Kenneth (Ken) lost his battle with Parkinson's Disease on his 88th birthday (08/15/2019). He was born on August 15, 1931 in East Detroit, MI to Arthur and Jenny Knopf. After graduating from East Detroit High School in 1949 he enlisted in the Air Force. He served during the Korean War and was stationed in Woodbridge England where he met his lifelong partner, Rose. They married in May of 1953 and later moved to Detroit where he enrolled in college to pursue a degree at Lawrence Technical Institute. After his college graduation, he was hired by The Lockheed Corporation at VAFB and moved his family to Santa Maria in January of 1962. He retired from Lockheed after 33 years of employment as an Electrical Engineer.
He attended Heritage Evangelical Presbyterian Church for many years. He would greet everyone on Sunday mornings with a hug. He was an avid, and excellent, bowler with numerous 300 games. He was also an excellent golfer with a few “hole in ones”. He raced motorcycles at many places including Spillway Park where his nickname was “Knievel Ken” in the “Over the Hill Gang”. He ran his first marathon at age 58. For his 70th birthday he decided he wanted to try skydiving. He loved to go camping with his wife, family, and friends until Parkinson's limited his physical activities. He also loved sprint car racing, which he did with his son Mike for many years.
He is survived by his beautiful wife of 66 years Rose, his son Mike (Sandra), Sandy (Jim) Palacios, Lisa (Chuck) O'Neil. He was preceded in death by his daughter Jennifer in 1982. He has 4 grandchildren Scott, Ashley, Jake and Tony and 3 great grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held at Heritage Church at 11:00 am on Thursday, August 22nd. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Humane Society.
To leave a condolence for the family visit dudleyhoffmanmortuary.com
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Mortuary & Crematory
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