Kenneth J. Bohannon passed away on August 18, 2019, at the age of 74. He battled metastatic adenocarcinoma for the past year, but he lived that year with courage and vigor. Ken was born and raised in New Albany, Indiana, the middle of three children in the Bohannon family. Having graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Chemistry, Ken was commissioned in the US Air Force in 1970. He credited the Air Force with expanding his horizons and exposing him to a fascinating world awaiting his exploration. After 23 years of military service, which included a Titan Missile command, an MS degree from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a tour of duty in Korea, a career in contracting and program management, Lieutenant Colonel Bohannon retired in 1993. Following his military experience, Ken continued to expand his horizons with additional careers at Lockheed Martin, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the US Department of State. He retired for the last time in 2014.
Over the course of his life, he traveled to 36 countries, taking full advantage of learning about the culture wherever he found himself. Besides travel, some of Ken’s adventures included flying planes, parachuting, riding camels and elephants, rafting on the Nile, and hot air ballooning. Where there was an opportunity for adventure, he embraced it. By the same token, his natural curiosity and love of art, music, history, and archeology took him to museums, cultural landmarks, and venues around the world. His affiliation for nature and willingness to test himself led him to many avocations—cycling, hiking, mountain climbing, running, motorcycling, sailing, paddling, in-line skating, skiing, golfing, and tennis. He also liked to play bridge and shoot pool. Another side to Ken was his skill at woodworking. Ken was a “fixer”. He loved taking a broken piece of furniture and repairing it to peak condition. His skills included almost all aspects of home repair. (He renovated a “fixer-upper” house, doing much of the major work himself.) And yet, still another side of him loved to read and discuss poetry. Ken enjoyed studying and investing in the stock market too. A modern Renaissance man was Ken Bohannon.
Ken was a natural “people person” who befriended anyone from any background and remained connected to many (including several of his grade school friends). From time to time, Ken gathered several pals for an informal men’s group, sharing beer and guy talk on a warm evening on the deck. He was open and confident in his relationships, a good story teller as well as a good listener. It could be said truthfully that Ken never met a stranger.
Ken is survived by his wife and soulmate, Linda, his son Justin, his step sons, Erin Hutchinson and wife Lisa, and Brian Hutchinson and wife, Beth and five grandchildren, Ryan, Ben, Kate, Jacob and Levi. Also surviving is Ken’s sister Carol Oelke and her husband David, nephew Christian and his family and niece Brooke. Ken’s brother Donald Bohannon and his wife Dee, nieces Bridget and Amy and their families also survive him.
We will remember Ken Bohannon as a man who lived his life to its fullest, and even in the midst of dying, showed us how to live.
A Celebration of Ken’s Life will be held on Sunday, October 13, 2019, in the chapel at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church at 3:00 PM. A reception will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Ken's memory to a charity of your choice.
Ken will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a date yet to be determined.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenneth James Bohannon, please visit our floral store.