January 14, 1921 - April 11, 2017
Born in Hydro, Oklahoma
Resided in Lebanon, OR
Kenneth Ralph Justus was born January 14, 1921 in Hydro, Oklahoma to Thomas Robert Justus and Ruth Lou (Ferguson) Justus. He grew up in both LaJunta and Rocky Ford, Colorado in the home of an Assembly of God minister/evangelist and spent much of his life in a church pew.
He was only able to attend school through 8th grade but spent the rest of his life reading incessantly and educated himself far beyond a high school education.
On May 2nd, 1941, he married Leona Gertrude Houdyshell in Yuma County, Arizona in a double wedding with their friends, Tony and Dorothy Rogers. Together Kenneth and Leona had five children.
In 1944, he was drafted into the Navy during WWII and was shipped to the South Pacific. While serving on the USS Noble he operated an LCM Landing Craft during the invasion on Okinawa delivering troops to the beach at H-Hour on D-Day. Then they made two more trips to the shore and after the third landing it was too late to get back to the ship so they had to spend the night in the open ocean in the LCM. The USS Noble also had two near misses by Kamikaze pilots while Kenneth was onboard.
In 1983 his wife and the mother of his children, Leona, passed away. He then was married to Betty Burt Sherman on March 3rd of 1984 until her death in 2009.
Kenneth was a Bible Scholar and taught adult Bible classes for his church in Jefferson for more than two decades and was a devote follower of Christ since he decided in his 30's to "follow Jesus and never look back."
He spent most of his life as a building contractor with his son Jim but the last decade as a long-haul truck driver often accompanied by his wife, Betty. He enjoyed being outdoors, soaking up the sunshine as well as, camping, hunting and fishing with his sons and grandsons. He lived to 96 or "4 years from 100" as he liked to say and enjoyed excellent health for all his days until the last few months.
He is survived by his five children, Faye Adams, Jim Justus, Billy Justus, Twyla Nelson, and Ruth Howard, along with eight grandchildren and thirteen great-grandkids; his sisters Twyla Borrall, Dorothy Bargar, Zella Gundy and his brother, David Justus. He was loved by all.
He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas R. Justus, his mother, Ruth L. Justus, his wife Leona Justus, his second wife, Betty Justus and his sister, Bonnie Cude.
A viewing will be from 4pm – 6pm, Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at Fisher Funeral Home. A memorial service will be at 2:00pm, Thursday, April 20th at the Hope Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or Honor Flight of Oregon and sent in care of Fisher Funeral Home, 306 Washington St. SW, Albany, OR 97321.
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Albany, OR US 97321
Albany, OR US 97322