Kenneth R. Knutson, passed away Monday, October 26. He was born in Superior, Wisconsin on October 20, 1940.
Ken spent most of his youthful years in Jackson, Michigan. He attended St. Marys and Jackson High School where he played on the basketball and football teams. He was a star player and lettered in both sports.
After high school he joined the Marines. He was a proud Marine and was appointed to be Crew Chief of on a 38 ton Amphibious Tractor. He served our country with honor and loved sharing stories of his time in the Marines.
After being honorably discharged from the Marines, he landed back in Jackson, Michigan. After getting married to Sandy and starting a family, he moved to Wisconsin where he continued to climb the corporate ladder of success. As a big opportunity presented itself, Ken and his family finally moved to Canal Fulton, Ohio in 1978 where he remained a resident until his death.
He was a very successful, self-made businessman and retired as President of the Stark County area from National City Bank in December 1997. After his retirement from National City Bank he became the Executive Director for the Jackson-Beldon Chamber of Commerce. He was also very involved in the Pro-Football Hall of Fame festivities for many years. He had the honor of speaking at some of the events and was privileged to meet many of the inductees to the Hall of Fame. He was very involved with the community and devoted much of his time to fund-raising and special interest groups.
Ken was an avid golfer and member of the Shady Hollow and Glenmore Country Clubs for many years. His most fond interest was spending time with his family and watching football. On Sundays it would be guaranteed that he would be tuned into all the sports channels and cheering for his favorite team the Detroit Lions.
The biggest priority and joy of Ken’s life was his family. He was a devoted husband to Sandy and loving father to Stacy and Ken Jr. He was involved in all the sports programs his children participated in, which were many. He loved video taping all their events. He instilled compassion, success and love into the raising of his children.
He was a wonderful and loving grandfather to his five grandchildren, Kendal, Brooke, Lucas, Kennedy and Kaden. They treasured spending time with “Da” as they all called him. No matter what the occasion, he made sure to make time for his grandchildren. One of his favorite writings was, “Trying to explain how much I love my Grandkids is like trying to count the stars…I can try, but it is impossible”.
You always knew when Ken was in the room. He had a booming voice and infectious laughter. He was also a wonderful friend and confident to those who were blessed to know him. He had a heart of gold and would reach out to those who had a need.
Ken suffered many injuries the last few years of his life. Through all the pain and frustration, he continued fighting like a warrior so he could be with his family as long as possible He will live forever in the memories of his family, who adored him, and his friends, who appreciated and respected him. He will be very much missed by all those lucky enough to know him, including his dog, Tuffy, who as one of Ken’s biggest fans.
He is preceded in death by his father, Kenneth; his mother, Gladys; and his three sisters, Rachel, Mary and Judy. He leaves his wife of 52 years, Sandy; his daughter Stacy Kovacs (Scot) and his son, Kenny Jr. He also leaves his grandchildren Kendal, Brooke and Lucas Kovacs; Kennedy and Kaden Knutson; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
A military service will be held in his honor on TUESDAY, 2:00pm at the Ohio Western Reserve Cemetery where he will be buried with his fellow servicemen. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Wounded Warrior Project or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
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