MARQUETTE - R. Kenneth (Ken) Sturdy, 89, of Marquette, passed away early Monday morning, Jan. 13, 2014, at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, where he resided for the past 11 years.
Ken was born Dec. 7, 1924, in Wells, the eldest son of Clarence and Ella (Couillard) Sturdy. He was raised in Wells and attended school in Escanaba until his enlistment in the United States Army in December 1943, where he served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Throughout his enlistment, Ken received medals of accommodation including, the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Service Medal, American Theater Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and the distinguished Purple Heart for his heroism. After his honorable service, Ken returned home and devoted himself to helping his father, Clarence Sturdy, establish and grow the family business, Sturdy Brother's Mink Ranch, later becoming the Maple Hill Fur Farm. Ken furthered his education at this time by completing two years at Cloverland Community College.
On Jan. 29, 1950, Ken was united in marriage to Carol E. Berg. Together, Ken and Carol, made their home in Gross, Mich., raised their family and for many gratifying years operated the Maple Hill Fur Farm which received the Mink Farm Award of Merit for exemplary animal care practices. Carol preceded Ken in death on July 24, 2000. Ken was an avid baseball player, golfer, and bowler. Ken received a USBC bowler's 800 series award. He was a lifelong member of the Gladstone Golf Course, enjoyed hunting, playing and watching baseball, and spending time picnicking with his family and friends on countless Sunday afternoons, which will last in the memories of many.
R. Kenneth (Ken) Sturdy
Survivors include sons, Steven (Sandra) Sturdy of Gladstone, John (Becky) Sturdy of Rudolph, Wis.; daughters, Kim (Harry) Nelson of Cornell, Kris (Mike) Wylie of East Lansing, Karen (Jeff) Marcoe of Bellevue, Wash., Karla (Mike) Beauchamp of Flat Rock, Kelly (Ed) Sturdy-Ridenour of Henderson, Nev., Kenlyn (Jim Tillison) Hubbard of Harvey, Kara (Mark) Sturdy-Skorski of Racine, Wis., Kandace (Mike) McCarthy of Chicago; brother, Robert (Rita) Sturdy of Gladstone; sister, Beverly (Ray) Abrahamson of Plymouth, Mich.; son-in-law, Lynn Austin Collins of Gladstone; also surviving are 22 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to his parents, Clarence and Ella and his loving wife, Carol; Ken was preceded in death by his daughter, Kathy Collins; brother, Courtney Sturdy; sisters, Mary Niquette and Lois Johnson.
Ken's family will receive friends on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Skradski Family Funeral Home in Escanaba. Military rites will follow visiting hours on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Skradski Family Funeral Home in Escanaba with the Gladstone American Legion August Mattson Post 71 presiding. Mass of Christian Burial services will follow on Friday morning at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony Church in Wells with Rev. Fr. Rick Courier officiating. Luncheon will follow in the St. Anthony Parish Hall. Ken will be laid to rest in the Gardens of Rest Cemetery in Wells. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Sturdy family with arrangements. Messages of condolence may be offered online at www.skradskifuneralhomes.com.