Kenneth K. Kuether
Kenneth K. Kuether was born October 13, 1934 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and sadly passed away February 23, 2021 at the age of 86 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California.
Ken was born on his family’s farmstead in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He was the last of four children born to Albert W. and Ella Zimbal Kuether. He was preceded in death by his three siblings; Milton, Ethel and Albert Kuether. Ken was a devoted husband to his wife Carol, they were happily married for two months short of 61 years.
He was a very proud father of his five daughters, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Ken and Carol’s children and families include:
~Karin Montoya and husband Bobby Montoya of Lompoc, CA and their two daughters Davia McNamara and husband Jesse McNamara and their three children Liam, Fiona and Edwin and daughter Brianna Montoya.
~Laura Siegel Greco and husband Steve Greco of Lompoc, CA and Laura’s three daughters Brittany Siegel, Ashlee Siegel and Tiffany Siegel.
~Shelly Barton and husband Scott Barton of Vandenberg Village, CA and their three children Grace Barton, Kenny Barton and Hanna Barton.
~Lisa Hosseinpour and husband Mohammad Hosseinpour of Westlake Village, CA and their daughter Ella Hosseinpour.
~Kelly Gowing and husband Mark Gowing of Lompoc, CA.
As a youngster Ken grew up on his family’s farm in Sheboygan, WI and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. He then went on to serve in the United States Air Force from 1956-1959. He was promoted to 1st Lt. and served one year as an Interceptor Controller in Morocco, Africa. He subsequently joined the AF Reserve in Milwaukee, WI, attained the rank of Captain and flew C119s. After service, Ken joined AC Spark Plug, Division of General Motors, in Milwaukee, in 1959 and worked on Thor, Titan II, and Titan III Missile Programs.
Ken married the love of his life, Carol, on April 30, 1960 in Sheboygan. They moved to New Berlin, a suburb of Milwaukee and by 1970 he was the proud father of their five girls. He enjoyed his career as an engineer and in 1973 he was transferred to the General Motors branch Delco Electronics in Goleta, CA.. Here he continued to work on Titan III and Titan IV and as a Program Manager for Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Motor Sports for Corvettes.
In 1992 Ken was offered early retirement and with Carol by his side every step of the way, they were able to enjoy so much that life has to offer.
Since their move to California in 1973 they were devoted parishioners at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church in Goleta where he served as an Usher for close to 20 years. It was here that he met Monsignor Steven Downes. “Father Steve” was a special mentor for Ken in regards to his faith. He was there for family weddings, baptisms, illnesses and became a very sincere, close friend; visiting Ken at home during the last month of his life. Another important figure for Ken was Rev. Monsignor Jon Majarucon. Over the last 9 years they built a special friendship, they just got each other and filled their time with laughter, life stories and a love for big families. He was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus Council 5300 since joining in 1980 and held a dozen positions leading to the highest honor of Grand Knight in 1991-92. As well, he enjoyed his involvement with the Santa Barbara Elks Lodge 613 and the SB Elks Caravaneers where he served in five different offices over the years, culminating as Wagon Master in 2008.
Ken believed in helping out, giving back and volunteering and wanted to teach his girls by example. Weekly church attendance and participation year after year from the mid-70’s to the early 2000’s, the Kuether’s, with Ken as the lead, would happily chip in to help with
Fun-A-Rama, Oktoberfest, the Fiesta Pepsi Booth, Spaghetti Dinners, and picnics at both St. Raphaels and the Elks. It was through these volunteer opportunities that so many memories and friendships were made and where life lessons were taught.
Ken was dependable, loyal and a hard worker. He was an avid Green Bay Packer and Chicago Cub fan; and happy tears were plentiful in 2016 when he witnessed the Cubs win the World Series. Ken enjoyed traveling and with Carol as his co-pilot they enjoyed a couple cruises, a trip to Germany, attending Air Force reunions throughout the US and year after year driving across country to Wisconsin. Back in the day Ken enjoyed bowling, golfing, RVing and owning fantasy baseball teams. He loved to watch a fly over and never missed a missile launch from Vandenberg AFB. He challenged his mind with daily crossword puzzles, weekly bridge games with friends and had a love for suduko. Ken and Carol always had dogs in their lives but for the last 14 years their shih-tzu Sophie held a special place in his heart.
Ken was a people person. He struck up conversations with everyone he encountered. He was a legendary joke teller, he laughed a lot and always made those around him feel included and important. He had so many lifelong friends from all facets of his life. His five girls often told him that he and their mom had a busier social life than all five of them combined. If you were lucky enough to know Ken then you should think of him and smile. He was an honest man who loved his family deeply, treasured his friends and had an amazing life. He will be greatly missed by so many. Services will be announced at a later date.