Kenneth G. Paris, 92, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired), died peacefully at home in Tappahannock, Virginia on Friday, October 13, 2023. He was born on July 5, 1931 to Alice (Gilseth) and Fred Paris of Mohall, North Dakota whose families had homesteaded the prairie there in the early 1900s.
Ken graduated from Mohall High School in a class of ten students in June 1949. He then attended the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks. Later enlisted in the US army in 1951 during the Korean War. He later finished his undergraduate course at the University Of Maryland in 1956 with a degree of Bachelor of Military Science.
After two years as an enlisted soldier with the US Army Security Agency, Ken was commissioned through OCS (Officer’s Candidate School) as a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry, but assigned back to his original unit at HQ USASA at Arlington Hall Station. While stationed there, he met Joan Kaiser, a secretary with the Central Intelligence Agency. They were married at Fort Myer Chapel in Arlington, VA on July 17, 1954 and they were blessed with a son, Andrew Joseph Paris, born Dec 21, 1957 in Germany.
Ken attended the Army General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1967. Ken’s military career took the family to two tours of three years each in West Germany and a one year tour in Thailand and one year in Vietnam where he served as an advisor in the five most northern provinces with the I Corps and Military Region 1.
During his career, Ken earned nine meritorious awards, eight of which were American medals and one from the Easter Offensive in Vietnam in 1972, when he was recognized by the joint General Staff of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces and authorized by the US Army to accept and wear the RVNAF “Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star” and the RVNAF “Armed Forces Honor Medal First Class” which was presented to him by President Thieu of South Vietnam.
Ken finished the last two years of his 24 year career in August of 1974 as a Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Director of Personnel at the Headquarters of the Army Security Agency. He began a new career as a real estate agent and broker while allowing his son to finish high school in West Springfield, Va. and to search for a permanent retirement location. Ken found the perfect location for us in Essex County on Muddy Gut Road in 1976 with his parents, Joan’s mother and their son. In 1996, they settled in the Town of Tappahannock.
He is survived by his wife Joan C. (Kaiser) Paris, his son, Andrew J. Paris, his daughter in law Kimberly G. (Crigier) Paris, all of Orange County, Va two nieces, Allyn Vogel of Raleigh, NC; Paris Vogel Watkins and husband Daniel and a grandniece, Alice Watkins (Mrs Erik) Hennigar , of Delaware.
He was predeceased by his parents, his infant son Stephen Kenneth, and two infant daughters, Louise Gail and Kathleen Ida : his sister Jacqueline G. Paris of Tappahannock, VA, : a grandson Kenneth D. Paris: a brother-in-law, Robert J. Kaiser
It is his request that there be no local memorial service. His cremains will be interred in the family lot in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.