Kenneth "Ken" D SmithSeptember 24, 2017
Kenneth D. Smith, 84 of Sparta, passed away September 24th at Gundersen Health System of La Crosse. He was born October 7, 1932 in Detroit, MI to Joseph and Freida (Cox) Smith. He grew up in Detroit. Ken served twenty-three active-duty years in the U.S. Army, 5 1/2 of which were in Vietnam. He later worked as a Department of Defense civilian employee at Fort McCoy as a heavy equipment mechanic, retiring in 1995.
Ken married Marsha Herold on February 22, 1975 in Saginaw, MI. They moved to Sparta and raised their three children there. Ken loved listening to jazz music and his extensive record collection, woodworking, reading, and watching Packer and Badger football. He loved tending to his lawn and sitting outdoors enjoying nature when he wasn't putzing and fixing things.
Ken was most happy spending time at home with his children and grandchildren. He set a fine example to his children to have good work ethics, show kindness, treat all people equally with respect, and be willing to help others. On top of that, his quick wit, contagious laugh, stories, and antics never failed to make us all smile. Ken was very proud of his children and all of their accomplishments.
Kenneth is survived by his wife of 42 years, Marsha; daughter, Charity (Richard) Hovre of Rice, MN; son Chad (Jennifer) Smith of Booneville, IN; daughter Chelsey (James) Benton of Sparta; sons Kenneth A. (Wynn) Smith of Bloomington, CA and DeJuan Lofton of Redlands, CA; grandchildren Vanessa, Lauryn, and Chad Smith Jr., Liam Benton, Tanya Childress, Mark, Phylicia, and Destiny Lofton; a sister Patricia (David) Smith of Canton, MI, several sisters and brothers-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. He was proceeded in death by his parents, four sisters-June, Peggy, Ann, and Jaunita, and four brothers-Jack, Joseph Jr., Billy, and Harold.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, with Reverend Mark Kvale officiating. A luncheon will follow at Jake's Northwoods.
Family and friends are invited to call from 10 a.m. until time of services on Saturday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Trinity Lutheran Church youth group or the Boys and Girls Club of Sparta.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the entire staff on the 6th floor and Palliative Care at Gundersen Health for the wonderful care given to Ken during his time there.
The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.