Kenneth C. Nobe
October 26, 1930 – August 4, 2019
Kenneth (Ken) Nobe, a long-time resident of Terry Shores Estates in Fort Collins, Colorado, passed away on Aug. 4, 2019, at age 88.
Ken was the only child of his parents, Elmer and Alvine (Froeke) Nobe, and was born on October 26, 1930, in a farmhouse on a tenant farm in the German village of Johanisburg near Venedy, Illinois. He grew up during the Great Depression and World War II years while living on a series of tenant farms that his parents rented. He entered a one-room grade school in Johanisburg with 26 other students in the fall of 1936 while still speaking mostly “Plat Dutch,” a German dialect, and just a few English words. Ken graduated from Okawville High School in a class of only 20 students in June 1948. He was the first member of the large German Nobe farming clan to have attended high school and college.
Immediately after his high school graduation, Ken enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, completed basic training in Texas, and then graduated from the photography school at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver in June 1949. While stationed at Lowry, he met his future wife, Hazel McCullough, at a YWCA dance. On October 22, 1949, they were married in Denver prior to his next assignment in a B-29 aerial photography squadron at Travis Air Force Base in California. In late December 1949, he was transferred to a B-36 aerial reconnaissance squadron at Rapid City Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota. In May 1950, he voluntarily accepted a transfer to an inactive Air National Guard unit at Scott Air Force Base near Mascoutah, Illinois.
Ken and Hazel moved to the Carbondale, Illinois, area while Ken attended Southern Illinois University. He graduated from Southern in June 1953 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Professions: Agriculture. He then completed his master’s and doctorate degrees from the Agricultural Economics department at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Ken and Hazel’s first child, Sandra Lee, was born in Belleville, Illinois, on Aug. 26, 1953, and their first son, Jeffrey Allen, was born in Ithaca, New York, on Oct. 13, 1955.
Ken and his family moved to Falls Church, Virginia, in the fall of 1958, and Ken served in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. A second son, Michael Dean, was born in Arlington, Virginia, on Aug. 26, 1959. In June 1961, Ken and his family moved back to Denver, where Ken served in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Ken was then recruited in June 1963 to join the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., where he served as the bureau’s chief economist. Ken was recruited by Harza Engineering Company International in June 1964 and signed a three-year contract as a consultant to the government of West Pakistan. Ken and his family then moved in July 1964 to Lahore, West Pakistan, where he served as chief of the agriculture and economics branch. However, Ken and his family’s time in Lahore was cut short when the first India-Pakistan war broke out and they were evacuated out of Pakistan in September, 1965.
Ken and family then moved to Terry Shores in Fort Collins, where he joined the Economics Department faculty at Colorado State University in January 1966. He served as chairman of the department from 1969-83 and then served as the first chairman of the new Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics until his early retirement in September 1987. While at CSU, he also created and was the first director of the non-degree-granting International School for Economic Development Studies from 1980-84, then served as executive director of the International School for Agricultural and Resource Development from 1984-85. In June 1979, he was awarded the CSU Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Administrative Leadership at the Academic Department Level by President A. R. Chamberlain, the first such award made outside of the College of Engineering.
After his early retirement, he joined the home office of Resources and Development International, Inc., in Fort Collins and served as its executive vice president until he retired a second time in December 2002. He then engaged in part-time international consulting for another 10 years.
Ken enjoyed his hobby of photography and his love of fishing and hunting for many years after his second retirement. He never forgot his farming roots, as evidenced by his by annual planting of a large vegetable garden and maintaining a well-fertilized and weed-free lawn. He was given a “Sweepstakes Winner, Lawn of the Year” award in 1970 by the Fort Collins Men’s Garden Club.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Hazel of 67 years, who passed away on May 8, 2016; and by one grandson, Zachary. He is survived by his children Sandra (husband Stuart) Seale, Jeffrey Nobe, and Michael (wife Mary Ellen) Nobe; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A visitation with Ken’s family will be held from 3-7pm on Sept. 5 in the Allnutt Drake Chapel at 650 West Drake Road in Fort Collins. Graveside Service will be at 10:00am on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 at Resthaven Memory Gardens, 8426 Hwy 287 S, Fort Collins.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ken’s name may be made to the scholarship fund at the CSU Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 650 West Drake Road, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80526.
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Allnutt Funeral Service – Drake Road Chapel
650 W. Drake Rd.
Resthaven Memorial Gardens Cemetery
Kenneth C. Nobe
August 16, 2019
Thinking of you, Sandra, Jeff and Mike. Praying God’s Grace and comfort to you. I have wonderful childhood memories of our years at the lake, your beautiful yard and working on the Boat! Sorry I didn’t connect when your mom passed. Both my parents are gone now too.
I’ll try to get by on September 5th.