NLJ Staff

1932–Aug. 29, 2022

John Kenneth Allender, 89, formerly of Newcastle, Wyo., passed away on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, at Ashley Pointe in Lake Stevens, Wash.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 1 to 2 p.m. at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City, S.D., with a graveside service to follow at New Underwood Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.

John, also known as Ken, was born in New Underwood, S.D., in 1932 to Ray and Louise Allender. John was the youngest of five rambunctious boys who grew up on the family farm during the challenging years of the Depression and World War II. 

After graduation from New Underwood High School and a brief enlistment in the army, he earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from South Dakota State in Brookings in 1959. He spent his professional life as a civil engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers.

In December of 1959, John married Martha Marie Brown of Newcastle. They were married for 58 devoted years. Together, they built a stable home and future for their four children even as they lived in many places: Omaha, Neb., New Underwood, and Rapid City, S.D., and Anchorage and Eagle River, Alaska. They retired to Newcastle, then spent their winters traveling in a recreational vehicle.

After Martha’s passing in 2018, John eventually settled near his daughter Colleen in Snohomish, Wash.

His family said, “John was a quiet, kind, and humble person. He also had a wickedly dry sense of humor. He didn’t need much to be content — a woodworking project in his basement workshop, a long weekend drive somewhere pretty with Martha, or a day spent visiting with his family. John was frugal but generous, always practical, and eminently capable. He could fix just about anything, and if he didn’t know how, he would figure it out and make sure it got done right. Above all, John loved his family and will be dearly missed.”

John is survived by his children and their spouses, Ken and Ann Allender of Sioux Falls, S.D., Colleen and David Anderson of Snohomish, Kathy and Josh Mize of Soldotna, Alaska, and Christina and Matthew Tennyson of Tucson, Ariz. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren, Kevin, Michael, Zachary, Sarah, Ellen, Robert, Kenny, Nicole, and David. 

Kirk Funeral Home of Rapid City is handling arrangements.


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