Kenneth “Cowboy Jack” Griffith died Sept. 26, just three months short of his 90th birthday. He was married to the love of his life, Leona Helen Schmidt, on May 30th, 1953, and they recently celebrated 64 years of marriage.
His children and grandchildren were his pride and joy and he put all of them on horseback as soon as he could. His pleasures were simple and plain: God, family, music, horses, and the independence and freedom of farming life.
Cowboy Jack was also something of a local celebrity, serving as the singing cowboy at Cowtown for many years with his wife, Miss Onie, and loyal mount, Fred the horse. He also provided dinner music at the Prairie Rose country music show and, with Miss Onie cooking and son Tom driving the wagon team, put on the Westward Ho Roundup Suppers near Walton for many church groups, civic clubs, family celebrations and other groups over the years.
Jack was a longtime member and song leader for Golden Plains Free Methodist Church. He taught Sunday School, served on the church board, and was always ready to talk about his personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
He was most proud of his service in the U.S. Army as a Sergeant First Class in Korea, serving as an ammunition foreman. He counted it as one of the most meaningful experiences of his life.
Survivors include his wife, Leona, daughter Susan (Elias) Agel of Oklahoma City, son Frank (Peggy) Griffith of Wichita, son Thomas Griffith of Walton, daughter Sara Griffith of Menifee, CA, and brother Claude Earl, also known as Tom, (Bettie) Griffith of McPherson. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Amanda & husband Drew, Kaitlin, Andrew, Keemia, Jacob, Kiana, Scott, Megan, and Tyler, and by 4 great-grandchildren: Elijah, Abraham, Paul and Mary.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis & Hazel Griffith, and brothers Andrew Griffith and Marshall Griffith, and sister Darlene Ward.
His service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Golden Plains Free Methodist Church, two miles north of Newton on K-15 Highway. Internment will be at the Walton Cemetary. Viewing will be at Petersen Funeral Home, Newton, Friday, 5-9 p.m., with members of the family present from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Memorials may be made to Golden Plains Free Methodist Church or to Positive Tomorrows (school for homeless children in Oklahoma City).