Ken Grafham, resident of Baker City, Oregon, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, March 19, 2020 after a brief struggle with pneumonia. He was 91 years old. A memorial service will be scheduled later in the year, as circumstances allow.
Ken was born in Australia on December 21st, 1928, to Reginald and Grace Grafham, in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill. As a young adult he felt the call to church ministry, and 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, Oregon and then Denver, Colorado. 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 1960’s, 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 and grandchildren Laura (Nate) and John, as well as great-grandson, Arlo. His daughter Ruthie (Greg) Richardson, lives in Wheaton, Illinois. And his niece and nephew and their families also survive him in Australia. His parents and two sisters, Audrey and Valmai, passed away before Ken.
Ken Jr. and Ruthie thank staff at Meadowbrook Place as well as St. Alphonsus Hospital, including Julie Daly, Dr. Lamb, and nurses Charity, Gabe, Kim and others for their loving care of 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 may be made to the McEwen Bible Fellowship through Gray’s West & Company Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave, Baker City, OR 97814.
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