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Kenneth Lee Bruton

Obituary of Kenneth Bruton

KENNETH LEE BRUTON AUG. 15, 1925 - OCT. 14, 2014

Kenneth Lee. Bruton, 89, of Sun Valley Ranch in Grand Lake, passed away on Oct. 14, 2014 at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood following a brief illness. He was born on Aug. 15, 1925 in Chickasha, Okla. to parents Joseph and Edith Bruton. When Ken was two, the family moved to Kellerville, Tex. where he spent his school years. He graduated from McLean High School in 1943 and proudly served his country in the U.S. Naval Air Corp while attending the University of North Carolina. Following World War II, he attended the University of Oklahoma, and majored in engineering. Ken settled into married life in Amarillo Tex. with his first wife, Betty Lou Roth, from 1946 to 1956, and to that union three sons were born: Lee, Jerry, and Joe. Ken moved to Denver in the late 1950s where he operated his own boating business, Fore and Aft Marine. He was married to Carolyn Read Scott from 1957 to 1978, and added one daughter, Susan, to his family by adoption. In 1964, Ken purchased Sun Valley Guest Ranch, which he operated until 1982, touching the lives of many guests and crewmembers. He then converted the guest ranch to Sun Valley Ranch Estates, while building custom log homes. Ken married Shawn Simonds in 1997, and to that union one son, Thomas, was born. He continued log home building until the age of 80, and remained active in the day-to-day operation of the ranch until his passing. Throughout his life he relished the wild-west cowboy life, a love of ranching, and a love for the great outdoors. He was an avid storyteller, and fervently enjoyed entertaining friends-old and new-at the ranch. His passion in later life was coaching and imparting life-learned lessons and strong ethical values to his son, Thomas. Ken was blessed to live in Grand Lake for 50 years, which allowed him the opportunity to enjoy numerous outdoor activities, including raising, training and showing Appaloosa horses, trail riding and horse packing, hunting, snowmobiling, and skiing.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother Joseph Douglass. He is survived by his wife, Shawn, and their son, Thomas Jordan, his adult children Kenneth Lee Jr. (Carolyn) of Golden, Jerry Don of Los Gatos, Calif., Joseph Henry of Pueblo, and Susan Leigh (Brian) Wiseman of Grand Junction, his sister, Meta Haanstad of Tucson, Ariz., as well as 11 grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial celebration of Ken's life will take place on Nov. 8, 2014 at Trinity Church in the Pines in Grand Lake, starting at 11:00 a.m. with a reception to follow in the church. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate memorial contributions payable to the Ken Bruton Medical Contributions fund at U.S. Bank, PO Box 439, Granby, Colo. 80446, 970-887-3361.

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I was searching the net wanting to visit "the ranch" at some point soon and read of Ken's passing. I know this is very late, but wanted you to know what an impact Ken had on my life. My family and I stayed at Sun Valley in the early 70's both in summer and winter months. The memories I do remember best are not of the scenery (which is spectacular), or the mountains (my first overnight stay in the mountains - Bowen Lake), or the stars, but mostly of Ken's humor. I still tell the story of when I first met Ken, I was only 11 so after being released from the back of the station wagon, after nearly 12 hours of traveling from the flat lands of Kansas, I was talking a mile-a-minute; Ken's first comment on meeting me was, "Sounds like you were vaccinated with a phonograph needle." One year later, the same context, I was gabbing a mile-a-minute and Ken's first words were, "I see you got your booster." What a whit. Please receive my heartfelt condolences. John Cook Lawrence, Kansas

John Cook Jan 16 2015 12:00 AM

Ken building a log home for Kirk and Melva Hills in Sun Valley on the North Fork of the Colorado River.

Kirk and Melva Hills Nov 7 2014 12:00 AM

With our deepest sympathy to Shawn, Thomas, and the entire Bruton Family. We feel blessed that we will have many special lasting memories of Ken as we continue to enjoy our Sun Valley custom log home that he built for us on North Fork of the Colorado River in 2000. Kens ideas and craftsmanship in his log work will always be treasured and enjoyed by the Hills ' Family for generations to come. Ken finished our home when he was 75 years old and was spunky and still sharp as a tack. Ken was always a good neighbor who snow plowed for us for many years and was always willing to help us with any problem or emergency situation that arose. Ken will always be remembered as a cowboy at heart with a spirit for the old west. We will miss you Ken and rest assured your memories will live on.

Kirk and Melva Hills Nov 7 2014 12:00 AM

We enjoyed many nights with your family at the Plunkett house. Please accept our most sincere condolences on the loss of Ken.

The Brown Family Nov 6 2014 12:00 AM

We loved Ken and the many celebrations we spent together with him, Shawn and Thomas. Ken's wisdom was earned, simplistic and profound. We loved the way he'd listen to new-comers patiently, then clear his throat - gaining the attention of all - then calmly yet with the precision of a surgeon orient and redirect the misinformed to the benefit and unity of all. When I listened to Ken the gurgle of his low voice reminded me of stories and poems I'd heard over the years from the famous cowboy poet and philosopher Baxter Black. Many of Ken's stories could easily have helped Baxter publish another volume of his famous cowboy "Croutons on a cow-pie" stories. I can only imagine the fun it would have been to have experienced a Ken guided excursion into the back country on horseback, then camped, cooked and listened to Ken's stories around a campfire on a starry summer night. Ken, your spirit will forever be a part of our memories and happiness. Ron et al.

Patti & Ron Plunkett family (Rob, Katie & Lauren) Nov 6 2014 12:00 AM

Ken was a gift! his upbeat personality, wit and wisdom will be long remembered. He set a shining example of ethics and extraordinary character for his son, Thomas, who was so lucky to have been brought up by this fun loving, hard working man! My condolences to his family. How blessed you should feel to have this man in your lives for so long. All the best, Jill Stegner

Jill Stegner Nov 5 2014 12:00 AM

Shawn, I'm so sorry to see Ken on the mortuary list.

Becky (Welch) Newberry Oct 20 2014 12:00 AM