Kenneth Charles Schmelzle

Passed away on
January 21, 2023
Kenneth Charles Schmelzle passed away peacefully on January 21, 2023. He was 80 years old. Ken was born on July 29, 1942, in Wamego, Kan., to his parents Margaret Jenkins and Herman Schmelzle. Ken grew up in Manhattan, Kan., where he enjoyed all the offerings of a vibrant college town. Eager to attend a university football game, 10-year-old Ken signed up to sell food and drink at Memorial Stadium. There, he found his true love of the Kansas State Wildcats and all things K-State. Ken attended Luckey High School where he played basketball, served at Seven Dolors Catholic Church, and was acknowledged by his classmates as an all-around great guy. He graduated in 1960, served in the armed forces, and then followed his natural talent into construction. He went on to graduate with a business degree at Kansas State University in 1968. Ken had a long career as comptroller at Dick Edwards Ford in Manhattan, as well as many years spent in private consulting. In 2016, Ken retired to Sun City, Ariz., where he relished the long summer season and being outdoors in the sun; mostly patio sitting, swimming, and golfing. Ken had a passion for service and took great pride in his volunteer duties. He served his Sun City community delivering Meals on Wheels and singing in the choir at Elizabeth Seton Church. An avid traveler, Ken first visited St. Kitts Island in the Caribbean in his early 60s. He fell in love with the beauty of the island, but most of all, Ken appreciated the warmth and charm of the people there, who affectionately nicknamed him “Island Boy.” Ken revealed in his days on St. Kitts and soon began to split his time between the island and Sun City. His service shined on the island as well; delivering Meals on Wheels, singing in the church choir, gifting filled backpacks to the school children, and volunteering at the local animal rescue. Ken was generous with his love and care for people. He will be remembered for his vibrant laugh, infectious spirit, and kind heart. He loved spending time with friends and cheering on the KSU Wildcats. Ken was always up for the next adventure, yet just as happy to sit back and watch with a cold beer in hand. From Kansas to Arizona to St. Kitts and beyond, Ken’s life was rich in friendship. He leaves behind many who love him. Ken will be deeply missed. Ken’s proudest achievements were his three daughters and their families. He is survived by MaTisha Nicole Bromstedt (2 sons: Chase and Cole) of Parkville, Mo., Karis Christine Guinn (1 son: Brooks, 2 daughters: Kaylie and Berkley) of Olathe, Kan., and Kaisha Lynn Lawrence (1 son: Nash Pugh) of Manhattan, Kan. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, brothers (Joseph and Francis Schmelzle), and sister (JoAnn Prior). In lieu of plants or flowers, and to carry on Ken’s passion for service, please consider a donation to support his beloved St. Kitts community. A memorial has been established in his name at ATime4Us Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization. Ken’s favorite St. Kitts charities will benefit, including The Sea Animal Rescue, Backpacks for Kids, Meals on Wheels, and St. Kitts’ Catholic churches. Donations may be sent to ATime4Us Foundation, Inc., c/o Summer Caudle, 1203 E. 33rd Street, Suite 100, Tulsa, Okla., 74105 – please note “Ken Schmelzle Memorial” in the memo. A mass in Ken’s honor will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at 10:00 am at St. Isidore’s Catholic Student Center, located at 711 Denison Ave in Manhattan, KS. Immediately following the mass, we will accompany his ashes to be laid to rest with his parents and siblings in Flush, KS. His headstone will read "Another day in paradise." From there, we will celebrate Ken style at Rock-a-Belly Deli starting at about 1 pm. Please stay posted on Ken's Facebook Page for more details as the time gets closer.