Kenneth A. Ralston, 82 of Glen Ellyn, IL. passed away peacefully on February 21, 2020. Beloved husband of Marlene (Bender) for 60 years. Loving father of Douglas (Lori), Kris (Michael) Land, Robyn (Bill) Rohrer. Dear grandfather of Christopher, Chandler & Catherine Ralston, Kallan, Sierra, Jake & Karl Land and Jack, Katie, Maggie, Ellie & Matthew Rohrer. Fond brother of Richard (Cindy) Ralston, Carol Newford, the late Virginia Textor, late Jack Ralston, late Tom Ralston, late Jimmy Ralston & the late Kibby Fencel. Beloved uncle to 21 nieces and nephews.
Ken grew up as one of eight kids in Des Plaines Il. In 1947 he lost his father in a train accident. His four brothers, three sisters and his mother Greta moved forward and created a joyful and adventurous life filled with endless stories still told today.
Ken met Marlene while both were studying at Marquette University. They got engaged on Valentine’s day their senior year and were married a year later. They were able to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary together just last week.
Ken founded and was CEO of CM Partners. He created a company that pioneered innovative marketing and printing programs, but more importantly, he created a company culture that respected each individual and operated from a point of empowerment and humanity. Ken eventually sold his company to Foote Cone & Belding in 1999.
Ken loved golf. He cherished the relationships that the game brought him, and he respected the individual integrity and challenges of the game. He made 6 hole-in-ones in his lifetime and he was able to golf most of the great courses in the US and around the world. He and Marlene together won the last tournament they played in together.
Ken and Marlene spent their winters in Scottsdale AZ. where they golfed, had wonderful friends, hosted many, many great vacation get aways, and successfully hiked to the top of Tom’s Thumb with each of their 12 grandkids.
Ken’s greatest joy in life came from helping others, not in grand gestures, but in everyday small meaningful ways that made lives better and the world a better place. Ken lived in the moment. Ken lived life joyfully. He intensely loved each of us that were lucky enough to be in his sphere. He could do amazing bird whistles. A gift from God that we willing entrust back to our Lord.
A memorial gathering will be Friday, February 28th from 4-8 PM at Leonard Memorial Funeral Home, 565 Duane St. Glen Ellyn, IL. (www.leoanrdmemorialhome.com or 630-469-0032). A memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, 10 AM at St. Petronille Church, 420 Glenwood Ave. Glen Ellyn. Interment to follow at St. Peter & Paul Cemetery in Naperville, IL. Reception to follow at 1pm at Glen Oak Country Club 21W451 Hill Ave, Glen Ellyn.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the ALS Foundation, http://webchicago.alsa.org/donate.
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