Kenneth Lee Gladden was a World War II veteran

Friday, March 21, 2014 | 8:15 p.m. CDT

DODGE CITY, Kan. — Kenneth Lee Gladden of Dodge City, Kan., died Thursday, March 20, 2014. He was 87.

He was born April 20, 1926, in Turley, Mo., to Clarence and Lena (Welch) Gladden.

Mr. Gladden was a World War II veteran. He served as a paratrooper at Luzon in the Philippines. He moved to Dodge City in 1947. In 1953, he married Agnes Schlereth Burkhart. 

In 1956, Mr. Gladden and his wife started Gladden Excavating, which they operated together for many years. Mr. Gladden later established Gladden Farms near Dodge City. 

He was a member of  both the Masonic Lodge and Howard Gotschall Post #1714, Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Dodge City. 

Mr. Gladden is survived by sons Darrell Burkhart, and his wife Beverly, Larry Burkhart and Mike Burkhart and his wife, Mindy, all of Dodge City; a brother, Robert Gladden, of Roby, Mo..; a sister, Betty Patterson, of Columbia; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

His wife, granddaughter Angela Burkhart, brother Joseph W. Gladden and sister Maxine Umpfleet died earlier.

Visitation will be from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Swaim Funeral Home, 1901 Sixth Ave, Dodge City. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Entombment will follow at Greencrest Mausoleum of Peace with full military rites.

Memorial contributions can be made to Ford County Fire and Emergency Medical Services in care of Swaim Funeral Home. Condolences can be posted at

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