At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With unending devotion to his family, Ken Anderson exemplified what it means to be a husband, father, and grandfather. He was strict, but yet he also could be a softie at times and knew how to have fun. Ken was a genuine person, and everyone always knew right where they stood with him. A friend of Ken’s was a friend for life, and he was someone who would give the shirt off his back if someone needed it. A longtime member of his community, he was the sort of person everyone seemed to know. Although he will be deeply missed, Ken leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young Americans answered the call to serve during this time of great need. Those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods while manufacturing was focused on supporting the war effort. It was during this eventful time that Earl and Irene (Tarson) Anderson were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Ken on January 14, 1943, in Evanston, Illinois. He was one of three as he was joined in his family by his brother, Richard, and his sister, Joy. Ken’s father was a car salesman while his mother was a housewife. He attended local schools and went on to serve his country in the United States Army for three years as military police. Much of Ken’s time in the military was spent in Germany.
Not to be forgotten during his years in the military was Ken’s blossoming romance with the woman of his dreams. Her name was Margo, and they met at Skip’s Drive-In in Chicago. Ken was smitten with her right from the start, and the rest is history as they say. They dated for a time, and while he was overseas for 19 months their love remained strong. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Ken and Margo were married in October of 1955 in Lawton, Michigan.
The newlyweds settled in Evanston and began their lives together as husband and wife. There, Ken worked as a police officer, which is where he spent his entire career. He enjoyed being a police officer, although he much preferred going out in the community than dealing with the politics of it all. Throughout his career Ken worked in Evanston, Lawton, and Decatur where he was the assistant chief. He finished his career as an officer at the Kalamazoo Courthouse. Although Ken could be a bit gruff on the outside, he had a tender heart and could even be called a bit of a softie despite being stubborn at times.
There was never anything that was more important to Ken than his loved ones. Although he and Margo divorced after four years, they were remarried just eight months later. For the rest of his life Ken considered the day he married Margo for the second time to be the greatest day of his life. Together they raised two children, Kimberly and Kenneth, and they were his greatest source of pride and joy. Ken was a strict father who instilled discipline in the kids, and with his law enforcement background he strived to bring up his kids as law abiding citizens. Ken also wanted to protect them against some of the dangers and evils that he saw on the job at all costs as he only wanted the best for his family. Even though he was strict, he knew how to have fun. When their children were young Ken and Margo took them on a memorable trip out West when they saw the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful. Ken also took a couple of memorable trips with his son Ken, who was affectionately called Bear, to Canada where they made amazing memories. When grandchildren began arriving, Ken couldn’t have been more thrilled. He cherished every moment spent with his grandchildren, and when their oldest granddaughter was four years old he and Margo took her on a memorable trip to Atlanta where they saw some of the 1996 Olympics. His family always considered Ken to be the patriarch of his family. He was an animal lover, and his Rottweilers were like additional members of his family. As he grew older Ken grew to love all animals. In 2011, he was deeply saddened with Margo’s death, and although he had been dealing with diabetes for years, his health began more rapidly declining after her death.
Throughout his life Ken was a man of many interests who enjoyed being busy. He was a motorcycle enthusiast and liked his Harley. It has been said that nothing beat a nice long ride on the bike with Margo in Ken’s book. He liked fishing locally, and among his favorite places to fish were Bankston Lake and School Section Lake. Ken liked reading mysteries and watching John Wayne movies and westerns on television. He didn’t do much cooking, but he was a grill master and made amazing french fries in the deep fryer. Ken was primarily a meat and potatoes man but always always enjoyed a leg of lamb on his birthday. He liked gardening with Margo, and together they grew pumpkin, corn, tomatoes, and squash. Ken also enjoyed shooting and hanging out and playing cards with his friends.
All who knew Ken Anderson would agree that he was truly extraordinary. He was a kindhearted and good-spirited guy who was a great friend. Ken’s love for his family was easy to see, and the legacy he created for his children and grandchildren was truly priceless. Dearly loved, he will never be forgotten.
Ken Anderson, of Paw Paw died on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Members of his family include his daughter, Kimberly Aron; son, Kenneth Anderson; grandchildren: Kirstin Smith, Eryn and Nicholas Capitano; brother, Richard Anderson. Ken was preceded in death by his wife, Margo in 2011, and his sister, Joy. Cremation has taken place and private services will be announced. Please visit Ken’s personal web page at www.betzlerfuneralhome.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to American Diabetes Association.