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AUBURN – Kenneth M. Champlin, 87, of Franklin Street Road, Auburn, entered eternal life, surrounded by immediate family in the Mercy Health and Rehabilitation Center on Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Mr. Champlin was born in Whitinsville, Mass., the son of the late George K. and Annie McIntyre Champlin and resided in Auburn for most of his life. He was a graduate of Oxford High School and following graduation he joined the National Guard. In 1941, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, attaining the rank of staff sergeant and platoon leader of the famous Edson’s Raiders. The First Marine Battalion along with the Edson’s Raiders and Platoon Leader Kenneth Champlin were the first American troops to engage in battle the Japanese Imperial Army on Aug. 7, 1942. Sgt. Champlin participated in many battles in the Solomon Islands and the South Pacific, including Tulagi, Tasimboko, Edson’s Ridge, Matanikau River and Guadalcanal. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, a Presidential Unit Citation, the American Defense Medal, the Asiatic South Pacific Campaign Ribbon, the World War II Victory Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon. Ken was employed by the Auburn Enlarged City School District for 15 years and prior to that, he was a partner with Associated Contractors for 10 years. After his discharge from military service, Ken owned and operated a farm on State Street Road and Mutton Hill Road for many years. Mr. Champlin was very active in the community; he served on the Auburn School Board for five years, as councilman for the Town of Sennett Board for eight years and Town of Sennett supervisor for two years. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn for more than 59 years where he served as an elder, trustee, Sunday school teacher, youth fellowship director, Boy Scout leader and youth hockey coach. Surviving is his beloved wife of 64 years, Esther Stieler Champlin, of Auburn; four children, William Champlin and his wife, Lori, of Elbridge, James Champlin and Cindy Menges, both of Auburn, and Jacki Gildard and her husband, James, of Marseille, France; grandchildren, Matt Champlin and his wife, Stacy, of Skaneateles, Joshua Champlin and his wife, Carolyn, of Camillus, Tracy and Julie Menges, of Albany, Michael Champlin, of Elbridge, Becky Gildard, of Elbridge, Jimmy Mac, Angelle and Owen Gildard, of Marseille, France; one great-grandson, Josh Menges, of Auburn; one sister, Barbara Pritchard, of Rhode Island; five foreign exchange students, six foster children, and several ‘Buddy’ children. Mr. Champlin was predeceased by a daughter, Tari Jo in 1963; and a son-in-law, Greig Menges in 1996. Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, July 10, in the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn, 112 South St., Auburn, with the Rev. Eileen Winter, the pastor, officiating. Friends are invited to call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, at the Brew Funeral Home, 48 South St., Auburn. Interment will take place in Soule Cemetery, Auburn, with full Military Honors. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn, 112 South St., Auburn, NY 13021; or The Salvation Army, 18 E. Genesee St., Auburn, NY 13021; or to a food bank of your choice in memory of Mr. Kenneth M. Champlin. Honey/Dad – Semper Fi – Rest in Peace – ‘Friend to the end to All’