Ken met his sweetie of 61 years on a blind date he wasn't prepared for but little did he know just how wonderful the rest of his life would be. Ken was born to Howard E. and Mary June (Betz) Durst on February 17, 1939 in Dayton, OH. He grew up in Englewood, OH alongside his older brother, Don. While growing up they enjoyed spending family vacations at a fishing camp in Barbeau in the Upper Peninsula of That State Up North. He attended Randolph High School, graduating in 1957. He began his studies at Ohio Wesleyan University and went on to earn his Bachelor's of Science in Education majoring in biology with minors in history and government from Ohio Northern University. He continued further and received his master's degree in guidance and counseling from Miami University (Ohio) plus 54 hours of post graduate studies receiving a certificate in secondary administration from Wright State University. He worked in the schools for 33 years as a high school biology teacher, high school counselor, and junior high and high school administrator at Fairmont East High School, Fairmont High School, and Kettering Junior High (Kettering, OH).
He started Boy Scouts at a young age and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in high school. During his time at Ohio Wesleyan he became a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Throughout his career he was an active member in the Kettering Classroom Teachers Association (President), Kettering Secondary Principals Association (President), Kettering City Schools Administrators and Supervisors Association (President), and many other councils and committees. His devotion to God and his faith led him to always be involved in many church activities including, but not limited to, youth groups, choir (60+ years), Helping Hands Outreach (20+ years), being a church liturgist, and many other leadership roles. He served as a trustee for the Jacob Sears Memorial Library. He was an active member of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and led countless walks through the marsh along the Wing Island Trail, which always included a biology lesson!
During his time at Ohio Wesleyan he met his sweetie, Barbara "Bo" Eastman. They married June 16, 1962 and set up a loving home in Kettering, OH until they retired to the family home on Cape Cod full time in 2000. They were blessed with two daughters, Lori (Doug) Schweikhart and Kristen "Kristi" (Tony) Kelly, six grandchildren, Erin (Brandon) Blair, Spencer (Tahnee) McCoy, Mason (Jamie) Kelly, Brice Kelly, Braden Kelly, and Natalie Schweikhart, and five great grandchildren, Vance, Taylor, and Kenny Blair, and Ben and Josh McCoy. His family was his pride and joy. He loved the many family tent camping trips and memories made while his girls were growing up. He always looked forward to the love and chaos that summers would bring when the entire family would descend upon the Cape house. There was nothing more enjoyable than the memories made fishing, clamming, taking turns cranking the homemade ice cream (if you wanted to eat it then you had to crank it!), and all the adventures accompanied by a biology lesson. Anyone who knew Ken knew he was a Coca Cola enthusiast having worked in the bottling, selling, and advertising departments at the Dayton Coca Cola Bottling Company during his summers in college. He always found joy in gardening, taking care of the birds, making homemade applesauce (and eating it with every meal), photography, or taking care of and winding his old mechanical chiming clocks. A few of his favorite things included traveling with his sweetie, happy hour (especially on the beach), bald eagles, indulging in a Reece's peanut butter cup or some peanut M&M's, and cheering on The Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns, and New England Patriots.
Ken modeled Christian living. His kindness, gentle soul, and willingness to help so many others set a standard for us all to follow. We all loved his deep and rich tones as he sang praises to his Lord. He was a man strong in his faith. He died as he lived, making life easy for everyone.
Services will be held July 29, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Northside United Methodist Church, 701 Airline Rd. Brewster, MA 02631. This is a joyous celebration of his life. We would like this to be reflected in the service and are requesting no mourning attire. Please join us for a luncheon at the church following the service. In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Ken's honor to either Northside United Methodist Church Helping Hands Outreach (church address seen above) or to the Jacob Sears Memorial Library (Box 782, East Dennis, MA 02641).