Kenneth Aaron Pagach
August 1, 1941 – July 31, 2018
Kenneth Aaron Pagach of Marco Island, Florida passed away on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018 with his entire family by his side the day before his 77th birthday.
Ken was born to the late Lillian and Irvin Pagach in Austin, Texas on August 1, 1941 and spent most of his childhood in Texas. The family moved to New Jersey in 1956 when he was 15 years old.
Ken graduated from Ramsey High School in 1959, received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Rutgers University in 1964 and completed his Masters in Education at Montclair State University in 1975.
He was married for 55 years to his high school sweetheart, Diana L. Pagach. They lived in Edison, NJ for 32 years before relocating to Marco Island, FL in 1998.
Ken was a Physical Education Teacher and Wrestling Coach at Edison High School until he retired in 1998. His 30-year coaching career included six Coach of the Year awards and he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, OK in 2012. He was happiest when he was coaching.
His teams won nine District titles, finishing 2nd on 11 occasions, three County titles and three Conference Championships. Ken coached two individual State Champions, 12 State medalists, 33 State Qualifiers, 145 Tournament Championships and 285 finalists in tournament action. A 20-year member of the NJ Wrestling Officials Association and 29-year member of the Coaches Association, Ken served as State President, Region 5 President, and State ranking Chairman and was proud to be the creator of the ranking system used to determine the NJ State Team Sectional qualifiers which is still used to this day.
He was an avid reader, loved to fish and boat, and spent many summers as the Manager of Woodside Swim Club in Edison, NJ. He built two successful small businesses, We-Do-Windows in NJ and KenCo Homewatchers on Marco Island. He was proudly working his accounts on Marco Island in the days after his cancer diagnosis gave him less than one year to live, but took him from us in less than than three weeks.
Ken loved life on Marco Island. He retired with Diana to the island in the summer of 1998 and immediately joined the Marco Island Sailing and Yacht Club, later becoming one the founding members of the Marco Island Yacht Club. Over the years he was an active member serving on the Board of Directors, Membership Committee, House and Staff and as a Cruise Captain. He was also a longtime member of the Marco Men’s Club enjoying many trips, cruises and social events. Ken was often heard saying, “When I dreamed of retirement, this is exactly what I thought it would be like.”
Before his passing, Ken confided that there was nothing left on his bucket list. He told Diana he’d had a wonderful life, was proud of his three kids and had great friendships along the way. He was not a religious man, but had a strong moral compass, believing in a higher power and the overall goodness of mankind. His life was a reflection of these beliefs.
Ken is survived by his wife Diana, his children Kip, Kyle and Jessica and his brother Richard. He is also survived by his six grandchildren, Jake, Jordan, Tanner, Kendall, Cody and Luke.
A Celebration of Ken’s Life will be held at 1 pm on Sunday, September 2nd, 2018 at the Marco Island Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Coach Pagach Memorial Scholarship awarded each year to the Edison High School wrestler with the highest GPA. You can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/CoachPagach The family will also be hosting “A Night Honoring Coach Ken Pagach” in NJ at a date and location to be determined. He will be missed by many and remembered by even more. “Don’t Cry because it’s over…Smile because it happened.” - Dr. Seuss.
Celebration of Ken's Life
Marco Island Yacht Club
1400 N Collier Blvd
Kenneth Aaron Pagach
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August 7, 2018
Dear Diana and Family,
Your husband and father was a Rutgers College of Education classmate of mine.
I will never forget Ken. When I was Head Coach of Soccer at J.F. Kennedy Memorial. H.S., Iselin, NJ, Ken officiated our game with St. Joseph H.S. at St. Joe's. During the second half, Ken blew his whistle, walked over to me on the sidelines, and held a yellow (caution) card over my head. He thought I was challenging a call that he made when, in fact, I was criticizing one of my players on the field. This was the only yellow card that I ever received during my entire coaching career. When I met Ken at a Rutgers football game, I reminded him of this incident. We both had a good laugh.
May you be comforted knowing that Ken is now with the Father of Us All in heaven. He will be missed but never forgotten.
August 3, 2018
We first met you through your cats Martini and Gimlet, and through that you became a part of our family/lives. My heart and soul are so saddened, and you will be missed so much. I am thankful for all that times we got to laugh and joke about with those silly cats! Will miss you so much, Nancy Willow and Liz