Serving Whitman County since 1877

Kenneth "Ken" Burl Girsberger

Feb. 12, 1931 - Dec. 14, 2023

Kenneth "Ken" Burl Girsberger passed away peacefully on December 14, 2023, at the Hospice of Spokane Hospice House.

Ken was born on February 12, 1931, in Latah, Washington, to Llewellyn and Ruth Girsberger. Ken was the first of three children and was a beloved big brother to sister, Luella and brother, Hugh. Ken attended a small country school until 4th grade where he then attended school in Tekoa until graduating from high school in 1949.

Ken enlisted in the Army in February 1951 and completed basic training in California and Armored Tank Training in Kentucky. He married his high school sweetheart, Maryanna Fulks, on November 22, 1951, while home on leave. After two months of marriage Ken was assigned to the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division in Korea until he returned home in 1952.

In 1953 Ken and Maryanna returned to Tekoa, Washington, where he farmed and raised hogs until 1981. Ken's attention to detail, impressive hog farm and costs and profits records caught the attention of Purina magazine where he was featured in a full page illustrated article.

Maryanna and Ken spent 19 years traveling the U.S. after retirement. They were married 48 years when she passed away in 1999. Ken was a loving and devoted husband to Maryanna throughout their marriage and cared for her as she lived her adult life with Multiple Sclerosis.

In the summer of 1999 Ken attended his high school class reunion and reconnected with a classmate and childhood friend, Marilu (Gumm) Olsen. They were married on January 3, 2003. Ken and Marilu moved to Spokane, Washington, in 2006 and enjoyed traveling during the winter months. Ken enjoyed Marilu's children, grandchildren and extended family. He cared for Marilu with love, devotion and respect until her death in 2021.

Ken loved reading books, walking three to five miles a day and exercising at the YMCA five days a week. He was a consistent blood donor and loyal supporter of Meals on Wheels in Spokane.

A military graveside service will be held at Goldenrod Cemetery in Tekoa, Washington, later this spring. Memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels in Spokane, Washington or United Church in Tekoa, Washington.

To leave a note or memory go to the Thornhill Valley Funeral Home website.


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