One Nation, Under God

Kenneth "Punky" Doney

Kenneth "Punky" was born on December 10, 1933, to Richard and Florence Doney. His favorite story from his youth was his birth at Slippery Ann, a tale he cherished and often shared. Punky's early years were spent in Landusky, where he rode horseback to school, a testament to the rugged and adventurous spirit that would characterize his entire life. Later, he attended schools in Dodson and Malta, excelling in sports and forming the foundation of his lifelong commitment to hard work and perseverance.

In his sophomore year of high school, Punky made the brave decision to leave school to support his family. At the young age of 16, he took on his first job at the train depot, moving freight. This early start in the workforce was just the beginning of a lifetime dedicated to supporting those he loved.

Punky's life was filled with love and partnership. In 1955, he married Shirley Trotter and in 1959, he married Chena Longknife. From his marriage to Chena, Punky was blessed with five children: Nona, Kenny, Petrina, Sheila, and Lana. His dedication to his family was unwavering, often working three jobs to ensure their well-being. In 1962, he began working for Sweetheart Bakery as a driver, a position he held until the mid-1980s. In 1967, Punky embarked on a distinguished career in law enforcement, eventually serving two terms as Sheriff of Fergus County.

In 1977, Punky married Joyce Miller, and they welcomed a daughter Bonita into their lives. Later in the 1980s, he met Marjorie Miller, his steadfast companion until his last day. Their bond was inseparable.

Punky's greatest joy was his family. He made countless road trips to be with his children and grandchildren, fostering strong and lasting relationships.

He is survived by his beloved companion Marjorie Miller, daughters Nona Longknife of Harlem, Petrina Ariwite (Reno S.) of Hays, Sheila (Gerald) Martin of Hays, Lana Longknife of Harlem, Bonita (Cole) Leady of London Mills, Illinois, and his son David (Tony) of Denver, Colorado, whom he had the joy of meeting in 2023. Stepchildren Lanette (Wes) Bohlken of Butte, MT, and Bryan (Sheri) Burgess of Washington. Siblings, Bernadine (Jim) Coleman of Mile City, Leon Doney of Hardin, and Irma Doney of Lewistown. He also leaves behind his special Brother-in-law Davy Belgard, adopted son Jay Longknife, adopted granddaughter Lacy Horn, 27 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

Punky was preceded in death by his parents Richard and Florence Doney, brothers Doug "Digger" Doney and Wayne Doney, sisters Deanna Ulrich and Myra Doney, son Kenneth Doney Jr., and grandchildren Little Wolf Main, Roshell Martin, Casey Martin, Kenneth Doney III, Hunter Straight, and Devin Main.

In his final days, Punky was lovingly cared for by his special niece, Rita Doney, who provided him with comfort and support, ensuring he spent his last moments surrounded by love. As we remember Punky, we honor a man who embodied the values of hard work, dedication, and unwavering love for his family. His legacy lives on in the countless lives he touched and the family he cherished above all else. May Kenneth "Punky" Doney rest in peace, and may his spirit continue to inspire us all.

A viewing was held on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, from 5-7 p.m. at Wilderness Funeral Home in Malta followed by refreshments at the VFW from 7-9 p.m. A service was held on Wednesday. June 26, 2024, 11 a.m. at Wilderness Funeral Home in Malta, burial at Malta Cemetery, and reception followed at the VFW.

 

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