Kenneth L. Weber
Kenneth Lee Weber, age 62, passed away in the early morning of December 12, 2016 in his lakeside home in Canton, Ohio, surrounded by family.
Ken was born on March 15th, 1954 in Port Washington, Wisconsin to his mother Anna (Freitag) Weber, and the late Leroy Weber. His family moved to Chilton, Wisconsin in 1963 when Leroy purchased Weber’s Leather Goods from his uncle John.
Ken attended St. Lawrence Seminary in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin and graduated in 1972 with the desire to join the priesthood. He then attended Marian College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and returned to Chilton to assist in running the family business, which would soon expand into a men’s and ladies’ apparel shop, known as Weber’s Store, Inc. On December 27, 1975 he married Sally VanHimbergen, whom he had met while attending college.
During his time in Chilton, he at different times served as President of the Chilton Catholic School Board, the Chilton Public School Board, and the Chilton Chamber of Commerce. In 1997, in his deep-seeded belief in “Serving Others”, he transitioned to Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin as the Head of Retail Operations. In 2002 he relocated to Canton, Ohio as the President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio. While there, Ken redirected the organization into serving nearly a dozen times the people in need that it had served prior to his arrival while fostering the growth of nineteen additional non-profits in the area. He then spearheaded a new training and development program which now trains and develops leaders in his industry, to support the Mission of the entire organization.
Ken had also dedicated much of his time to bettering communities through charity and leadership, involving himself and leading in such programs as Red Tree House, the Canton Museum of Art, the Rotary Club of Canton, the Cleveland Leadership Center, and The Greater Cleveland Partnership. He was recently awarded the 2017 P.J. Trevethan Award from Goodwill Industries International. His passions included fishing on the lake, cooking for family and friends, supporting the Green Bay Packers, and above all – helping others.
He is survived by: his wife; his mother; his sons Mark (Shawna) and Nicholas (fiancée Heather); his daughters Elizabeth, Catherine (Charles) Holinka and Victoria; his grandchildren Jacob, Isayah, Abigail and Evelyn; in-laws Sandra & David Van Wyk, Tom & Lynne VanHimbergen, Carol VanHimbergen and Kathy VanHimbergen; aunts Fran Betz and Ruth Klenner; he is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Preceded in death by: his wife’s parents Harry & Lydia VanHimbergen; sister-in-law Sue Sohn; brothers-in-law Tim and Terry VanHimbergen and Al Sohn; grandparents Jacob & Elizabeth Weber and John & Helena Freitag; aunts Angeline Stanisch, Sylvia Jacque and Alice Meyer; uncles William Betz, Norbert Freitag, Clem Freitag, Vic Meyer, Ed Jacque, Alfred Stanisch.
Ken found his spiritual foundation for justice, mercy and service from his time with the Capuchins at St. Lawrence Seminary, and with that foundation turned faith into action at Goodwill Industries. “Ask me not where I live or what I like to eat . . . Ask me what I am living for and what I think is keeping me from living fully that.” –Thomas Merton
Funeral services are currently pending in the Chilton area; please check back for more information.