Kenneth Arlow (Kenny) Hustead, age 87, of Baring, Missouri, passed away Thursday, January 19, 2023, in the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
He was born July 15, 1935, in Rutledge, Missouri, the son of Fred Arlow and Ethel Mae Edwards Hustead.
Kenneth was united in marriage on February 17, 1963, to Virginia Sue Kraus of Luray, MO.
Kenny attended school in Rutledge and Baring, graduating from Baring High School in 1953. Kenny served his country in the Korean War as a US Army Specialist 4th Class and was promoted to Corporal and Acting Sergeant. He continued his service at Fort Leonard Wood for the last 93 days of his service, being honorably discharged on March 22, 1960. The war was over by the time Kenny was sent to Korea, so his unit’s mission was mostly a peace-keeping operation. He was stationed in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) for 13 months just south of the border with North Korea. His job was to drive the executive officers around the base. When the commanding officers needed to leave the base, Kenny would take them to Seoul. Later Kenny was put in charge of a fleet of trucks that carried supplies and weapons. Kenny participated in the 36th Great River Honor Flight in 2016, accompanying a group of veterans and guides to Washington, DC.
Kenny got his start in trucking with his father, Fred Hustead. After returning from Ft. Leonard Wood, he went into business with Ivan Westoff (Hustead and Westoff) to transport livestock to and from the stock yards in Baring. In 1963 Mr. Westoff moved his part of the business to the Novelty area and Kenny created Hustead Truck Line.
Kenny expanded his business to handle livestock hauling coast to coast. He owned up to nine trucks at a time and employed more than 150 people over the years including truck drivers, mechanics, farm hands, office support and odd jobs. He was a pioneer in the trucking industry, and many truckers in the area got their start in the business after working for him. He enjoyed his work as an order buyer for Jim McRoberts, John Leeser and other large cattle operations. He also ran his own cattle operation on his farm west of Greensburg,MO. After selling the farm and closing the trucking business, Kenny remained active in the cattle buying business and doing some small, short-distance hauling.
Kenny was an avid St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan. He also enjoyed reading newspapers, having morning coffee at the IDK Café, and playing cards at the Knox County Nutrition Site. In younger days, he enjoyed participating in coon dog water races in the Midwest region.
Surviving are his wife Virginia Hustead of Baring, MO, three daughters, Debbie (Jim) Kline of Fuquay-Varina, NC, Deanna (Donnie) Wheeler of LaPlata, MO, and Darla (Johnny) Yakle of Liberty, MO; one son, Dennis (Karen) Hustead of Shawnee, KS, , eleven grandchildren, Olivia (Chase) Champion, Julian (Sarah) Kline, Brandy (Angel) Perez, Brady (Cesley) Hustead, Brett (Mackenzie) Hustead , Cole (Kailey) Wheeler, Zachary Wheeler, Tel Wheeler, Drew Wheeler, Emerson Yakle and Emily Yakle, three great-grandchildren: Hannah Perez, Ana Champion and Wynn Wheeler. Additionally, two sisters-in-law, Janice Chance of Strang, OK, and Marilyn (Harold) Hall of Williamstown.
Kenny was preceded in death by his parents, and a sister Lucretia Ellen Hustead Matlock along with his brother-in-law Johnny Matlock.
Funeral services were held 10 a.m. Thursday, January 26, 2023, in the Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home in Edina, MO, with Reverend Mike Wilson officiating for the services. Burial was in the Pauline Cemetery in Rutledge, MO.
Visitation was held Wednesday, January 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Casket bearers were his grandsons, Julian Kline, Brady Hustead, Brett Hustead, Cole Wheeler, Zachary Wheeler, Tel Wheeler, Drew Wheeler.
Honorary bearers were Jim McRoberts, John Leeser, Bob Ward, Virgil Doss, Bill Holdren and Tommy Dorsey Small.
Memorials are suggested to the Knox County Nutrition Site or the donor’s choice. Memorials may be left at or mailed to Hudson- Rimer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1, Edina, MO, 63537.