Kenneth E. Lenz
(November 24, 1926 - December 3, 2006)
Kenneth E. Lenz, 80, of Villa Park, California, formerly of Strasburg, passed away at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, December 3, 2006 in Orange, California.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday (December 12, 2006) in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Strasburg with Rev. Steven Becker officiating. Visitation from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Tuesday in the church. Burial will be in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Strasburg, with military rites by Strasburg American Legion Post #289. Howe & Yockey Funeral Home in Strasburg is in charge of arrangements.
Ken was born on November 24, 1926 in Shelby County, IL, the son of Edward and Matilda Ulmer Lenz. He just celebrated his 80th birthday with all his family in attendance. He attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School for eight years and was confirmed there on March 17, 1940. He graduated from Strasburg High School in 1944, after spending one semester at Phoenix Union High School in Phoenix, AZ. While still in high school he worked as a Civilian Air Mechanic at Thunderbird Field, AZ. Following graduation he enlisted in the Navy, and served on the CVE-12, aircraft carrier in the Pacific.
Ken’s longtime fascination with airplanes led him to pursue a career in aviation. He received his Private Pilot’s license in 1946, and proceeded to enroll in Spartan College of Aeronautics, Tulsa, OK. He obtained an AA degree in both Aeronautical Engineering and Airline Maintenance, as well as an A & E license. He also earned a Flight Engineer license, and Airline Pilot’s license. During this time he married his high school sweetheart, Pat Kull.
He worked as a Liaison Engineer for Grand Central Aircraft in Tucson, AZ and Lockheed Georgia Division in Marietta, GA on the C-130 aircraft. For the next 14 years he flew for Trans World Airlines as a Flight Engineer and Co-pilot. His domiciles included New York International, Chicago Midway, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Following heart surgery in 1984 he regained his Second Class license and spent several more years flying for non-scheduled cargo airlines as a flight engineer.
Ken and Pat resided in Villa Park, CA since 1960. He joined St. John’s Lutheran Church, Orange, CA. He was a long time member of the Tuesday Morning Men’s Bible Class, and also served as an Elder in the church. He attended church regularly as long a health permitted.
Aviation was not only his career, but also his hobby. He belonged to several groups, the OX5 Pioneers, Aviation Breakfast Club, Silver Wings, serving as a National Board Member, Escort Carrier Assoc., and Association of Naval Aviation. Very few air shows in the area escaped his interest. For a time he owned a Piper Apache and regularly flew from Orange Co. Airport, now John Wayne Airport, into Los Angeles.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years; daughters, Kimberly Foster (Sam) and Valerie Miles (Don); four grandchildren, Victoria Miles, Benjamin Miles, Aurora Foster and Alex Miles; step-grandson, Christian Foster (Patty); great granddaughter, Daniela Foster; sister, Violet Ellison; nieces and nephews; and many other relatives and special friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Paul’s Cemetery Fund, Alzheimer’s Association or donor’s choice.