- April 10, 1949 - April 17, 2013
- Marquette, Michigan
of Kenneth's Passing
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Memories & CandlesPrevious
“Dear Kathie and Family,
Having lost my sister recently to a similar cancer, I deeply understand your loss and extend my sincerest sympathies I...Read More »
1 of 60 | Posted by: Dave Bucklin - Marietta, GA
So sorry to hear of your fathers passing. I trust you and your family have many good memories. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your...Read More »
2 of 60 | Posted by: Tim negri
“Never forget all the good times and laughs at the birch's
Miss you good friend. Penny Carson and stacy
3 of 60 | Posted by: penny carson - Itasca, IL
“Connie and I meet Ken when we went back to NMU and both of us had the pleasure to work for Ken as we were working on our Masters Degree. I learned a...Read More »
4 of 60 | Posted by: Randy Awrey - Riverside, IL
“I grew up with Ken and we lost touch after I moved away from the area. I understand he had a loving wife, children and many friends at NMU. My...Read More »
5 of 60 | Posted by: Tom Vaughn - Warrenville, IL
“So sorry to hear this news.
We have the the Godfrey's in our thoughts today.
6 of 60 | Posted by: The Gierut Family - Cedar Rapids, IA
“Our deepest condolences to the entire Godfrey family. Ken sure will be missed in Springstead and at The Birches. He was very kind to us and our...Read More »
7 of 60 | Posted by: Frank & Marion Rose - Springstead, WI
“Our family is very sorry to hear about your loss. Hope your fond memories of him can help ease your pain. We will miss him at The Birches. Ken always...Read More »
8 of 60 | Posted by: The Palicke Family - Niles, IL
“Sometimes you meet a person just once in life, but a lasting impression remains. I met Ken almost exactly 3 years ago when my sister Monica was...Read More »
9 of 60 | Posted by: Kevin Hayes - St. Johns, MI
“Kathy, Howard and Crew,
My heart is breaking for your loss. Some many of the best memories of my life are tied up in your family. The Patriarch of...Read More »
10 of 60 | Posted by: Tara Haiston - West Branch, IA
“Dear Kathie and family.
We are so sorry for your loss. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Ken was a calm yet passionate man. He was always...Read More »
11 of 60 | Posted by: Carol and Lynn Hicks - Marquette, MI
“Mrs. Jamrich and I express, to the Godfrey family, our sincerest sympathy at this difficult time; you are in our prayers. Mr. Godfrey's numerous...Read More »
12 of 60 | Posted by: Dr. John X. Jamrich - FL
“I had the pleasure of being on of Mr. Godfrey's students at garfield Elementary School in Maywood. He was an awesome teacher, and a good friend. He...Read More »
13 of 60 | Posted by: Sylvis Stokees- Melendez - IL
“He was a great person, excellent teacher
14 of 60 | Posted by: Kushita Stokes - Hillside, IL
“i have knowned ken for almost 50 years i had the please to locker next to him for three years at proviso east high school during football a friend of...Read More »
15 of 60 | Posted by: jim klein - fort myers, FL
“Ken saved the Superior Dome, transforming it from a politically motivated boondoggle into something useful to the community. He worked out at the...Read More »
16 of 60 | Posted by: Marcus C. Robyns - Marquette, MI
“Keith, Ken, Kathy and the girls, we are so sorry to hear of Ken's passing. You have our deepest sympathy. Hold close to your hearts all the...Read More »
17 of 60 | Posted by: Sarah Dix - Kaukauna, WI
“Although it has been several years since I have seen Ken, I will always hold fond memories of him. All the fun we had at the Birches. One memory I...Read More »
18 of 60 | Posted by: Val - Western Springs, IL
“Ken developed a special care for our son Everest, being a key player on the committee that put on a benefit for Everest during his fight with cancer....Read More »
19 of 60 | Posted by: Liz Grenke Leach - Calumet, MI
“Ken was a great individual. His smiling face will surely be missed around the Birches. Thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Godfrey family....Read More »
20 of 60 | Posted by: Larry Schoonover - Lodi, WI
“We are so sorry for your loss! We will give you all hugs when we see you this summer. You will be in our thoughts and prayers this week. May the...Read More »
21 of 60 | Posted by: Kerry & Dennis Bielke - Green Bay, WI
“Kathie and family
My heart sank when I heard of Ken's passing. He is a face of NMU I will never forget, I always enjoyed talking to him in the halls...Read More »
22 of 60 | Posted by: Erin Powers
“Dear Kathie and Family,
Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
I got to know Ken when we were planning the benefit...Read More »
23 of 60 | Posted by: Kristi Flatt - Marquette, MI
“Kathie, Howard & Family-I wanted tp offer my thoughts, prayers and support to all of you at this time of sorrow."Please know that God is caring for...Read More »
24 of 60 | Posted by: Linda Kaufert - Appleton, WI
“Kathie and Family,
We, and many others, share your grief.
Ken always put the welfare of others first, especially staff and student athletes.
