Kenneth Edward Pazdernik, age 98, of Rhinelander, passed away peacefully Saturday April 8, 2017, at Grace Lodge Assisted Living facility. Kenneth was born Oct. 6, 1918 in Rhinelander to Edward and Anna (nee Garvue) Pazdernik. He was united in marriage to Cecilia Heybl Dec.31, 1949. He attended school in Rhinelander and graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1936.
Kenneth’s early adult life was a little mysterious but he did work in various capacities for Cleary’s Dairy and always remarked that he learned a lot from Jim Cleary. He also had an affection for fast cars and felt that additional horsepower was a safety mechanism because it enabled him to pass other cars more quickly. He would usually cruise the countryside with his friend Oscar in search of the perfect Brandy Manhattan in his convertible affectionately known as “The Red Jenny.”
Kenneth spent the majority of his working life at St. Regis Paper Company (aka “The Mill”). He was a good union man and a lifelong 1960’s style Democrat who helped organize John Kennedy’s campaign stop at the Labor Temple. After he retired from The Mill he dabbled in both the insurance business and in real estate. He was also actively involved in the community serving on the city council, the Knights of Columbus as a fourth degree member as well as volunteering at Nativity of Our Lord parish. Kenneth was also a life-long member of the United Commercial Travelers organization and was President of the Wisconsin chapter in 1984.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 64 years, Cecilia; his brother, Donald; sisters, June and Alice; daughter-in-law, Jeanne (Wells) Pazdernik and first born twin son, David. He is survived by his sister, Ruth and his ten children, Michael (Mary Lynn) Pazdernik of Rhinelander, Peggy (Lynn) Haker of Madison, Patrick (Mary Beth) Pazdernik of Jamestown, N.C., Kenneth (Pamela) Pazdernik of Ellsworth, Jayne Scott of Madison, Perry (Kelley) Pazdernik of Stevens Point, Gregory Pazdernik of Savage, Minn., Gary (Maria) Pazdernik of Ellsworth, Annette (Steven) Heimerl of Madison, and Jerry (Debbie) Pazdernik of Antioch, Ill. He is also survived by 22 grandchildren, Andrew, Bryan, Rebecca (Mario), David, Thomas, Daniel, Michelle, Matthew (Kate), Kevin, Christopher, Justin (Megan), Anna, Emily (Devin), Nathan, Jesse (Sarah), Jacob (Theresa), Presley, Lia, Jose, Allison, Alex and Jennifer as well as eight great-grandchildren, Adrien, Jager, Magdalene, Adrian, Crew, Brooks, Eloise and Zoe.
A mass of Christian burial in celebration of Kenneth’s life and faith will be held at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, 125 East King Street at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 18. Father Randy Knauf will officiate. Visitation for Ken will be held from 12 p.m. until just prior to the services on Tuesday at the Church. Interment will follow in the Northland Memorial Park Cemetery. (Carlson Funeral Home)