Kenneth Jarrett Briden, 76, passed away peacefully while visiting family in Santiago, Chile. Son of Garland and Nelva Briden, he was born in 1936 in Breckenridge, Texas, and graduated from Big Spring High School in 1954, where he was inducted into the schoolâ€™s Hall of Fame for his trumpet playing. Ken received an undergraduate degree in music from Texas Tech University in 1961. He later studied at UCLA and received a graduate degree in education from San Jose State University in 1971.
Ken was a U.S. Army veteran, serving in Germany from 1957-1959 and was a band director and teacher at San Jose HIgh School from 1969-1992
In 1993, he began a second career as a Christian missionary with the Navigators, living and serving in Kislovodsk, Russia, for two years and eventually with VELA Ministries International. Ken is the author of seven fictional novels, including â€śIn Search of Freedomâ€ť and â€śA House Divided.â€ť
He is survived by his wife, Vera Little Briden, and his children, Kenna Chavarria (Rudy), Kirk Briden (Suzi), Kelly Briden (Crystal) and Kristin Briden. He was a proud grandfather of seven and is also survived by his sister Gretchen Zurek (Don).
A memorial service will be held on May 3, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. at Christ the Ray of Hope Lutheran Church at 7001 San Antonio Drive NE in Albuquerque, N.M., 87109. Memorial contributions may be made to Christ the Ray of Hope Lutheran Church for â€śFree Wheelchair Missionâ€ť or â€śFaith by Hearing.â€ť