Herb Vernon Kennicutt was born on a farm near Kiowa Kansas on March 22, 1924. He entered eternal rest on August 10, 2023. Herb graduated from Kiowa High School in May 1943. He served in the U.S. Navy from July 22, 1943, to April 22, 1946. During his time in the U.S. Navy, he was aboard the USS Willmarth, Destroyer Escort #638, in the 40th Division of Destroyer Escorts Pacific Fleet. The crew earned 6 campaign medals and 5 bronze stars. Herb served aboard the USS Willmarth from March 19,1944 to February 25, 1946. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy at the Naval Separation Center, in Norman, Oklahoma on April 22, 1946.
Herb went to his folk's home north of Hazelton, Kansas. In June of 1946, he joined a crew doing custom wheat harvesting. He was one of three truck drivers. They followed the wheat harvest through Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and finished in Shelby, Montana in September of 1946. He returned home, and in January of 1947 moved to Wichita, Kansas.
In January 1947, he enrolled in Wichita Business College where he studied accounting and associate studies. In February 1948, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri to work for Continental Electric Company, working as a credit and claims clerk. Herb met Margaret Faye Benton in Kansas City and they were united in marriage on September 4, 1948, at the Westport Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri.
In April of 1949, he went to work for the Southwest District Office of International Milling Company in North Kansas City, Missouri as an auditing accountant. In September of 1951 he moved to Kiowa and took the position as assistant manager of T.M. Deal Lumber Company.
In January of 1953, he was moved to Dodge City Kansas as assistant manager. On January 8, 1956, Herb and Margaret lost a daughter at still birth. In May of 1956, he moved to Madison, Kansas and took the position as manager of Houston - Doughty Lumber Company.
In June of 1959, he accepted a job as manager with Burlington Lumber and Supply Company in Burlington, Kansas. On December 19, 1960, Herb and Margaret were blessed with the birth of their son, David Lee Kennicutt. The new co-owner of the Burlington Lumber Company took over as manager, releasing Herb from his position. Herb was called by the manager of J. B. Houston and Son Lumber Company in El Dorado, Kansas and offered a good salary to be his assistant manager. He accepted the offer and moved to El Dorado, Kansas in September 1964.
In March of 1965, the company of five chain stores sold to Antrim Lumber Company, a retail part of Round and Porter Wholesales Company.
Antrim Lumber was a chain of 18 retail stores throughout Kansas and Oklahoma. In 1965, he was transferred to the store in Wellington, Kansas as assistant manager. During the evenings, from January 1, through April 15, and from 1969 - 1970 he worked for Wellington Accounting and Income Tax Service Company. In June of 1971, the general manager of Antrim came by the store in Wellington and told Herb not to get in debt, because he was due to go to Hobart or Pawnee, Oklahoma as manager to replace whichever manager retired first.
In September 1971, Dwight Rounds, the owner of Rounds and Porter Wholesale and Antrim, sold the chain of 18 retail stores to a liquidating firm in Chicago, Illinois. This was a hard blow to all the employees. The firm had a profit-sharing plan for all the employees of both companies, which was set up by Ralph Rounds, father of Dwight Rounds. And then Herb took a job as credit manager with A.C. Houston Lumber Company in Gallup, New Mexico. He quit the job when he found out he had been lied to and cheated out of several thousand dollars in year-end bonus money.
He went to work for McKinley General Hospital in Gallup as Comptroller in April of 1973. The hospital was managed by the Sisters of St. Francis. In November of 1976, they relinquished their lease on the hospital due to funds not paid by the city and county as promised. In December of 1976, he went to work for CPA James McPhaul as an audit and tax accountant.
At the end of the tax year, it wasn't enough work to keep him employed so he was let go. In May of 1977, he went to work for National Life and Accident Insurance Company, working as an agent in El Reno, Oklahoma. He left his job in August of 1980. When the Rock Island Railroad Company folded up, it did away with some of his business. He left National Life and Accident Insurance Company and went to work for B&C Foods in Oklahoma City as a bookkeeper and later as an outside salesman.
In 1986, he left B&C Foods and went to work for Metro Food Company in Oklahoma City as a salesman only to be terminated a few months later. In 1989, he applied for a part time job at Britton Lumber and Supply Company. He worked as a store clerk for 10 years. In March 1998, he retired permanently.
Herb is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is also a dual member of 60 years as of August 2013 with A.F. & A.M. Masons with membership in Cosmos Lodge #278, Kiowa, Kansas and Britton Lodge #434, Oklahoma City. Herb and Margaret were host and hostess to the USS Willmarth's crew’s 10th reunion in August 1998 held in Oklahoma City.
Herb and Margaret enjoyed the company of their neighbors and would participate in the block parties they would have. After Margaret passed his neighbors were there to check on him and run errands for him when needed. In 2015 he moved to Norman’s Veterans Center in Norman, Oklahoma where he immediately made friends with other veterans and staff members who loved and respected him.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his sisters-in-law, Martha Kennicutt and Francis Kennicutt, a host of nieces and nephews, his wonderful neighbors, especially Kitty and Jeff Asberry; his veteran friends and staff at Norman’s Veterans Center.
Herb is preceded in death by his parents, Charles, and Roma; his wife, Margaret; his infant daughter; his son, David; his brothers, Orlis and Bill Kennicutt; sister, Ina Hohmann, and sister in-law, Donna Kennicutt.
Service for Herb will be Thursday, September 21, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Demuth Funeral Home, 1145 W. Britton Rd., Oklahoma City. Graveside service for Herb will be Friday, September 22, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. at Riverview Cemetery in Kiowa, Kansas with arrangements by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc of Kiowa. www.lanmanfuneralhome.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home, Inc.