 98, died March 31, 2019 at Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, Florida where he had been a resident since 1993.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Crafton Funeral Home where services will be held Saturday, May 11 at 11 a.m. with burial to follow in Greenlawn Cemetery. Military Honors will be conducted by the Simpson County Honor Guard at graveside.
He was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie E. (Wood) Rohde. He was born June 10, 1920 in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. He was the son of the late Elmer C. and Ellen C. (Lofquist) Rohde.
Kenneth graduated from Muskegon Heights High School, attended Western Michigan College (University) before being drafted into the Army before Pearl Harbor. He served with the 37th Army Infantry Division in WWII and was stationed on Fiji as a radio operator. He then was transferred to the Army Air Corps to receive training as a co-pilot of B-178s, flying 35 missions in Europe from Glatton, England with the 457th Bomb Group. He later wrote of his experiences in “The Last of the Four R’s.” In July of 2018 he was honored by the French government with the French Legion of Honor for his missions over France in WWII.
Following WWII, he worked for Sealed Power Corporation in Muskegon, Michigan as an engineer and then became a plant manager. In 1972 he oversaw the construction of a new plant in Franklin, Kentucky and became the plant manager there until his retirement in 1981.
He leaves five children, John (Nancy) of Fort Myers, Florida, Jim (Sharon) of Shakopee, Minnesota; Tom of Houston, Texas, Barbara (Patrick) of Rochester, Washington, and Peter (Tammie) of Bowie, Texas; 11 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.
Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11 at Crafton Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be made at www.craftonfuneralhome.com.