Kenneth E. Smith

October 26, 1962July 20, 2012

Kenneth E. Smith (Ken), longtime resident of Gurnee, Illinois, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 20, 2012 surrounded by his loving family and friends. Ken was a devoted husband, father, son, grandson, son-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend to all who were blessed to be touched by his warm and loving personality, quick sense of humor, and adventurous spirit.

Ken was the loving husband and best friend of Maryl L. Smith (nee Klemm); devoted father of Melissa (Benjamin) Eagar and Larry (Shelly) Smith; adoring grandfather known to them as Punka, of Morgan Smith, Ernie Eagar, and Claire Eagar; son of Donna Smith; brother of Nick (Amanda) Smith; beloved grandson of the late Margarite and Norman Ebert and devoted son-in-law; cherished brother-in-law; and fond uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Born with a passion to help others, Ken’s life is an example of service, dedication, and philanthropy. As a young adult Ken achieved the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, which fueled a lifetime love of Scouting and service. Ken was Scout Master of Troop 771 in Gurnee, Illinois. He served as Council President of the southeast Wisconsin Council Boy Scouts of America in 2001 and 2002 and was a Northwest Suburban Council Boy Scouts of America Advisory Board Member. Ken also served his country in the U.S. Navy.

Over the course of the years, Ken belonged to many different service organizations in a variety of capacities. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Free Masons and served four terms as Worshipful Master at Monitor Lounsbury Masonic Lodge #522 in Barrington, Illinois. Ken was also a member of the Valley of Chicago Scottish Rite and a member of the Medinah Shrine in Addison.

Since 2004, Ken served on the Gateway for Cancer Research Board of Director as Vice Chairman and member of the Executive Committee. His philanthropic efforts were demonstrated by the more than $650,000 he and his wife Maryl helped raise for cancer research. Over the years, this money went toward helping patients feel better, live longer, and in many cases, succeed in their fight against cancer.

Ken became an insurance agent for Allstate Insurance Company in 1999. The years that followed were a whirlwind of success and awards, including Best In Company - Overall, Agency Achievement Award, Allstate Leader's Forum, Chairman's Inner Circle, Allstate Financial Leader Award, Honor Ring, and last year was inducted into the Allstate Financial Hall of Fame. The honor dearest to Ken’s heart was the Ray Lynch Community Service Award, an honor that recognizes one agent annually. It is awarded to the company's most dedicated agents and financial specialists for exceptional community service.

Ken was devoted to his family, cherished his friends, and was an avid Bears and Cubs fan. He was passionate about travel and fishing and spent as much time as he could traveling with his wife and friends around the world as he did boating with his grandchildren.

The family will be accepting visitors on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday, July 25, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Marsh Funeral Home A chapel service will be held at the funeral home at 11a.m. on Wednesday, followed by internment at Warren Cemetery, Gurnee, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations or memorials may be sent to: Assistance in Healthcare, Inc., P.O. Box 396, Zion, Illinois 60099. (


  • Funeral Service Wednesday, July 25, 2012
  • Visitation Tuesday, July 24, 2012
  • Visitation Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kenneth E. Smith

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Brian Jacobi

October 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Big Kahuna! I miss you.

Brian Jacobi

July 17, 2015

It's been 3 years since my buddy Ken passed away. Typical of these anniversaries it seems longer ago in many ways and shorter in others. I think about him every day and wonder what if he was still with us as well. So many things we did together still bring back memories. Songs, food, places, friends all have a way of triggering some moment we were together doing something. I stop regularly at his resting place, and it saddens me he's gone, but as I leave I have a good memory and know he's in a world without pain, and I smile. Many times I'll be thinking about him, and a song will come on the radio that we both enjoyed, and I'll smile, as if he had something to do with it. I'm glad your pain is gone; it's just painful for those you left behind. I miss you man.

Nick Smith

July 12, 2015

It never gets easier. I look in the mirror. I see you. A simple gassing up my truck, I remember you coming up paying for it with a smile. songs come on the radio, I remember plying that name/artist game. when everything was at its worst, a call and you had me sorted out. everything reminds me of you Ken. I love you and miss you more than you could possibly imagine. give gram and gramps a hug for me.

Brian Jacobi

July 6, 2015

Thinking about you a lot lately. Miss you buddy.

Teri Dreher

July 24, 2013

The one year point has passed and we are acting out our grief with a "Kenny-sized" project: sending a team to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in his honor to raise funds for children who have so little in AIDS-torn Tanzania. I was Kenny's nurse at the end and am so grateful for his path crossing mine: he taught us all so much. Larry, Mark and Margie and coming with us this year and doing a climb in his honor with a special team. He would be so proud. He was the original "Go Big or Go Home!" guy and is sorely missed...what a powerful legacy he leaves. THAT was a big guy who made a big difference in the world and we're carrying his legacy on:-) There will never be another Kenny but we can all show he taught us well by making a difference in the world.

Brian Jacobi

July 18, 2013

We approach an anniversary I'd hoped to never experience. I miss talking and laughing with you, Thanks for looking after me from your place in Heaven.

Brian Jacobi

June 4, 2013

Just having a "moment"..Man I miss you.

Brian Jacobi

October 26, 2012

Today(Friday the 26th) would have been my buddy Ken's 50th Birthday. He's been gone from us for 3 months already, and many times I catch myself wanting to call him. I was talking to a friend the other day about Ken, and said it was amazing to me that Ken never asked me to do anything with him. Oh we did plenty together, He just never asked me to do anything, he told me we were gonna do something, and we did it..simple as that.."Hey.We're going fishing tomorrow" he'd say..I'd say I can't, gotta work..he'd say "I'll be in your driveway at 5 (AM)", and he hour later I was wondering how he could do this to me... all the time :-) He loved to be with his friends and family, and used to humble me by telling people I was his best friend. I always used to tell him "you say that to all the people you hang out with" and he'd get mad..4 days before he died, the nurse had us step out of the room for a minute, and as we were stepping out, I heard Kenny tell the nurse "That's my best friend" It makes me proud and breaks my heart all at the same time. I'll forever miss you man, and I'm glad to have been so lucky to have a best friend like you. I wish you were still here, you'll always be in my heart ( I's just gas right..? that's what Ken would say) Happy Birthday to my best friend, from yours. I miss you more than anybody will know.

Phyllis Finney

September 26, 2012

I just found out that my Allstate agent passed away. Ken was the beat agent every. My heart goes out to his family. May God bring you peace. Phyllis Finney

Kasandra Witkiewicz

August 6, 2012

Ken was an awesome person to be around full of life as well as his wife and kids. He will be missed by everyone who knew him, Ken and maryl went out of their way for everyone no matter what. It was an honor to have known Ken and to at one time be part of his family. He and Maryl are wonderful godparents. My condolences go out to the Family.