Kenneth RayburnKenneth Lee Rayburn, 76, of Bloomfield, passed away Saturday, March 31st, after a brief illness. Georgia Lou, his wife of over 58 years, and other family members were at his side.
Ken was born May 28, 1941, in Falfurrias, Texas to Evelyn and Ira Rayburn. As a young man, he moved to San Juan County, New Mexico, residing at Barker Dome where his father worked in the natural gas industry. Ken attended the Little Red Schoolhouse in La Plata and made lifelong friends there while enjoying his youth hunting and exploring the great outdoors.
Ken met Georgia while attending high school in Aztec, and they were married September 3, 1959, in the LDS temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ken enlisted in the US Navy soon after, where his duties included working aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. After the Navy, Ken joined in the US Army, where he trained in Special Forces before serving his country in Vietnam. Ken served in the 5th Special Forces Group, Detachment A-505, NCOIC of the Counter Subversion/Counter Espionage Team, which he was instrumental in developing (Special Agents in the Cold War) 5th MIKE Force (Mobile Strike Force Command) Mac V Force, 512 MSF Company .While in the military, Ken was awarded a the oak leaf cluster, the Naval commendation for Valor, two Purple Hearts and the Silver Star. He was also nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor. He later attended the Sergeant Major Academy and retired from the Army after 22 years.
After the Army, Ken worked as a police officer with the Bloomfield Police Department and later as a Deputy with the San Juan County Sheriff's Office for 12 years.
Ken devoted over 30 years of service to the Boy Scouts of America, where he enjoyed working with hundreds of young men, teaching them the Scouting values and skills.
Ken and Georgia served an LDS mission to Columbia, South Carolina where they worked with soldiers attending basic training. He also served as a work in the LDS Temple in Albuquerque, as service missionaries in the LDS storehouse. Most importantly Ken served in the LDS church, most diligently, as an Elder and High Priest in numerous capacities throughout his life
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Evelyn Anna and Ira Elmer Rayburn; his brother Lynn Rayburn; sisters Bertha Fay Rayburn and Dorothy Evelyn Boring; and granddaughter, Qunisa Gabrielle Rayburn. He is survived by his wife Georgia Lou Rayburn, and his four children: Melinda Sam (Melvin), Eric Rayburn (Amy), Jacqueline Brightman (Bill), and Sybrina Rayburn. He has 26 grandchildren, 9 grandchildren-in-laws and 24 great-grandchildren.
Affectionately known as Grandpa Bear, Ken loved spending time with his family, especially outdoors. He loved sharing his knowledge of the gospel, of Dutch oven cooking, hunting, archery, shooting, gold prospecting, and map skills. He lived his life all in and we are all the better for it!
He was our beloved Father, Grandpa Bear, Great grandpa Bear, and good friend to all that knew him. Ken will be greatly missed by all family and friends. Thank you Grandpa Bear for all you did for us! We love you and anxiously await to spend eternity with you!
Pallbearers are William and Sean Brightman, Jason and Lamoni Sam, Deruchette and Ricardo Juliotti, Robert Shaw, Conner Rayburn, Dentin Shelton and John Scott.
Honorary Pallbearers are Melvin Sam, Eric, Miranda, Mason, Justis and Madison Rayburn, Jay Jr, Michael, Jordynn, and Samantha York.
Visitation is Friday April 6th, from 6-8 pm at Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home. 103 E. Ute St, Farmington.
Funeral will be held April 7th at 11am at the LDS Church. 804 W. Blanco Blvd, Bloomfield. Internment will immediately follow the services at East Hammond Cemetery. 481 Road 4990, Bloomfield.Kenneth's care is entrusted to Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St., in Farmington. (505)325-8688. You may share condolences with the family on our website: www.serenityandcompany.com http://www.serenityandcompany.com/