Kenneth L. Kilhefner, 85, Ephrata grad, sports star, Korean War vet, CPA, Grove leader, avid golfer

By on August 22, 2018

Kenneth L. Kilhefner, 85, passed away on Aug. 18, 2018 at Select Specialty Hospital in Harrisburg.

Ken was born on Jan. 30, 1933 in Ephrata to Paul Kilhefner and Eva Reinhold Kilhefner.

He grew up in Ephrata and graduated from Ephrata High School in 1950 where he lettered in three sports. In those years, he was a devoted member of Hope Evangelical Church of Ephrata.

After high school, Ken enlisted in the United States Air Force and served as a military policeman in South Korea during the Korean War. Upon his discharge, he used the GI Bill to attend Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster and graduated with a degree in economics and accounting in 1959. He was a member of the National Social Science Honor Society, Phi Gamma Mu.

Ken first worked as a certified public accountant for Price Waterhouse in Philadelphia and Ernst & Ernst in Lancaster in the early 1960s. He then accepted a position as treasurer with Grove Manufacturing Company in Shady Grove and moved his family to Chambersburg in 1966. As Grove’s vice-president through 1981, he helped shape Grove into one of the world’s leading hydraulic crane manufacturers. Ken remained with Grove as a consultant through the mid 1980s.

Ken relocated with wife Shirley to Lebanon after his family had grown, in 1986. He returned to public accounting with Kuntz Lesher Siegrist & Martini in Lancaster for a short time.

Ken spent his later years enjoying playing golf with friends. In addition to being the Chambersburg Country Club Champion in the early 1980s, he twice shot his age and had a few holes-in-one. He was a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan, even though the A’s broke his heart , as a kid, when they left town. He also was a big fan of local high school and college sports programs, attending games and following teams through local media.

Some of Ken’s fondest memories were of his experiences while traveling the world through his military service and his time with Grove Manufacturing. He had the opportunity to play baseball against Willie Mays in the service and he even had a date with a future Miss America while he was in high school. Most recently, he began ballroom dancing with friends on Saturday nights in Hummelstown. And even though Ken was a lifelong Republican, he despised Donald Trump with a passion.

Surviving are his son: Eric Kilhefner of Lebanon; and granddaughter: Kelsey Kilhefner of Lewistown; son-in-law: Nicholas Bradley Sr. of Myerstown; and grandson: Nicholas Bradley Jr. of Lebanon; nephew: Scott Worrall and his wife Patricia Henkel Worrall, both of Bainbridge; and niece: Jill Worrall Pomnichowski and her husband Albin, both of Castro Valley, Calif.

Preceding Ken in death are wife: Shirley Peters Kilhefner; son: Kurt Kilhefner; and daughter: Kris Kilhefner Bradley.

No services will be held and interment will take place in the family plot at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Ephrata.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements by the Cremation Society of Pennsylvania. Condolences may be shared online at

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