Dirkse, Kenneth 5/21/1925 - 12/18/2018 Kalamazoo Ken Dirkse, loving husband of Joan (deceased), passed away peacefully Tuesday morning, December 18, 2018. He was born at home in Kalamazoo to Isaac and Minnie Dirkse on May 21, 1925. Ken served with the Army in the Philippines during World War II, volunteering right out of high school. He later served in Korea, where he received the Purple Heart. Ken enjoyed working on cars throughout his life and had a 40-plus year career of working on and selling Fords. In the towns of Galesburg, and briefly, Paw Paw, Ken was well known as the man to see about a new or used car, often selling cars to multiple members and generations of a family. When he retired from automobiles, he tried his hand at baking. He and Betty (Crocker) eventually won Best of Show at the Kalamazoo County Fair for his blueberry pie. So good were his pies that he supplied deserts for Greco's restaurant, as well. Ken is survived by his children Robert (Linda) of Reading, PA; David (Pamela) of Grand Ledge, MI; grandchildren Michael (Karen), Amy (Chris) Reed, Paul (Tina), Susannah, and Daniel (Stacey); 3 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife of 67 years, brothers Frederick and Donald, sisters Grace VanderKolk and Joanne Morisky, his twin sister Phylis Sopjes, and loving companion of five years, Ruth Lebiecki. A private graveside service with full military honors will be held at Ft. Custer in January.
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