Kenneth Frederick Katz (“Ken” and “Kenny”), beloved husband and father, of Hendersonville, North Carolina, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, North Carolina, following a brief illness. He was 83 years old. Ken was born on August 6, 1935 in Battle Creek, Michigan to Zeno and Faye Katz. He graduated from Battle Creek Lakeview High School in 1953 where he enjoyed and excelled at baseball and football. After graduating from Western Michigan University, Ken took an accounting position with Clark Equipment Company and began raising a family. Beyond his position at Clark, he enjoyed working on residential construction projects and built his family’s first house in Battle Creek, Michigan. He relocated with his family to St. Joseph, Michigan in 1965 where he continued to work with Clark Equipment. He lived in St. Joseph with his family, spending his time camping with his family, enjoying his friends from Clark Equipment, and playing racquetball at the local YMCA. In 1973, he married Mary E. Katz and together they raised their family of six children, first residing in St. Joseph, Michigan, then moving to Asheville, North Carolina in 1975. They also resided in later years in St. Petersburg, Florida and Bluffton, South Carolina. Ken and Mary recently relocated to Hendersonville, North Carolina. Ken shared a love of animals - and birds specifically - with his wife, Mary. Together they opened a Wild Birds Unlimited store in 1991 in Asheville, North Carolina. Shortly after the store opened, in 1993, Ken decided to retire from Volvo Construction Equipment (formerly Clark Equipment Company) where he was serving as Plant Controller. He and Mary continued to enjoy working at their store together for several years. In retirement, Ken enjoyed visits with his family, bocce ball, travel, the beauty of the sea and the Carolina mountains. Ken had a good sense of humor and a tender heart. He lived a long healthy life and will be missed dearly by his family.
He is preceded in death by his daughter Joan Allen (survived by Robert), his brother, Robert Katz (Harriet) and his parents, Zeno and Faye Katz. He is survived by his wife Mary of Hendersonville, North Carolina and their children: James Katz of Hendersonville, North Carolina; Deborah Grondman (Randy) of Alto, Michigan; Susan Katz McFall (Mark) of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Charles Bruder (Terese) of West Lafayette, Indiana; and Julie Katz (Celeste) of McKinleyville, California; their grandchildren: Patrick Hayes (Jacqueline), Paul Hayes, Christopher Hayes, Ryan Allen (Cristina), Cory Allen (Katelyn), Savannah Dudley (Eric), Cortney Howell, Tyler Howell, Scott Grondman (Ater), Christopher Grondman, Chelsea Froning (Zach), Corinne Froning (Jake), Keenan McFall (Rebecca), Payton McFall, Tabatha Winter (Jon), Dannielle Bruder (JR); several great grandchildren; and his first wife Barbara Wyckoff (Phil), mother to Joan, James, Susan, and Julie. Memorial donations in memory of Ken may be made to the National Audubon Society (www.audubon.org) or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.aspca.org).
Ken’s family wishes to thank the dedicated nurses and doctors at Pardee Hospital for their loving care. Arrangements are pending.