Kenneth Allan Caeti
August 1, 1962 – March 25, 2020
Kenneth Allan Caeti was born on August 1, 1962 in Elmhurst, Illinois to Joanne (Steffens) and Philip Caeti. He was the first of their four beloved children: Kenneth, Kathy, Sue and Steve. Kind & caring from childhood on, Ken was especially fond of his younger brother Steve. In addition to his loving parents and siblings, Ken had a favorite uncle: referred to always as, Uncle Mike, Uncle Mike! It’s because of Mike’s bald head, that Ken believed no one should ever wear a hat. Uncle Mike, Aunt Carol, their daughter Shelly, cousins Jackie and Al and their daughters, were among those in Ken’s family that spent time with and loved Ken throughout the years. Ken’s father Phil and brother Steve, preceded him in death.
Although it may not have be instantly apparent, the fact that Ken had had three marriages may have made him a ladies man. Just out of college Ken had married Angela, an initial prize that quickly turned sour. After moving to Michigan and attending Bethany Divorce support group, Ken met Lori Cook. Despite her having a terminal illness, Ken and Lori fell in love, married and were active members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Redford. Like Ken, she shared a passion for sports. Lori preceded him in death in January, 2000. Then, along came Anita.
It was a God-cidence that brought Ken and Anita together at a grief support group; each having lost a spouse to death. In Ken’s words, “we are two broken people that together make a whole.” Although an unlikely pairing, Ken brought a calming peace to Anita’s life. Throughout their 16 years of marriage, Ken maintained his promise to always support and care for Anita and her two adult son’s, Matthew and Mark Baran. Ken and Anita danced, when Matthew and his wife Preethi were married. They rejoiced at becoming grandparents to Matt and Preethi’s children, Kailash and Sahana. All of us were looking forward to celebrating Mark and his fiancé Monica’s wedding this May. Anita’s entire network of family and friends became Ken’s family and friends too. Ken always said, Anita’s parents, Raymond and Nancy, had the best B&B in Michigan and were the best in-laws anyone could ever have. To death, Anita lovingly cared for Ken at home, assisted by Angela Hospice.
Throughout his 57 years, Ken made lifelong friends. He attended Bensenville grammar school, then Fenton High School from 1976-79. His senior year, the Caeti’s moved to Carol Stream. Ken graduated from Glenbard High School in 1980. In 1984, Ken graduated with a B.S. in Business from University of Illinois in Champaign. Ken enjoyed playing in his school band: secretly aspiring to be a member of the University of So Cal’s Trojan Marching Band playing Tusk with Fleetwood Mac!
Ken’s first job was at National Register. He then was recruited to 3M, as an outside sales rep, in Chicago. When asked why he should be chosen over the many other candidates, Ken simply replied: because I’ll work harder and longer than any of the others. 3M hired Ken, then later transferred him to their Abrasives division in Michigan. Ken completed his career with nearly 20 years at STAPLES, as an Inside Account Representative. Ken’s solid work ethic, combined with his gentle, humble, yet strong and resilient nature, earned Ken many accolades over his impressive sales career. His coworkers can attest that Ken lived by these quotes from Winston Churchill and from his favorite Rocky movie: “Never, Never, Never Give Up” and “It’s not the knock-downs that define us”….
Ken died amid a pandemic: rest assured, Ken did not have the COVID-19 virus. Ken did have long-standing heart and lung conditions which initially began when he received a devastating diagnosis of Lymphoma at age 19 years. Surgery, chemo and radiation were successful treatments. However, by age 37 the chemo had destroyed his heart valves causing Ken to have a heart attack and heart bypass surgery. Radiation scarring started affecting his lungs about 6 years ago, causing significant pulmonary issues. In January of this year, Ken began having signs of heart failure. Multiple doctors and tests later, it was recently discovered that Ken’s heart failure was terminal. For years, Ken had always said Anita can retire, but he would die at his desk. Ken did his best to make that statement a reality. For a man that endured all the health challenges he did, it’s remarkable that Ken worked up until Thursday, March 19, 2020. Makes calling in for the sniffles seem insignificant, doesn’t it?
Besides family and work, Ken had a passion for chocolate, baseball and fantasy sports. Ken was a loyal fan of the Detroit Tiger’s. Given the chance, Ken would talk for hours about the game! Ken also followed Fantasy Sports. He was proud to be the Staples league coordinator and humbled to be champ on several occasions. Lenny Melnick, radio host of MLB.com Fantasy Sports was Ken’s friend. For the last couple years, Ken contributed a fan-feel scoop on the Detroit Tigers for Lenny to use during his Podcast.
Ken Caeti was a Man of God. Pastor Scott Sessler and the Men’s group at Emmanuel Lutheran remained a strength and support to Ken’s final breath. Among the many passages in the Bible, Ken always liked the New Testament passage where Paul encouraged us to persevere and with God, all things are possible. Ken ran with endurance, the race that God had set before him. He ran it with dignity and faith. As Ken left his earthly life, imagine the crowd of witnesses that welcomed him with cheers and encouragement. And as Ken was wrapped in the arms of Jesus…..can’t you just hear Him say, "Welcome Home Good and Faithful Servant." Ken, you will always be loved and dearly missed. Go now, and rest in Peace.
Please direct any donations in Ken’s name to the following: operationsmile.org, parkinson.org or any COVID-19 resource relief effort.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Kenneth Allan Caeti
April 3, 2020
When I remember Ken, he was genuine and gave with his whole heart. He had such a generous heart that reflected God's love. His faith was visible in the way he talked and acted. I saw God's light when I saw Ken.
