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Kenneth L. Barden
February 19, 1937 ~ October 2, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Kenneth L. Barden was born February 19, 1937, in LaRue, Ohio to Edna and Clayton Barden, being welcomed by his sisters Roxie and Mary Jane. A spirited child, he loved friends, jokes, his dog, basketball, and anything with wheels. As a teen he worked hard as a farm hand, house painter, car mechanic, machinist, and draftsman.
Ken followed in his father's footsteps, studying engineering at the Ohio State University. As part of ROTC participation, he was housed in a dormitory under the OSU stadium, along with 50 roommates.
After graduation, Ken married his high school sweetheart Charlotte, with whom he recently celebrated their 63rd anniversary. As newlyweds they resided in Marion, Ohio, where Ken worked designing and marketing draglines for Marion Power Shovel, and Charlotte worked as a nurse.
Ken and Charlotte welcomed daughter Debra. Together the family enjoyed many gatherings and trips with extended family and friends. No matter where he lived or worked, Ken always developed friendships.
Ken's work as an engineer in the mining industry took him all over the world, especially to Australia. He relished taking the projects of building very large machines from development and design, through construction and assembly, to training and operations, and troubleshooting and repair. One project that was a favorite was assisting in the design of a small component of the transporter used by NASA to carry rockets from their assembly hangar to the launch pad. As part of his work, Ken's teams were awarded two patents. While working and traveling, Ken earned a MBA from The Ohio State University. For the latter part of his career, Ken and Charlotte lived in Milwaukee, WI where he was Product Design Manager for draglines for P & H.
During these years Ken created many beautiful items of furniture, and restored several classic sportscars, including an Austin Healy and a TR6. An avid sports fan, he golfed and cheered on Ohio State's teams.
Retirement took Ken and Charlotte to South Carolina. Always busy, Ken served as a trustee of Island Lutheran Church, as President of the Noon Lions Club, and as an instructor and mentor of the Sun City Woodworkers. He was always generous with his time and abilities, completing innumerable projects for family members, friends and neighbors.
Ken and Charlotte took many trips to Michigan, enjoying countless dinners, overnights and activities with their daughter Debra, son-in-law William, and grandchildren Sarah and Aidan. They faithfully blessed, taught, and mentored their grandchildren, helping with their activities such as Bible Bee and model airplane club, and assisting them both through their university training. They were delighted to welcome grandson-in-law Aaron and great-grandchildren Ransom and Opal.
Ken was intelligent, wise, generous, patient, kind, loyal and diplomatic. He combined determination and perseverance with integrity and dignity. He was always glad to welcome friends and neighbors and was very grateful for the support of his family, church and friends during his illness.
After a valiant battle with cancer, Ken passed away on October 2, 2023. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Through faith in Jesus Christ, he is now at peace in Heaven, where there is no sorrow or pain, but only joy.
Ken's life will be celebrated at Island Lutheran Church on Hilton Head Island, SC on October 21 at 11am, with a light luncheon following. Livestream will be available at You Tube Island Lutheran Church Hilton Head Island. A second celebration for northern family and friends will be held at Hope Community Church in Ypsilanti, MI at 2pm on November 19.
Those desiring to honor Ken by a charitable donation may contribute to the Hope Community Church Youth Fund, 2100 Ellsworth, Ypsilanti, MI 48197.