Kenneth Anthony Grenquist Jr., age 91, of Marshall, passed away peacefully at his home with family at the bedside, on April 30, 2022. He was born on March 23, 1931, the son of the late Kenneth Grenquist Sr. and Irma Grenquist.
Ken was a graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech, achieving the highest score in Mathematics, which earned him the nickname “Doc”. He enjoyed a long career of 42 years working for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).
He finished his career as the Assistant Director of the Expressway Division. Over his career he was the Project Engineer on I-94 and I-69 from New Buffalo to Detroit and Coldwater to Lansing, the Regional Engineer in Jackson, and the Assistant Director for the entire State of Michigan.
Following retirement from the State of Michigan, he worked summers for the Calhoun County Road Commission. He helped design and build roads and bridges throughout Calhoun County.
Ken and Dorothy were snowbirds and would winter in Clearwater, Florida, at their condominium.
Ken is preceded in death by his parents Kenneth Grenquist Sr. and Irma Grenquist of Bessemer, Michigan; his daughter Patricia “Patty” Hillmann (Richard of Asheville, NC), and son David Grenquist.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Dorothea “Dorothy” (Peterson) Grenquist; daughter Deborah and sons Scott Grenquist and Mark Grenquist of Marshall, Michigan; grandchildren April Blair (Lismore, Australia), Paschal Grenquist (Syndey, Australia) and Van Grenquist (Bali, Indonesia) and Luke Grenquist (Lansing, Michigan); and six great grandchildren.
Ken believed that the best investment a person could make was investing in an Education. He counted as his greatest achievement, having his children attend some of the best Catholic Universities in the mid-west; St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Marquette, St. Francis, and Holy Cross.
He was a parishioner of St. Mary Catholic Church in Marshall, Michigan, where his wife played the organ for 30 years. He was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus and participated in a number of charity events through the church for decades.
One of Ken’s fondest memories at the end of his life was of his high school Bessemer “Speed boys” basketball team winning the Upper Peninsula Championship in 1948 and 1949. In 1949 it was the first year the UP champs wee allowed to come down state to participate in the state-wide tournament. They had to cross the straits of Mackinac in mid-winter on a car ferry. You could hear ice clanging off the hull of the ship. The team made it all the way to Lansing to play a team from Detroit and lost. He attributed the loss to the fact that team from the UP had never seen a rim with a glass backboard.
A Funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 212 W. Hanover St., Marshall, MI 49068. Rev. Fr. Craig Lusk will officiate the service, with interment to follow in St. Mary Cemetery in Marshall. Memorial are suggested to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements were entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, MI 49068. Please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, sign the guest book, and leave messages to the family.
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American Cancer Society
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