Baker City, 1928-2020
Ken Grafham, 91, of Baker City, died on March 19, 2020, after a brief struggle with pneumonia.
A memorial service will be scheduled later in the year, as circumstances allow.
Ken was born on Dec. 21, 1928, in the Melbourne, Australia, suburb of Box Hill to Reginald and Grace Grafham. As a young adult he felt the call to church ministry, and he came to Portland, Oregon, in 1954 to attend seminary. It was in the Portland area that he began work as a Baptist minister, at which time he also met his first wife, Willetta. The family moved to Baker City in 1961, where Ken was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church until 1965.
After living in Australia for a year, Ken and his family came back to the U.S. and he continued as a pastor in Eugene and then at Denver. In 1973, the family relocated to Carol Stream, Illinois, and Ken began work at Tyndale House, a Christian publisher. During the next 20 years, Ken was national sales manager and then sales rep for Southern California, retiring in 1999.
Ken and family were friends with Maxine and Harry Hathaway and their two sons for many years. A few years after Maxine’s husband, Harry, passed away, things came full circle as Ken and Maxine married in 2010, and Ken came to live again in Baker City. Maxine’s two sons, Brad (Terri) and Bryon (Anita), and their children and grandchildren welcomed Ken into their hearts.
Ken found the people of Baker City to be welcoming, and he felt at home. He met regularly with friends from the 1960s, as well as with new friends. Ken and Maxine attended McEwen Bible Fellowship in Sumpter, and just two weeks before he passed away, Ken preached his last sermon at the church.
Ken is survived by his son, Ken Jr. of San Francisco; grandchildren, Laura (Nate) and John, as well as great-grandson, Arlo; his daughter, Ruthie (Greg) Richardson of Wheaton, Illinois; and his niece and nephew and their families in Australia.
His parents and two sisters, Audrey and Valmai, passed away before Ken.
Ken Jr. and Ruthie thank the staff at Meadowbrook Place as well as Saint Alphonsus Hospital, including Julie Daly, Dr. Lamb, and nurses Charity, Gabe, Kim and others for their loving care of their dad. Thanks also to Dan Martin of McEwen church, Larry and Peggy Pearson, Mary Andersen and many others who provided support. Maxine continues to live at Meadowbrook Place.
Memorial contributions can be made to the McEwen Bible Fellowship through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave, Baker City, OR 97814.
To light a candle in memory of Ken, or to leave a condolence for his family, go to www.grayswestco.com