The Obit For Ken Harpenau

Kenneth Paul Harpenau

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on 2/12/2009


HARPENAU, KENNETH PAUL July 19, 1938 to February 8, 2009 Ken passed away peacefully at home on February 8, 2009, under the care of San Diego Hospice, with his wife Shirley and son Gregg at his side.

Ken was born in Bellflower, CA in 1938 to Frank and Clara Harpenau. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to National City, CA where he spent most of his early years. Ken attended St. Augustine High School until his junior year when he transferred to Sweetwater High School to pursue his love of baseball.

After high school, Ken continued his dream of playing baseball and played minor league professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

When baseball was over, Ken began his career with the California American Water Company, where he remained for the next 43 years of his life; except for the two years when he served in the U.S. Army attaining the rank of Specialist 4. At Cal-Am,

Ken was known as the "Ironman" for his sterling attendance record; once going for 13 consecutive years without missing a single day of work. Ken was the cornerstone for information relating to customer service, and over his many years of service developed the perfect skills for providing efficient and courteous attention to customer inquiries and concerns.

In 1970, Ken married the love of his life, his wife Shirley, and two years later they welcomed the arrival of their son Gregg. The family set up roots in Chula Vista where they still reside.

Ken enjoyed spending time with his family, watching sports, playing the lottery and visiting every casino between here and Nevada.

Ken will be remembered best for being an honest, decent and loving man. He was known to his wife as a loving and supportive husband who cherished and cared for her. He was also a supportive father; silent and strong but always there when needed. As a family member, friend and co-worker he will be remembered as a stand-up guy who never complained, always helped when needed and never gave up. Ken will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank J. Harpenau of Seneca, Kansas and Clara (Lackey) Harpenau of Axtell, Kansas. He is survived by his brothers, Elmer (Karen), Leonard (Gloria), and his sister-in-law, Carol Gove along with his beloved nieces and nephews.

The Funeral Mass will be held Friday, February 13, 2009, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 293 H St., Chula Vista, 91910 at 11:00 a.m (no ties allowed).

Following the service the Interment will be at Glen Abbey Memorial Park at 3838 Bonita Road, Bonita, 91902.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care or St. Rose of Lima (Capital Building Campaign).

Arrangements by Glen Abbey Memorial Park and Mortuary.