Kenneth Dale Waits
Kenneth Dale Waits, 88, of Oklahoma City, left his earthly body and joined his Lord and Savior Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, at home surrounded by family.
Ken is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Lila Jean Scheller, along with 3 children, Kirk and Melena Waits of Tulsa; Ken and Laura Waits of Tyler, Texas; and Cliff and Kelly Underwood of Ada; as well as five grandchildren, Hanna Waits, Cade Waits, Cole Waits, Emma Underwood and Cooper Underwood.
Ken was born May 13, 1931, in Frederick to Raymond and Viva Waits. He learned the meaning of hard work at an early age, helping his father and older brothers on the family farms.
At Frederick High, he was president of his class, played football and began dating "the prettiest girl in the school," Lila Jean Scheller. After graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1953, Ken married his high school sweetheart and they embarked on the adventure of a lifetime when he graduated from officers' candidate school and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force.
Ken loved to fly and made a career of the military, proudly serving our country for almost 31 years, retiring in 1984 as a colonel and base commander of Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.
Col. Waits' assignments took him Lila and the family all over the world; by Lila's count, they moved 23 times.
Once commissioned, Ken's initial assignment was as a pilot in the Air Force's special atomic cloud sampling project in the Enewetak Atoll in the South Pacific and the Nevada desert. Subsequent assignments in Spangdahlem, Germany; Langley AFB Virginia; Toul Rosieres, France; and Boise, Idaho, were followed by a tour in Vietnam from 1966-1967.
Ken flew 215 missions in Southeast Asia and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery and extraordinary achievement while on a mission over North Vietnam on Feb. 20, 1967. Future assignments included the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.; Bergstrom AFB, Texas; Ramstein AFB and Zweibrucken AFB, Germany; and Wright-Patterson, Ohio, followed by his final stop as commander of the 2954th Air Base Group at Tinker AFB.
Col. Waits' honors include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with 15 Oak Leak Cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
Ken was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who loved to spend time with his grandchildren. "Poppy" will be sorely missed by his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Raymond Waits Jr. and Robert Earl Waits.
Memorial services for Ken Waits will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Orr Gray Gish Funeral Home in Frederick, with Dr. Shane Kendrix, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Frederick, officiating. Burial with full U.S. Air Force military honors will take place prior to the memorial service at a 12:30 p.m. graveside service in the Frederick Memorial Cemetery.
A special thank you for the loving care and support of Dr. Brian Cross and the staff at the University of Oklahoma Stephenson Cancer Center. The family also extends their gratitude to the loving nurses that cared for Ken at home.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Ken's honor be made to a charity of your choice.
Published on September 30, 2019


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2 posts

Allison Richardson
Oct 04, 2019
Enduring Grace was purchased for the family of Kenneth Dale Waits by Allison Richardson.  Send flowers
Allison Richardson
Oct 04, 2019
Tender Tribute was purchased for the family of Kenneth Dale Waits by Allison Richardson.  Send flowers