Kenneth Harlan Vanway

July 19, 1925January 30, 2014
Play Tribute Movie

MAJOR KENNETH HARLAN VANWAY, SR, USAF (RET), 88, of Missouri City, Texas, bravely passed away and went to heaven on January 30, 2014.

Ken - aka “Harlan” aka “Van The Man” - was born on July 19, 1925, to Leonard and Mary Vanway, and grew up a farmer in Fairfield, Illinois, becoming President of the FFA his senior year when he met the love of his life and bride of 65 years, Jackie Faye Dixon, whom he married on June 5, 1943.

At 18, he joined the Army where he proudly served his country for 20 years 2 months 1 day and a wakeup before retiring as Major (USAF) at Ellington AFB. His service included tours in Italy (WWII), Japan, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas before he retired from the USAF on December 31, 1963 and began a 50-year career in life insurance. He eventually created the Vanway Agency, where he made Conference of Champions, qualifying for many conventions to London, Puerto Rico, Toronto, Acapulco, Hawaii, Vancouver, and Nassau.

Community and Service were very important to Ken with Rotary playing a big part in his life for 48 years. He was the Charter President of Oyster Creek Rotary Club, a Master Mason with a 50-year pin, Area Governor of Toastmasters, Chairman of the Board for Belfort Christian Church, active in American Legion, Past-President of the Fort Bend Shrine Club, Sugar Creek Baptist Church, and was the proud holder of a 7-gallon mug for giving blood.

Jackie predeceased Ken on April 17, 2008. Their marriage was blessed with 3 children. He is survived by his children, Glenna Kaye Vanway, Pamela Raye Vanway, and Kenneth H. Vanway Jr. and his wife Carrie. Also in the legacy are 7 grandchildren, Gidget Hesselgrave and her husband Chris, Chris Anderson, Gretchen Philips Shelton and her husband Mike, Amanda Vanway Dingus, Christie Dingus Campbell and her husband Zak, Rachel Vanway, and Justin Harlan Dixon Vanway; 8 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandson. These descendants are Ken’s greatest legacy.

Ken is also survived by his sister, Louise (Meritt) Dallmier; brother-in-law, Bud Dixon; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother, Glen Vanway; and two sisters, Eloise Venable and Eleanor Richardson.

When you asked Ken how he was doing, he would respond “Not bad for poor folks”, but he knew he was rich with family, friends and community. He was a respected leader, a faithful friend, a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather. He was just Great.

Friends are invited to a visitation with the family from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at The Settegast-Kopf Co. @ Sugar Creek, 15015 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land (Williams Trace Exit), with a Masonic Service beginning at 7:00 PM. A joyful celebration of Ken’s life will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, February 6, 2014, in the Morrow Chapel of The Settegast-Kopf Co. @ Sugar Creek, with Pastor Marty Mikelson, officiating. Interment will follow at Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, with full military honors.

For those desiring, memorials in Ken’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, or to the American Cancer Society @


  • Visitation Wednesday, February 5, 2014
  • Masonic Service Wednesday, February 5, 2014
  • Funeral Service Thursday, February 6, 2014
  • Interment Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kenneth Harlan Vanway

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


June 18, 2014

"Dad, you along with Mom will be missed, but warmly thought of & Remembered everyday. We will Always remember the Good~Times, our Family Life together, and all our of Favorite stories of our Vanway Family, from the time we were children, to the Present. Love one another, even as we love you.
Pamela Raye Vanway (Austin, Texas)

gidget Hesselgrave

February 4, 2014

So much given to so many for so long. No words can truly touch all you have done for us all. You began this legacy and now we promise to honor you in all we do...

Chuck Charlton

February 4, 2014

Ken you were always so helpful and a full time fixer of any and all! You were an asset to any organization you may have cared or belonged to! You were a kind and special friend to all who knew you! I could never say enough because you were so much and more! You will be missed! Rest In Peace my friend and May God Bless and Be with your Loved Ones!

February 4, 2014

ken vanway

February 4, 2014

Beverly Wilson

February 3, 2014

Betty - I am so sorry for your loss. You took wonderful care of Ken and he was blessed to have your companionship in his life all those years. We really enjoyed talking to Ken and admired his loyalty to the American Flag which he always displayed and encouraged others to do the same. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Your & Ken's former neighbors Nancy & Beverly

Torianne Rice

February 3, 2014

I love you so much Pinchers, and I cant wait til the day i get to see you again. I will love and miss you forever!

Rick & Barbara Beguelin

February 3, 2014

Our love and prayers go out to the Vanway family. We appreciate Mr. Vanway's many years of service in the Military and his love of Country, Community, and family.

ken vanway

February 3, 2014

Mike Baker

February 3, 2014

Only as time goes by will people realize just how much Ken put into those organizations he believed in and how much help he was to the people with whom he associated.

Mike Baker (Oyster Creek Rotary Club) Sugar Land, TX