Albuquerque Elks Lodge hosts Memorial Day service in veteran’s front yard

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A 98-year-old man has spent decades making sure the men and women who died serving our country were honored. A Navy veteran created a Memorial Day remembrance ceremony and this year, he couldn’t attend, so the ceremony was brought to him.

“All you gotta do is say ‘hi Ken’ and that’s enough,” says Ken Littell. Monday 98-year-old Ken Littell got more than a quick greeting. “He has meant so much to so many people for such a long time so it was really nice to see everybody,” says his daughter, Barbi Cappel.

The World War II Navy veteran has been a member of the Albuquerque Elks Lodge for nearly six decades.”He was a clown with the Elks Club for several decades, he also had a unicycle group for about 30 years,” Cappel says.

In 1978 he created a Memorial Day service, to honor those who died fighting for our country and also to pay tribute to Elks Lodge members who have passed. “There is a specific cemetery here in town where there are 50 elks that are interred and they have done this every year at that location,” Cappel says.

Because of his health, Littell was unable to attend. So the Elks Lodge brought a socially distant version of the ceremony to him. In the front yard of his hospice care facility. “It is very important that we honor our members whether they are with us, whether they are in a home,” says Patti Shepardson, Exalted Ruler, Elks Lodge.

After the service, a parade of model T’s “I would have liked to have all of them,” Littell says. While he was happy to see his friends, Litell says he is undeserving of all the attention. “I appreciate it very much but why? I haven’t done anything great,” Littell.

Those who know him best say it’s his legacy that inspired the showing Monday. Along with being an active member of the Elks Lodge, Littell’s daughter tells us he’s a big Lobo fan and was a season ticket holder up until last year when he entered the assisted living facility.

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