Kenneth Pickens

Kenneth D. Pickens

1937 - 2007

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Obituary of Kenneth D. Pickens

Kenneth D. Pickens, 70, of 2362 Willowbrooke Lane, Iowa City, passed away at his home surrounded by his family on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 following a battle with cancer. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, July 20, 2007, at the First Christian Church, 900 Lincolnshire Place, Coralville, Iowa with the Reverend Bob Welch officiating. Family burial services will be held at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr, Iowa, on Saturday. Visitation will be from 6 to 8pm Thursday, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the family in Ken’s memory. Online condolences may be sent for his family through the web @ Ken was born June 27, 1937, in Davis City, Iowa the son of Audrey and Robert Pickens. Kenney moved to Mount Ayr attending grade school and graduating from high school in 1955. Here he excelled in all the sports programs. Kenney joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduation and served his country from 1955 to 1958. In October of 1955 he married his high school sweetheart, Sharon Payne, while on leave from Camp Chaffee, Arkansas. They made their home in Tacoma, Washington. On return to Mount Ayr he worked as a Market Manager at a local market then went to Bedford, Iowa when he joined the HyVee organization as Produce Manager in 1960. In 1962, the family moved to Centerville later moving to Fort Dodge in 1965. In 1966, he was named Assistant Manager. In 1968 he became Manager of the HyVee in Lamoni, Iowa his first store that he would manage. In 1970, the family moved to Iowa City where he would become the Manager of the Kirkwood Avenue HyVee. In 1978 he was selected to work out of the corporate office in Chariton and became District Manager. For the next 15 years he served as Director of Operations and was elected to serve a term on the HyVee Board of Directors. He opened, relocated, remodeled and reset 60 HyVee stores during this time. He was chosen Supervisor of the Year, an honor for outstanding, dedicated service within the HyVee organization. In 1994 Kenney retired from HyVee after being with them for 34 years, with a retirement party at Chariton, celebrating with many friends and family. Kenney was a Hawkeye sports fan, traveling with the team on out-of-town games and not missing too many football or basketball games. In 1999 Kenney and Sharon bought a home in Las Vegas, Nevada on a golf course. He was a member of Spanish Trail Country Club and the Elk’s County Club in Iowa City which assured him of a game of golf year around. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, El Kahir Shrine, Camel Wheels Unit, Kaaba Temple and Davenport Consistory. He belonged to the Noontime Quarterback Club, Kiwanis Club and Junior Chamber of Commerce. Kenney was a member of the First Christian Church in Mount Ayr, Iowa having transferred membership to First Christian Church in Iowa City and to the Christian Church in Las Vegas. He is survived by his wife, Sharon of 51 years. His son Kris (Stacey) Pickens of Coralville, grandsons, Jacob and Carter, randdaughter, Lexi, step-grandchildren Billy and Noah, and mother-in-law Edna Payne Sickels of Mount Ayr. Also survived by sister, Karen Graham of Des Moines; brother, Earl of Las Vegas; and many nieces and nephews, sister-in-law, Brenda (David) McDaniel of Dousman, Wisconsin. He was preceded in death by his son Kent, his parents and two sisters. Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service is caring for his family and services.