Friday, March 27, 2015
Location: Ft. Logan National Cemetery
3698 S. Sheridan Blvd., Denver, CO 80235.
The military ceremony will start at 2:15 PM. There will be a reception at
Arrowhead Golf Club, Roxborough Park, 10850 Sundown Trail,
Littleton, CO 80125 immediately following the funeral
It is recommended that guests arrive at Ft. Logan
between 1:45 PM and 2:00 PM to assemble at a staging area.
We will be escorted by cemetery personnel to the
Ken McWhorter, former Braniff pilot and husband of Karalee Champion McWhorter, 1959-1982, is under Hospice care after complications from pneumonia and Parkinson’s Disease.
KEN McWHORTER – Flown
Ken McWhorter James Kenneth McWhorter, born October
20, 1934, to Roy Lee McWhorter and Lily Velma (Choate)
McWhorter in Texarkana, TX, passed away on March 11, 2015 in
Denver, CO, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Ken grew up in Texarkana and attended Texarkana High School
where he played football for the Tigers. He graduated
from the University of North Texas and joined the United
States Air Force in 1956. He served for ten years and
achieved the rank of Captain. In 1966 he was hired as
Chief Navigator at Braniff International Airlines to train
pilots on trans-oceanic navigation systems to fly Military
Air Contract flights to Southeast Asia during the Viet Nam
conflict. As a Braniff pilot he was a First Officer on
the B-707, DC-8 and B-727 and Captain on the B-727. In
1968 he married a Braniff flight attendant, Karalee
Champion. During the Braniff hijacking in South
America in 1971, he volunteered to be part of Captain Al
Schroeder’s crew in Lima because the airplane was not
equipped with over-water navigation equipment and the final
destination was to be Algiers.
Ken had many hobbies and he enjoyed being outdoors. He
learned to ski while he was in the Air Force and was a
member of the first Braniff Ski Team. He was an avid
bicycle enthusiast; owned a BMW motorcycle and enjoyed
taking trips through the western USA. He flew
sailplanes and on their second date he took Karalee for a
sailplane ride. He enjoyed camping and was active with
the Boy Scouts when Andrew was a Scout. He was a
photographer and took beautiful photos on his travels around
the world. He also took beautiful pictures of his
children. He designed and built many projects at his
home in Colorado.
Ken was a faithful member of Littleton United Methodist
Church for thirty-five years. He was also a member of
the Littleton Optimist Club.
He was preceded in death by his father, Roy McWhorter; his
mother, Velma McWhorter; and his brother, Emory Foster
Survivors include Karalee McWhorter, son Andrew McWhorter
and wife, Karin; daughter Allison Morris and husband,
Brennon; grandson Collin McWhorter; grand-daughter Anna
McWhorter; nephew Foster McWhorter; cousins Bobbie Andres
and Vonn Robinson and numerous friends and colleagues.
We would like to thank the staff and caregivers at the
Englewood Meridian and acknowledge the wonderful care and
compassion that they showed to Ken every day for thirteen
months. Special thanks, also, to the Coffee Group guys
who were steadfast friends and there when he needed them
Burial will be at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver,
Colorado, and a memorial celebration of Ken’s life will
be planned. Dates are pending.
A memorial gift in honor of Ken, in lieu of flowers, may be
made to The Braniff Silver Eagles Charitable Fund, 720
Highridge, Little Elm, TX 75068.
On behalf of John North
BISE Information: Captain Ken McWhorter – Final Flight