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Kenneth Harner Fidler

Posted By DeBord-Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On October 9, 2020 @ 2:02 pm In Obituaries | 8 Comments

FIdler Collage web

Kenneth Harner Fidler, 95, passed away at Moravian Manor in Lititz, PA on September 28, 2020.  He was born in Reading, PA, the younger of two sons to Burtin Raymond and Kathryn Yoder (Harner) Fidler.

Married in October 1949, Ken was a devoted husband to Mary Elizabeth McBride, who preceded him in death in 2009. He and Betty had 59 happy years of married life.  Ken loved to garden and play golf.  He was a great fan of the Phillies through their good times and their bad times, and he loved tracing his Fidler line back to the 1600’s in Germany and arrival in Berks County in the early 1700’s.

He is survived by his daughter Marybeth, son Kenneth Steven and Steven’s wife Nhung.  Raymond, Ken’s beloved older brother who looked out for him throughout his life, also preceded him in death.

A 1943 graduate of Reading High School, Ken was a Navy man in World War II and in the Korean Conflict.  He served aboard the USS Loy (DE 160/APD 56) in World War II and on the USS Wallace L. Lind (DD 703) in Korea.  He made arrangements for the first reunion of his USS Loy shipmates in Lancaster, PA in 1972 and faithfully attended many Loy reunions over the years.

“Memoirs of a Ping Jockey” was published in 2013 — a chronological telling of his early life, growing up in the Depression, Navy service, marrying the love of his life, and the birth of his children.  The book started as a Christmas tradition, with Ken giving his children written stories of his life one chapter at a time.  It then evolved into a published book, a website, two dozen podcasts, and many storytelling sessions with school children, retirees, fellow veterans and community friends.  Somehow in the telling he revealed a new dimension of himself, and he managed to help us all feel more connected to our lives and our loved ones.

Ken was a beloved and faithful member of Grandview United Methodist church for sixty years, as well as a member of the Historical Society of Berks County, the Tulpehocken Settlement Historical Society, and the American Legion.  His personal narrative, original photos and service history are in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

Ken learned the machinist trade at Textile Machine Works trade school, graduating from the Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute.  He worked eleven years at Textile as a machinist and as a machine erector building Reading Full-Fashion Knitting Machines, including a year onsite in Mexico City. Ken later worked eleven years at Schick Electric where he became a toolmaker and three years at Superior Mold, Inc. as a moldmaker.  He joined J. L. Clark in Lancaster as a toolmaker and retired as a supervisor after 20 years.

The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to Ken’s Grandview United Methodist church community, which held him close for 60 years, and to the Moravian Manor staff family for their exceptional care over this last year.  Ken was a truly well-liked coworker, loved friend and beloved husband, father, brother and son.  We will all miss his joy, his laughter and his zest for life!

A Celebration of Life will be held on November 11, 2020 at 3 PM. To attend virtually please email mfidler1494@comcast.net to receive a link and details.  A private interment with military honors will be held at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, where he will join his wife, Betty, in eternal peace.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ken’s memory to Grandview United Methodist Church, 888 Pleasure Road, Lancaster, PA 17601, or Moravian Manor, Inc. Benevolent Care Fund, 300 W. Lemon Street, Lititz, PA 17543.

Condolences for the family of “Kenneth Harner Fidler”

Condolence from Tina Bailey on October 12th, 2020 11:50 am

Steve and Marybeth,

My deepest condolences to you on the passing of your Dad. Ken was one of my treasured USS Loy men that I was blessed to get to spend many reunions with. He was always so eager to attend and truly enjoyed himself being there with his shipmates. Ken always had great stories to share and reminiscing was one of the favorites during our reunions. We all became an extended family over the years and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know so many of them and their families as well. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Tina Bailey

Condolence from Ruth C Barnes , Benjamin Fidler on October 12th, 2020 5:28 pm

We just learned of Kenneth’s passing, and will miss his Christmas letters. He was such a vital and cheerful person. We are glad to have his book of memoirs, and were so glad we had met him at the Fidler family reunion. Ben and Kathryn Fidler and Carol Barnes (Rick Fidler’s family)

Condolence from BRUCE BERNHARDT on October 12th, 2020 6:53 pm

Marybeth and Steve,
I was saddened to see your father’s obituary yesterday. My sister forwarded it to me. It looks like he lived a full and productive life. I have always held him in the warmest regard – such a kind person. My family and I were also very touched that he came to my mother’s service back in 2012 to pay his respects. My most sincere condolences to the both of you.

Condolence from Marybeth Fidler on November 11th, 2020 9:19 am

It was very touching to receive your condolences. I am glad to learn that Dad’s attendance at your mother’s service back in 2012 was meaningful. I know it was very meaningful to him.

Here is the information for the live stream service today at 3 PM in the event you would like to tune in.


Wishing you and your family good health and happiness, Marybeth

Condolence from Ray Reinmiller on October 13th, 2020 8:11 pm

I send my condolences to the family of Kenny . I worked with Kenny at J.L.Clark , he was the lead man when i started in 1979 . I considered him a good friend who taught me alot over the years. He will be greatly missed and remembered. With sympathy Ray Reinmiller

Condolence from Bob Vincent on November 10th, 2020 8:58 pm

I would like to offer my condolences to Ken’s family. I was fortunate to meet Ken in his later years through his daughter Marybeth. Ken and I hit it off right away, we spoke often about his time in the service I was able to obtain a copy of his book and have it in a special place in my home. I will miss Ken and our talks .
With deep sympathy
Bob & Sally Vincent
Quarryville, Pa.

Condolence from Dave Wood on November 11th, 2020 7:51 am

What a good life! It is fitting to celebrate Ken 9n Veterans’ Day. His service to God, Country and his family makes him among our better angels.

Condolence from Jim Harner on November 11th, 2020 3:44 pm

So sorry for your loss. I know it’s a difficult time. Your Dad will be missed by many including myself.

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