Kenneth (Ken) Howard Gatenby passed away peacefully in Vulcan, Alberta on October 26, 2018 with his family close by his side. Ken was born on December 26, 1931 in Champion. He was the fourth child of Percy and Cecile Gatenby. Ken grew up in Champion loving to play baseball and all things outdoors. After high school he began his journey into the world of business administration, first working at the Treasury Branch in Granum. He eventually made his way back to Vulcan working for the County, first as a partsman, moving all the way up to the Secretary Treasurer. Vulcan is where he met his wife of 60 years, Shirley Schumacher, a young teacher new to the district. Ken and Shirley were married in 1958 in Provost, Alberta. They raised their three children Allan, Patti and Leanne in Vulcan until moving to Champion in 1977 to open Gatenby’s Groceteria. As an adult, Ken remained an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting fowl and big game with his buddies, snowmobiling, golfing, camping with family and friends, travelling, and even learning to downhill ski in his 50s. Many summers were spent camping at Chain Lakes then Kananaskis Lakes, fishing for supper and teaching his kids to “rough it”. In 1993 Ken and Shirley sold their store and returned to Vulcan for their retirement years. Now Snowbirds, they split their time between Vulcan and Mesa, Arizona where they enjoyed the company of many wonderful friends. While there, Ken enjoyed golfing, building and flying radio control airplanes, and honing his lifelong billiards skills in the local pool hall. When travelling to Arizona for the winters was no longer possible, Ken continued to build his “pool shark’ reputation at the Vulcan Senior Centre. He truly loved his morning games and a little friendly competition with the “guys”. Ken also enjoyed cheering on the Oilers and Blue Jays and special trips with his children and grandchildren salmon fishing or watching the Blue Jays games. Ken was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Over the years he was often seen in the stands at hockey, football, lacrosse, rugby, baseball and dance recitals that his grandchildren participated in. His presence at their activities was always a highlight and something that gave him great joy. Always community minded, Ken was a member of the Vulcan Kinsmen, Champion Lions Club and was a volunteer firefighter for the Champion Fire Department. He has been a member of the Masonic Lodge for over 60 years.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of over 60 years, Shirley, son Allan (Janet) of Edmonton, daughters Patti (Bruce) Jones of Brooks and Leanne (Sheldon) Anderson of Vulcan, grandchildren Taylor (Faren), Sarah (Lyle), Matthew (Emily), Michael, Laura and Jack, and numerous nieces and nephews who fondly referred to him as Uncle “Kenny”.
Ken was predeceased by his parents Percy and Cecile Gatenby, sisters Margaret (Doug) Dow
and Gloria (Alf) Rupp and brother Bill (Pat) Gatenby.
Ken was very grateful for the kindness and professionalism he received from the staff at Vulcan long-term care, which became his home for the last few months. He loved to tease the girls and often told his family and visitors how well he was being looked after and how the staff put a smile on his face in difficult circumstances.
A come and go Celebration of his Life will be held at the Vulcan Senior Citizen Centre on November 17 from 2 – 4 pm.
If friends desire, tributes in Ken’s memory can be made to the Vulcan County Health and Wellness Foundation, Box 28, Vulcan, AB T0L 2B0 or the Vulcan Senior Citizen Centre,
Box 36, Vulcan, AB T0L 2B0.
Arrangements in care of Vulcan Funeral Home.                    Telephone 1-403-485-2633.
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3 Condolences for “GATENBY, Kenneth “Ken” Howard 1931-2018”

  • Ken and my Dad,Ivan,had some great times together!
    They were great buddies!
    We also have fond memories of Ken from his years in the Champion grocery store!
    Our deepest love and sympathy!
    Edwin and Dawna

  • Shirley and Family
    I would like to thank Allan for taking the time to notify Debbie and I of the passing of Ken.
    Please accept our most sincere condolences of the passing of a loving husband, and a nurturing father and a caring grandfather.
    Words cannot express how thankful Deb and I were to find our relatives in Alberta that day that I made the blind phone call on what happened to be Bill and Pat’s 50’th anniversary and then Bill passed our number on to Ken and Shirley and a few days later Ken made to call to Ontario. From there Ken and Shirley and his sisters Margaret and Gloria made the trip to Ontario to reconnect at the family reunion at the house in Strathroy and see the sites. Some 17 years ago on our 25’th anniversary we made the trip out West to Vulcan and stayed with Ken and Shirley and our host and hostess showed us around that part of Alberta and introduced us to our Western family. We were overwhelmed by the generous hospitality and warmth shown to us by our hosts, Ken and Shirley, and the family from the West.
    I know that our words can never take away the sorrow and void of Ken’s passing creates but I do know that during our conversations over the years on the phone Ken was never at a loss for words to express how proud he was of his children and grandchildren and how much he loved Shirley.
    Ken certainly did like the area he lived in and he also like to get away to Arizona (I think perhaps Scottsdale was it) to enjoy the sun and heat and dry air while the rest of us enjoyed (sarcasm) the snow and blustery conditions of a good old Canadian winter.
    Ken has left us all with memories that we can cherish and talk about for ever.
    Again, please accept our most sincere condolences on the passing of Ken.

  • Leanne, Sheldon and family … I was so sorry to learn of your recent loss. It was only after I heard the sad news from brother Eldon that I checked out The Vulcan Funeral Home web site and read the (excellent) obituary. I did not know Ken myself, but Ray and Millie B. have always spoken often and highly of him, and he was very well known in the community. He will be missed by many! My sympathy to you, Taylor and Faran, your Mom and the rest of your family. Marvin Maronda

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