Obituary: Kenneth Meeker Coleburn
Kenneth Meeker Coleburn died on August 19, 2018, in Redding, Connecticut. He was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, on June 22, 1928, the youngest of three children of Kenneth Meeker Coleburn, Sr. and Emily Eleanor Coley Coleburn.
Ken grew up in Norwalk. He attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1950.
At Middlebury, Ken met Carolyn Sackett; they married in 1952. They raised their family in Rye, New York, where they lived for 46 years. Ken was a partner and sales manager at Stiles Business Products, selling and maintaining business equipment in Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties. Ken would say that he drove a car for a living. He knew every mile of those counties, and was appreciated by his customers for his strong handshake and extensive knowledge of his adding machines, calculators, and mailing equipment. Instead of business cards, Ken gave his customers seven-inch rulers printed with his contact information.
Ken and Carolyn moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut, in 2000 and then to Meadow Ridge in Redding, Connecticut in 2015.
Some of his favorite hours, from childhood into his seventies, were spent playing tennis with family and friends. While captain of the Middlebury tennis team, and at public courts, Shenorock Shore Club, and Thompson’s Point, Charlotte, Vermont, Ken was well known for both his powerful forehand and his lack of fashion sense on the court. Ken’s talents with a racquet in his hand extended into his 80s. He was still playing, and winning, at ping-pong at 89.
Ken volunteered with Meals on Wheels in both Rye and Ridgefield. He enjoyed bringing good food and good cheer to people who could not shop or prepare food for themselves. He liked to think of his bringing meals to his elderly clients as extending the time they could stay in their own homes by six months. He also volunteered with the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association. He so enjoyed making people happy that after moving to Ridgefield he got a part-time job delivering flowers.
Ken was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. He will be remembered by family and friends for his sunny disposition and genuine gratitude for what is good in life.
Ken is survived by his children, William, Jacqueline, Robert, and Carolyn; their spouses, Mary Lou Coleburn, Robert McDonough, Robin Coleburn, and Harry Philbrick; and his four grandchildren, Andrew, Cameron, Kara, and Charlie.
A memorial service will be held for Ken later this year in Charlotte, Vermont.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Ken’s life go to Meals on Wheels America.