Kenneth James King, Jr.
Chagrin Falls—Kenneth James King Jr., 75, died Wednesday, April 27, 2016, just one week shy of his 76th birthday. He leaves his wife of 54 years, Mary Anne, sons Kenneth James III (Kirsten), Craig Thomas (Denita) and Michael Stuart (Meg), daughters Jennifer Jane Critcher (Phil) and Claire (deceased 1970), 14 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Born May 3, 1940 in Cleveland, son of the late Kenneth James Sr.and Gizella. Kenny was a lifelong Greater Cleveland resident. In his early years, Kenny grew up with a sable collie named Queenie in Cleveland Heights while the girl who would become his wife a decade later grew up with a pair of sable collies of her own, Dukas and Butchie in Twinsburg. Kenny’s lifelong love of the automobile began early. He took his mom’s Packard for a spin at age 12. He bought his first car in 1961 at age 21. While most of his friends had bought cars years earlier, Kenny patiently saved his money to buy a brand new Mercedes Benz 190 sedan. When asked his favorite car, he never could answer…too many choices. He also enjoyed his time in the air, taking flying lessons in the late ‘50s at the former Chagrin Falls Airport off Bell Road. Kenny attended Gilmour Academy and Villanova University and joined his father in the family business, Kenny King’s Family Restaurants. Kenny Jr. served the company as President for nearly three decades, during which the restaurant chain grew to 60 locations in Northeast Ohio. Kenny served his church congregations for decades as elder, youth ministry leader and nursery volunteer. After retiring in 1996, Kenny served as a weekly volunteer at Fieldstone Farm, a therapeutic riding center in Chagrin Falls, and Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland. He always enjoyed traveling and vacationing, often to a favorite spot in Sanibel Island, Florida, most recently to Israel and repeatedly visiting his kids all over the USA, even Hong Kong, seeking out restaurants/cafés/diners etc etc all along the way. Kenny kept in shape at Fighting for Fitness in Chagrin Falls.
Kenny loved nothing more than to be surrounded by family, as he was in his last weeks. He died as he lived, calm, quiet and gently patient, always a servant, a man of integrity, devoted to his family and his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. An intimate funeral service and private burial was held Monday, May 2. All are invited to celebrate Kenny’s life at a memorial service Monday evening, May 16 at 6PM at Cuyahoga Valley Church, 5055 E. Wallings Rd., Broadview Hts., 44147. Phone: 440-746-0404. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The City Mission in Cleveland or Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center in Chagrin Falls.