April 2, 2020
I pray for your peace and comfort during this difficult time. May the Lord continue to richly bless you and keep you.
Love in Christ,
March 31, 2020
Some events form lasting memories. We don’t always know when or why. One such event was an evening Carl and I spent with Ken and Anita. We went to the Redford theatre to see a showing of the Christmas story. We didn’t realize at the time that Ken was such an avid fan of this movie, nor the following that it had. We had an opportunity to stroll through downtown and have a leisurely dinner. The pure peace and enjoyment of the evening led to a lasting memory. Ken will be missed, his welcoming attitude and gentle demeanour, and the kindness with which Ken and Anita treated each other was a joy to be around.
March 30, 2020
Ken was a wonderful guy and a devout Christian. A couple of fun memories I had of him were attending retreats together with our Holy Trinity Men's Group. Also going to a show of the very funny Three Stooges . Ken had a good sense of humor and was fun to be around. He will be greatly missed but our memories will survive.
I pray for comfort for Anita and the rest of their family and know God will one day bring us all home together again! God bless you Ken! Tell Jesus in person now …..Thank you for saving us!
March 30, 2020
Ken was a great person who was willing to do anything for anyone. He was a fixture in the "Livonia Staples family" and will be deeply missed. Prayers and good will to his family and friends.
March 29, 2020
Dear Anita and family,
Ken was such a kind, gentle man. We’re so glad you found each other during such difficult times in your lives, what a blessing. We are so sorry for your loss, sending our heartfelt condolences.
Jerry & Clara Williams
March 28, 2020
Ken was always so kind to me and my family. I loved Ken’s quirky sense of humor, the way he was so committed to his friends and family, and I always looked forward to visiting with him over the holidays. May he rest in peace 💗
March 28, 2020
We have such wonderful memories of Ken. He was a caring and dedicated man who loved his family and friends very much. He possessed a lot of integrity and as such was someone who could always be trusted. We appreciated both the serious and humorous sides of his personality - he would engage us in deep conversation in one moment and have us laughing the next. And although he faced several difficult challenges throughout his life, he most often met these challenges with courage, hope, and a positive outlook. We loved Ken and will deeply miss him. We are proud that we had the privilege of being his Uncle Mike and Aunt Carol.
March 28, 2020
I will miss Ken & be praying for Anita & her family. Ken for many years was part of a group at Church who after Church on Saturday would go out to dinner with Anita & Don & I. We became good friends over the years with Ken, Anita, and the group that at times would be about 8 couples if that many wanted to go with us. More often it was closer to 4 couples & we all got to know each other very well. We went to Church Activities & we all saw each other outside Church many times also. My husband Don & and Anita’s husband Ken became closer friends over time. They both loved sports, social gatherings, their families, their line of work inside sales, joking around, their friends, movies, favorite TV shows, church, and just talking about their lives. They had many things in common and could share many conversations about topics they liked to talk about. Sports was a favorite topic because after Church we’d all usually watch a game with dinner at at Sports Bar. Ken also liked talking about his Fantasy Sports Teams. Don & Ken liked to compare players, coaches, and managers. Ken liked to talk about the Tigers & Red Wings more than other Sports Teams. Ken also liked camping after Anita started wanting to go more with Craig & Annette also good friends of Ken & Anita for a long time. I will remember Ken as kind, fun loving, a hard worker, a devoted husband & grandpa, a pet lover, a good friend to my husband Don & a person that you’d want in your life to make memories with in good times & challenging times. He was a special person to so many who knew him. I’m sure Ken & Don are Angels who are watching over all the people they love, and enjoying all their loved ones in Heaven now.
March 27, 2020
I have had the pleasure of working with Ken throughout the years at Staples. There are countless memories, but the main connection that Ken and I shared was our love for"Rocky"!
In my mind, you have always been first class! A true team player with integrity and a great work ethic. You have a heart of gold with a gentle soul. Your enthusiasm and positivity will never be forgotten, but missed by so many! No more calls to tend to my friend, may you rest now in peace with plenty of joy and candy. :)
Ken, you are a CHAMPION!
Stevie G (As Ken would say)
"It ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward!" -Rocky Balboa
March 27, 2020
I always enjoyed being able to connect with Ken when I was in town. We had a lot of sports talks and would occasionally venture off to other topics. I will remember him as one of the nicest people I've ever met. He always had a smile and was extremely sincere. I'm definitely a better person for knowing him. Ken had a such positive impact on so many others. I wish I could have said goodbye and thank you. Rest in peace.
March 27, 2020
Ken was a true light in this world. I will never forget the times that we shared while working together at Staples. Spending 40 hour a week next to him is something that I will cherish forever. We had an ongoing joke where every morning I would tell him "Hello, Kenneth" to which he would reply, "Helloeth". The world would be a better place if everyone shared his sense of humor.
Rest easy, my friend. Until we meet again. Xo.
March 27, 2020
Rest in Gods arms. Ken you were one of the good ones. Alway ready and willing to do whatever it took and always willing to share your chocolate at work. Thank you for being you.
Jackie & Al LeBoeuf
March 26, 2020
We are so sorry to hear about Cousin Ken’s passing.
He was a kind & gentle soul with a quirky sense of humor that I loved. We feel blessed that we got to be with Ken almost every Thanksgiving for an annual family reunion.
Our prayers & thoughts are with him & his family.
Jackie & Al LeBoeuf