Kenneth Charles Thayer, 57, a lifelong resident of Orange, died on Feb. 11 at 3:49 a.m. in Little Rock, Ark. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15 at the First Presbyterian Church in Orange. The Rev. Mike Umbenhaur and Thayer’s son-in-law, the Rev. Sam Knight will officiate. After the services per Ken’s request, cremation will be under the direction of Claybar Haven of Rest Crematory. Following cremation, a private interment will follow at a later date at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Orange. A visitation will be held on Sunday, Feb. 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Claybar Funeral Home with honors by the Orange Police Department.

Ken was in the Little Rock Hospital being treated for the rare blood disease light chain deposition disease. He was known by everyone as a family man who truly loved life. His loss will be felt within the entire Orange community.

Thayer was born in Victoria on Oct. 31, 1952 to Jean Marsh Thayer and Francis Newton Thayer. Growing up in Orange, Thayer was an active Boy Scout, eventually earning his Eagle Scout Award – something he was extremely proud of.

Thayer is most known in Orange for taking over his mother-in-law’s camera store, Yocum’s Photo Center, first located on Dupont Drive and then later on 16th Street. For the past six years, Thayer worked with the Orange Police Department as an Identification Technician and crime scene investigator. He often commented on how much he loved working there – and many of the officers have said they loved working with him.

Within the community, Thayer was involved with all sorts of causes – running the carousel at the Lion’s Club Carnival for many, many years. He was an avid blood donor and each year since his 50th birthday, he hosted a Halloween blood drive dressed as Dracula. The goal of each drive was to reach his age in pints. He did it every year but the last.

Thayer was a man who was always willing to step up and help out with anything – often times at the persuasion of his wife, Rose. He gave a memorable performance in the Service League of Orange’s most recent Follies as Woody from Toy Story. Thayer also participated in local Mardi Gras events as part of Krewe de Roulotte.

He is survived by his parents; his two brothers, Frank and David, both of Houston; his wife, Rose of Orange; his daughter, Jennifer Knight, her husband, Sam and their three children of Orlando, Fla., his daughter, Christi Kovatch, her husband, Christopher and their three children of Orange; and his daughter Lori Thayer of New York City.

Thayer’s oldest daughter Jennifer is active in raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the family has asked that anyone who would like to make donation in Ken’s name, please do so with her, through the Web site, Checks can also be made out to LLS and accepted at the visitation.