Monday, April 7, 2014

Lew & Edna Kehne

We received word this morning that our old friend Lew Kehne died on March 26 following his 96th birthday last fall. We  maintained a certain level of contact the last few years after having last visited them in Spokane, WA in 2003. Lew was "one of a kind". The type of person that had an impact on everyone he met. He grew up on farm in northeast Nebraska during the drought and depression of the 1930's. He went into the Army a year ahead of WWII, landed with the troops on D Day, participated in the Battle of the Bulge and helped bring the war to an end. He received a BS degree in Civil Engineer in 1950 and his first assignment with the USDA Soil Conservation Service was in Seward where I was working. We carried our lunch and I have a very vivid memory of Lew setting in the back of our pickup truck and saying, "Every Day a Holiday" as he opened his lunch pail. After the years of war that he had been through, working with farmers to help them conserve their soil was truly, a Holiday. One of the fellows that Lew worked with that summer continued to work his entire SCS career in Seward. When we built the new Library 10 years ago, Clarence gifted some $30,000. for the computer room which has "Every Day a Holiday" inscribed on its boarder. Clarence also has that message on his tombstone. Lew had a very successful career in SCS including State Engineer in Hawaii and Washington. When we visited he and Edna in '03, we were amazed at the ingenious things he had developed, some of which were patented. Edna died a few years ago. They leave Jon, Mary, Jay and their families plus many, many friends to cherish their memories.

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