Dr. Kenneth L. “Ken” Schank passed away peacefully Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, his children announced with great sadness about their dear father.
Born in West Allis, Wis., in 1920, he was the son of William and Stella (nee Mund) Schank.
He will be greatly missed by family and friends in the Port Charlotte, Fla., music community. Ken served in the U.S. Navy in World War II as a Machinist Mate 2nd class, and survived the sinking of the light cruiser USS Helena (CL-50) in the South Pacific. A 1949 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Industrial Arts, he also received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Bradley University, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Maryland in 1965. He taught and held the role of Consultant for over 20 years in the Unified School District of Racine, Wis. Moving to Buffalo, N.Y., in 1970, he served as Director of the programs in Industrial Arts Education at the State University College of New York, retiring in 1987. During his years in academia, he acted as consultant for USAID-AED in Zimbabwe, Africa; with the Peace Corps in Nepal; and educational consulting in India, Korea, Egypt and the Philippines. Ken also co-authored several books and contributed significantly to literature in the discipline in technical education. An accomplished musician, primarily on the banjo, he was a member of the Buffalo Banjo Band, the Gulf Coast Banjo Society, Southwest Florida’s Premier Dixieland and Jazz Band, and the Sahib Shriners Banjo Band on the Sun Coast of Florida. Ken was a 60-year member in the Masonic Lodges in Racine, Buffalo and Sarasota, Fla. As all who knew him will attest, Ken Schank was a kind, generous, warm and supportive friend. He was gregarious with a quick wit and wonderful sense of humor, greeting everyone with a joke or funny story. Ken was dearly loved by family and friends, and we will miss his brilliant smile and the twinkle in his eye.
He is survived by his three daughters, Karen Schank Mills of Port Charlotte, Kendra Schank (Albert C.) Smith, Ph.D. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Lori Schank (Joseph P. Jr.) McGonigal of Kearny, N.J.; and three granddaughters, L. Emma Mills of Oxford, N.Y., Lorna and Katherine McGonigal of Kearny.
Ken Schank will be interred at Sarasota National Cemetery. Memorial contributions to his favorite charities would be appreciated: The Tampa Shriners Hospital for Children, and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, La. To express condolences to the family, please visit www.LTaylorFuneral.com and sign the online guestbook.
Arrangements are by Larry Taylor Funeral Home, Port Charlotte.