Kenneth J. Stark

July 15, 1923 - August 28, 2016

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Sunday, September 04, 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Trinity Church United Methodist, 229 South State Street, Kendallville


Sunday, September 04, 4:30 PM
Trinity Church United Methodist, 222 South State Street, Kendallville


Kenneth John Stark, 93, of Kendallville, died Sunday August 28, 2016, at Visiting Nurse Hospice Home in Fort Wayne.

He is survived by his brother Dale of Cowpens, SC, son and daughter-in-law John and Lynn Stark, of Fredericksburg, VA, grandchildren Dexter and Ben, and by son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Ann Stark of Peoria, IL, and grandchildren Elizabeth, Caroline, and Stephanie. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Sharon Lee (Aldrich), and a granddaughter, Sarah Aldrich Stark.

Born July 15, 1923, to John T. and Helen (Kutina) Stark, in Galion, OH, Ken was raised in Cleveland, OH. After attending Western Reserve University in Cleveland his freshman year, he entered the US Navy and received further schooling at Purdue University and Columbia University in New York. He received his commission as an Ensign entering WW-II. After serving 10 years in the Navy, predominantly on destroyers, he resigned his commission as a Lieutenant and moved to Tucson, AZ, where his brother and mother resided.

Ken joined Mountain States Bell (AT&T) while working on his degree at the University of Arizona and met Sharon L. Aldrich at the Trinity Presbyterian Church singles group. They were married on June 28, 1958 and then moved to Phoenix, AZ where John (1959) and Paul (1961) were born. They then moved to Colorado where Ken finished his schooling and received his B.S. in 1968 from The University of Colorado, Boulder.

In 1968 Ken left the phone company and the family moved to Kendallville where he purchased Taylor’s Shoe Store. Over the years, he expanded Taylor’s and opened The Shoe Rack, The Jean Shop, and a Baskin Robbins, all on Main St. in Kendallville.

Ken was active in the local chapter of Rotary International, serving in multiple offices and volunteering regularly in their service projects. Along with Sharon, he was also very involved in their church, Trinity United Methodist, serving on many committees, boards and other lay positions.

Ken sold his businesses in 1991 and officially “retired” after his first two grandchildren were born, only to get a part time job at Walmart. During his long retirement he and Sharon added the Friendship Food Pantry and the Mid-America Windmill Museum to their list of volunteer roles. Ken remained an active leader of the Kendallville Economic Development Council through 2015, and played a key role in developing the Kendallville East Industrial Park. Ken was named Kendallville’s Citizen of the Year in 1996.

In Ken’s spare time, he loved gardening and taking walks, canoeing at Bixler Lake, and his annual escape to Tucson in the spring with Sharon. He also loved having the grandchildren to “Camp Kendallville” as often as they could come, as well as the bi-annual Stark Family Vacations. Ken and Sharon enjoyed many trips to Elder Hostels all over the country on a lifelong quest to learn something new and make new friends.

After Sharon’s passing in 2011, Ken remained in Kendallville and kept sharp and fit with his daily routine of exercising with his many friends at the YMCA.

Visitation with family and friends will be held Sunday, September 4, 2016 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Trinity Church United Methodist, 229 S. State Street, Kendallville. The memorial service will begin at 4:30 p.m. following the visitation, with Rev. Chris Stephens officiating.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials be made to the Stark Family Scholarship fund at Trinity Church United Methodist.

Young Family Funeral Home, Kendallville Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Guest Book

July 5th, 2020 4:29am

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November 27th, 2019 4:03am

Aimee Davis
September 22nd, 2016 5:15pm
Fort Wayne Indiana

My condolences to all--I was out of town for Labor Day weekend and didn't realize he had passed away--Ken and Sharon were wonderful friends and I will miss him so much.

Rhonda Henson Fortress
September 5th, 2016 3:07am

So sorry for your family's loss, what a wonderful man he was , I loved working at the shoe store for him!

Brenda Nelson Whan
September 4th, 2016 6:03pm

I remember Mr Stark as a very friendly man. May he rest in peace.

Traci Pyatt LPN
September 2nd, 2016 8:42pm
Fort Wayne

It was my pleasure taking care of you Mr. Stark. May you rest in peace.

Gabriella Slanec
September 2nd, 2016 7:02pm
Fort Wayne

I'm so thankful that I had the pleasure taking care of Ken when he was at Coventry meadows, he will always be my favorite. Not a day went by that he didn't make me smile. He was such a sweet loving person. My deepest condolences for the family.

Darol & Karen Stroman
September 1st, 2016 12:23pm
The Villages, FL

What a great role model as a serving citizen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Mark & Barbara Schuyler
August 30th, 2016 4:39pm

Deepest condolences to John & Paul and your families. We loved Ken and will always miss hi. What a classy guy, and dear friend.

Roger Moses
August 29th, 2016 9:57pm
Fort Wayne

Paul and John your families are close in my thoughts. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Craig & Jackie Streich
August 28th, 2016 8:29pm
Rome City IN

Thoughts and prayers to the family. He was such a wonderful man. He will be missed by many.