Born: July 17, 1935
Died: March 24, 2014
Kenneth Edward Statham, 78, of Anderson, died Monday afternoon, March 24, 2014, at Sheridan of Navasota.
A gathering of family and friends was held from 1:00 to 2:00 pm Saturday, March 29, 2014 at Lindley-Robertson-Holt Funeral Home. A memorial service celebrating Ken’s life followed at 2:00 pm.
Ken was born July 17, 1935 in Roans Prairie, Texas to Jesse Earl Statham and Clara Bell Williams. He graduated from Navasota High School in 1953. He served in the US Army Signal Corps in Korea, and then graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College with a degree in chemistry in 1958. It was in 1959 that he married Helen Lorraine Hasty.
Ken began his professional career working as a research chemist at Texas Instruments in Dallas. He and his lab partner co-invented the plastic-encapsulated semiconductor in their lab, which formed the foundation for portable calculators, computers and many of the miniaturized consumer electronics which followed.
After TI, in 1966, Ken and his family moved to Houston where he worked at NASA on the Apollo program for General Electric.
In 1974 Ken left the corporate world. He founded and ran a utility contracting construction company in Huntsville, Tex Tel Construction. After Tex Tel, Ken earned his real estate broker’s and appraiser’s licenses and joined his wife Helen in the real estate field. They moved back to the family farm in Roans Prairie in 1974, and founded Crossroads Realty, which he and Helen operated continuously until he passed.
Ken’s passions were ranching, aviation, and his family. He was a licensed private pilot, owned several planes in the early years and remained passionate about flying until his final days. Ken was one of the original committee members for the Navasota Municipal Airport and was a current member of the advisory board. He was also a longtime and current director of the Navasota Industrial Foundation.
He was preceded in death by his father, mother and brother, Jesse Statham.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Helen Statham of Anderson; sons Steve of Navasota and Scott and his wife, Cynthia, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, and grandchildren Sarah, Katie, Emily and Carter Statham.
In lieu of flowers, Ken requested that his friends support the Navasota Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, ATTN: Pam, 4906 Hwy 90 North, Anderson, TX 77830.