Peacefully and surrounded with care and love, Kenneth Hickford of Innisfail died on September 25, 2014 at the age of 82. Kenneth was born in Heywood, Rochdale, Lancashire England to Arthur and Violet May Hickford, and immigrated to Canada at the age of 15. He was married to Rosina (McIlwaine) in 1961, and following Rosina’s death in 1992, found love again and married Mavis (Durstling) in 1995. Kenneth embraced the love of both combined families, and enjoyed the active life brought by all of their children and their families. Kenneth was a family and career man, community volunteer, musician and a lifelong learner.
Grieving Kenneth’s loss are his many co-workers, friends and family, and especially his cherished wife, Mavis, and her children and families: Joey (Carey, children Hayden and Hailey), Valerie (Jason) and William (Trish, children Dawson and Chloe; his sons Kelly (Johanna, children Kayla and Alisa), Christopher (Jeanne), and his daughter Kathleen (Brent, children Andrew, Jordan and Justine) and his much loved Auntie Ivy in England.
Kenneth provided over 60 years of service to Canada, first in the Canadian Army and then with the Correctional Service of Canada. His career as an army officer began with 2RCHA (Royal Canadian Horse Artillery) in Victoria, led him to the Canadian Defense Liaison Staff in Washington DC and finished in Ottawa where he retired as a Communications officer. He also served with 749 Communication Troop in Red Deer (Communication Reserve) as their commanding officer. Upon retirement from the regular forces in 1979, Kenneth began his second career, working until the time of his death at the Bowden Penitentiary as Chief of Institutional Services.
Outside work and family, Kenneth had many volunteer interests and passions. Kenneth loved to travel, particularly to his native England and with Mavis in their motorhome. As a boy, he was a King’s Scout, and later a Scout leader. He served the Army Cadet League of Canada as president and treasurer, sang with the Innisfail “Senior Serenaders”, served many churches as organist and choir director, was a member of the Friends of Innisfail Library Society and a member of Royal Canadian Legion. Kenneth always had a language to study, a book to read, a pet to cuddle and an instrument to play. His was a life fully lived!