Kenneth (Ken) Francis Sulzen, 92 years old, a beloved life-long resident of Kansas City passed away on Sunday August 13th surrounded by his loving family, after a long battle with cancer. Born on April 7, 1931, in Kansas City, Kansas, Ken led a life filled with faith, devotion to family, and countless memories that will be cherished by those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Ken was a devoted Catholic who regularly attended Mass and spent many hours in adoration before the Holy Eucharist late into the night.
A Korean War Army veteran, Ken went on to graduate from the Central Technical Institute with a certification in Basic Radio and Electronics in 1957. Thereafter, he spent a lifetime tinkering, inventing various items and repairing radios and TV’s. He developed a love and meticulous skill for clock repair, especially the repair of grandfather clocks, but was often known to change watch batteries at church after services for free. Most of his career was spent as a Master Printer, specializing in custom ledgers and book binding. Later in life, he served as a courier for Lab Corp where he travelled around Kansas City and developed a new set of friends and acquaintances.
Though mostly quiet in nature, Ken was fun-loving. He memorized and often sang silly songs and recited rhymes for the entertainment of his family, friends, and caregivers. Rides on his Harley Davidson motorcycle and his unicycle were favorite past-times in his younger days.
Dancing was a passion that Ken whole-heartedly embraced. He started with square dancing and progressed into round dancing, calling round dances, and then ballroom dancing and ballroom dance instruction. He was often found at Camelot ballroom and was a ladies’ favorite dance partner there. He taught his daughter and granddaughters to dance, starting in the kitchen and then leading them on the ballroom floor. We sincerely hope they have dancing in heaven and know that his dance card will be full.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents Francis Sulzen, Evelyn (Byard) Sulzen, spouse Mary Jo (Wulser) Sulzen, spouse Antonia Sulzen, his daughters Mary Therese Sulzen and Melinda Snow, his sister Teresa Martell, and his granddaughter Erika Avery.
Ken will be deeply missed by his adoring family, including his daughters Robin Avery and Beth Holaday, and his sons Jim Sulzen and Brian Sulzen. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren Jason Russell, Brenna Russell, Aubrey Holaday, Chandler Holaday, Haley Holaday, Hannah Holaday, Josef Avery, Ainsley Sulzen. He is survived by eleven siblings Conrad Sulzen, Juanita Wohletz, Mary Hartman, Paul Sulzen, Leland Sulzen, Kay Demaree, Bill Sulzen, Ann Smith, David Sulzen, Patty Evans, and Don Sulzen.
Ken touched the lives of many with his kind heart and twinkling eyes. His legacy lives on through the stories told by those fortunate enough to have shared part of his life. May he rest in peace as we honor this remarkable man.
A Catholic Mass will be held to celebrate his life on Monday, August 21st, 10:00 am at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church. Visitation with family and a rosary will precede the Mass at 9:00 am and 9:30 am respectively. Interment will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery following Mass. Lunch will be provided at St. Bernadette Parish Hall directly after all services end. For those that may not be able to attend, the Mass will be live-streamed on YouTube under stbernadettecatholicchurchkcmo, and will be available at the same location afterwards.