Kenneth Wayne Strope, age 64 years of Niles, Michigan died at 1:39 a.m. on Friday, April 28, 2017 with his wife at his bedside in Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana following a brief illness.
He was born on August 28, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois to Willard Henry and Florence Marie (Pugesek) Strope. He was graduated from New Prairie High School in New Carlisle, Indiana, and has lived in Niles most of his life. He was retired at A.M. General in Mishawaka, Indiana where he had worked for thirty-one years producing the military HMMWV “Humvee”.
Ken was an avid fan of the University of Notre Dame Football team, attending every home game, several away games, and one national championship. He enjoyed fishing in local lakes and rivers, but his greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends, amongst whom he was commonly known as “Fat Boy”. He was always proud and honored to be building vehicles to assist those who are serving in the military.
On November 15, 1986 in Niles he married the former Shelley Shaler with whom he celebrated last November the thirtieth anniversary of their wedding.
Surviving family includes his wife, Shelley Shaler Strope; his brother, James (& Michelle) Strope of Cape Coral, Florida and sisters, Carol (& Tony) Garcia of Glendale, Arizona and Josie Emry of Galien, Michigan; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and by his siblings, Joan Stankiewicz, Jack Strope, Charlotte Fraid, Rose Bellegante, and Betty Hicks.
The family and friends of Ken Strope will gather to honor his life and share memories at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles #2094, 24 Sycamore Street in Niles. Interment will be private, at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.
Contributions in memory of Ken may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida, 32256; or to the Niles Veterans Memorial, c/o City Hall, 333 North Second Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles.