Kenneth Watson

Funeral services for Ken Watson were held on Friday, January 20, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Winner with Pastor John Britt officiating. Music was provided by Geoff Smith, soloist, accompanied by Jo Green pianist. Joyce Shavlik, Edna Whetham, Shirley Schwartz and Linda Kappes were in charge of registration. Flower attendants were Teri Wegner, Jolene Wehde, Terri Karel and Lesli Petersek. Casket bearers were Brad Wegner, Denny Kappes, Tom Stritecky, Bob Young, Jim Karel and Gaylon Wehde. Honorary casket bearers were Jannelle Kishbagh, Ron Stritecky, Jerry Stritecky, Jack Young, Ed Stritecky, Gary Karel and all of his baseball teams. Interment was in the Colome Cemetery in Colome with military honors conferred by the Gregory Legion and the Navy Honors Program. Kotrba- Smith Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Kenneth Leroy Watson was born July 15, 1946 in Pittsburgh, PA. Ken graduated from high school in Ulysses, KS, in 1963 and joined the Navy the following fall. He served in the Navy and Navy Reserves for a total of 14 years, including two tours in Vietnam. On May 31, 1975, Ken married Lori Stritecky at the Colome United Methodist Church. They moved to Sioux Falls where he worked various jobs until he graduated from Southeast Area Technical Institute with a degree in electronics. They had two sons, Kevin and Ryan. In 1979, they moved to Crooks where Ken was active in the community with the Crooks VFW, Tri-Valley Booster Club, Crooks Optimist Club, served on the church board of Benton Lutheran Church, and various baseball programs in Crooks. While in Crooks for 22 years, Ken taught and coached not only his own two boys, but numerous kids of the community and showing them life lessons through sports. He was active in the Tri-Valley School District where his sons attended school and graduated from. He enjoyed attending the various activities with friends and supporting the Mustangs. Ken was a current member of the Winner United Methodist Church and Gregory American Legion. After their sons graduated from high school, Ken and Lori moved to Gregory in 1998 for five years. He then followed his wife with her traveling nurse career. They bought a home in Peoria, AZ in 2007 where he worked as a cashier at AJ’s Fine Foods and Bashas’ Grocery Chain until his retirement in 2013. He was a season ticket holder for the Arizona Cardinals for seven years and enjoyed going to various Arizona Diamondback games and spending time with his family in the Phoenix area. Ken always had a passionate side for animals especially his fur babies Gizmo and Bella. Due to health issues they recently moved back to Colome in July 2016 to be closer to family and friends. With his love for sports, Ken touched many lives teaching and mentoring kids in the various baseball and basketball programs in the Crooks and Sioux Falls area, but most of all was looking forward to watching his grandchildren grow up. In addition to family time, he also enjoyed boating, coin collecting, camping, pheasant hunting, cheering on the Denver Broncos and bowling. He passed away on Saturday, January 14, 2017, at age 70 in the Winner Regional Healthcare Center. Ken is survived by his wife, Lori of 42 years; his sons Kevin (Chris) of Canfield, OH, and Ryan (Julie) of Harrisburg; four grandchildren Emily, Gage, Aiden and Isaac; his sister Janelle (Rick) Kishbaugh of McAllister, OK; two brothers Jack (Sherri) Young of Tuscon, AZ and Bob (Diane) Young of Mesa, AZ; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother Wanda Baucum; in-laws Joe and Frieda Stritecky, and Gizmo. Online condolences to the family may be sent to

Ainsworth Star-Journal

921 E. 4th St.
P.O. Box 145
Ainsworth, NE 69210
PH: (402) 387-2844
FAX: (402) 387-1234

Valentine Midland News

146 W. 2nd St.
P.O. Box 448
Valentine, NE 69201
PH: (402) 376-2833
FAX: (402) 376-1946

Gregory Times-Advocate

119 E. 7th St.
P.O. Box 378
Gregory, SD 57533
PH: (605) 835-8089
FAX: (605) 835-8467