WOODLAND – Kenneth W. Atcheson, of 476 Carson Road, Woodland, it is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our beloved father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, Kenneth W. Atcheson. Ken passed away surrounded by family on July 30, 2014 at the Maine Veterans Home in Caribou after a period of declining health. He was born on July 10, 1931 in Algona, Iowa, the second of eight children to Orris E. and Ethel Mae (Gunsell) Atcheson.
He graduated from Patterson High School in 1949 and in June of this summer he attended the 65th reunion of his class. In 1950, he enlisted in the United States Air Force rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was assigned to the United States Air Force Military Police Unit at the Caribou Air Force Base within the Loring Air Force Base Complex. During his service with the USAF, Ken held the same security clearance as the President of the United States and was responsible for guarding the Nuclear Stockpile at the Caribou Air Force Base. He was honored with several citations for distinguished service including Airman of the Year. In recent years he loved to give guided tours of the Nuclear Depot that he helped build and guard during his time at the Caribou Air Force Base to area high school students and visitors.
While stationed at Loring, he met Rhoda L. Wark and they were married on October 13, 1953 at the Caribou United Baptist Church. They were married for almost 55 years until her passing in 2008.
Upon his honorable discharge from the USAF, Ken began his career in agriculture, serving as potato inspector for the State of Maine. In 1957, he established Atcheson Farms. The Atcheson Family wishes to thank his friends and neighbors in the Agricultural Community for their support and kindness throughout his farming years. Ken served 15 years as a member of the Board of Farm Credit Service, serving 2 years as vice chairman and 5 years as chairman. He also served as First Selectman for the Town of Woodland, member and Chairman of the Woodland School Board, Chairman of the Union 122 School Board, and on several other voluntary boards and committees.
Ken was predeceased by his parents, his beloved wife, Rhoda, four brothers, Larry, Jerry, Ronald and Duane Atcheson, and several brothers and sisters-in-law. He is survived by his sons and their wives, Kenneth W. Atcheson II and his wife, Judy of Presque isle and Thomas J. Atcheson and his wife, Sharon of Woodland. He leaves behind five beloved grandchildren, Amanda Atcheson of Portland, Kyle Atcheson, Danielle Atcheson Peterson and her husband, Kurt, and Jacob Atcheson, all of Woodland, and Abigail Atcheson and her fiancé, Derek Clair of Mapleton, as well as two adored great-grandchildren, Riggs Lyndon Peterson and Luca Rhoda Peterson both of Woodland. He is also survived by his brothers, Orion and his wife, Miriam of Wichita, KS, Alvin “Rick” and his wife, Donna of Urbandale, IA, his sister, Sheryl Atcheson Weakland of Osceola, IA, and his sister-in-law, Lucille Wark of Caribou, as well as many cherished nieces and nephews. Ken and Rhoda were blessed with the very special friendship of Gary and Linda Sirois of Fort Fairfield who were like their own family.
The family would also like to thank his dear friends at the “Breakfast Crowd” and the wonderful staff at Reno’s Family Restaurant in Caribou for many happy years of memories. The Atcheson Family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to the physicians, nurses and staff members of the Cary medical Center, the Borderview Rehabilitation Center and the Maine Veterans Home for the loving and professional care that Dad received during his recent illness.
Friends may call at the Mockler Funeral Home, 24 Reservoir Street in Caribou, from 7-9 p.m. Friday, August 1, 2014. Funeral services will be held at the Maine Veterans Cemetery out door memorial chapel, 11 a.m. Saturday, August 2, 2014. A private family interment will be held in Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to contribute in memory of Ken may do so through the Caribou High School Chapter of the Future Farmers of America, care of Ralph Conroy, 308 Sweden St., Suite 1, Caribou ME 04736. www.mocklerfuneralhome.com