He took...Read More »
25 of 60 | Posted by: Herb and Sandy Grenke
“We are so very sorry to learn of Ken's passing. We know he is in a better place and no longer in pain. We also know that he will be missed by many....Read More »
26 of 60 | Posted by: Judi and Bren Bailey - Clemmons, NC
“We just wanted to let you know our thoughts and prayers are with the Godrey family through this difficult time. Nothing can be said to ease the pain...Read More »
27 of 60 | Posted by: Chris & Lisa Mikula - Appleton, WI
“Our deepest sympathy to the Godfrey family. You are in our prayers.
Michael and Margit on Boot Lake.
28 of 60 | Posted by: Michael Haupert and Margit von Frankenberg - WI
“My sympathy to the entire Godrey family. I worked at the Superior Dome during the 90's. Ken was such a wonderful boss and human being. Ensuring...Read More »
29 of 60 | Posted by: Stephanie Abata - Marquette, MI
“Our deepest sympathy to Kathi and her family. You will be in our prayers.
Bill and Jane Scott, Beaverton, Oregon
30 of 60 | Posted by: Bill and Jane Scott - OR
“My wife Linda and I are truly saddened by this news of Ken's passing. We haven't seen Ken in years but always felt he would succeed in life. Our...Read More »
31 of 60 | Posted by: Greg & Linda Mazzei - Seminole, FL
“Sorry on the passing of your husband and father.
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the whole family.
32 of 60 | Posted by: Steven Mikula - Park Falls, WI
“Sincere sympathies to you Godfrey family. As so many of these memories express, Ken was a genuine gentleman whose kind nature touched many. A...Read More »
33 of 60 | Posted by: The Dionne's - Marquette, MI
“Godfrey family, I am so sorry to hear about Ken. I knew him from High School (Proviso East) My prayers and thoughts are with all of his family.
34 of 60 | Posted by: Jim McCy - Winfield, IL
“So sorry to hear about Ken...our prayers and thoughts are with you "H". Our deepest sympathy from the entire Klein family.
35 of 60 | Posted by: TK and Laurie Klein - St. Charles, IL
“Dear "H-Man" and Family -
Please accept our deepest sympathy. No matter what the situation is, it's never easy. Your family will remain in our...Read More »
36 of 60 | Posted by: "Duck" Hogan - IL
“May God bless Ken and his family with his passing. Ken was a true pleasure to have known and a true gentleman as well. He will be missed and is gone...Read More »
37 of 60 | Posted by: Darren "Mojo" Muljo - Gwinn, MI
“As Charlie would say, "Ken was a good guy"! May you find peace in knowing your loved one is no longer suffering his pain of this earthly world but...Read More »
38 of 60 | Posted by: Charlie and Michelle Raimondi - WI
“My deepest sympathy for the Godfrey family . I knew Ken since highschool . We had a couple of classes together and played football . He was a truly...Read More »
39 of 60 | Posted by: Tony Squeo - Willow Springs, IL
“We were so saddened to hear of Ken's passing. What a wonderful man he was. Our condolences to his family, friends and co-workers.
Jim & Leslie...Read More »
40 of 60 | Posted by: Jim and Leslie Winkler - MI
“Our deepest sympathy to all of the Godfrey's in your time of loss. Thoughts & Prayers to all of you. Ken was a very special man- loved & respected...Read More »
41 of 60 | Posted by: Kathy & Steve Hartsock - WI
“Remember talking with Ken many times in the locker room and hallways of the PEIF. SUPER guy who always had a positive attitude, even in the midst of...Read More »
42 of 60 | Posted by: Randy Jensen - Marquette, MI
“So sorry to hear of the loss of Ken. What a great guy. Sure will miss his smile at the Birches. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Love you...Read More »
43 of 60 | Posted by: Teri Meyer - Springstead, WI
“So sorry for your loss, My heart goes out to your entire family.
Love Dawn Milanowski
44 of 60 | Posted by: Dawn Milanowski - Springstead, WI
“Please accept my deepest sympathy on the death of Ken. I remember most his great smile and pleasant personality...always willing to help someone. ...Read More »
45 of 60 | Posted by: Nancy Amacher - Withee, WI
“I am heartbroken to hear of Ken's passing. He was manager of the Superior Dome for a number of years when it first opened back in '92, and we worked...Read More »
46 of 60 | Posted by: Marlene Ombrello, Manager at Marquette Builders Exchange
“Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about Ken's passing...Ken's smile and his warm welcome will never be forgotten...He will remain...Read More »
47 of 60 | Posted by: Terri Heil - Rochester Hills, MI
“To the Family of Ken,
My thoughts and prayers to you all. He was a wonderful man and the stories of how wonderful were delightful to hear. I am...Read More »
48 of 60 | Posted by: Jaime Crabb
“Love and prayers go out to the Godfrey family. We are so very sorry for your loss.
49 of 60 | Posted by: The Hayes Family - Marquette, MI
“My deepest sympathies to the Godfrey family for their great lost. Ken was a very gracious host who made everyone feel welcomed. He fought a great...Read More »
50 of 60 | Posted by: Joan Sanders - Crystal Lake, IL
“So sorry for your loss!!! Ken was such a positive person who was kind and helpful! He was such an asset to NMU and to his community! He will be...Read More »
51 of 60 | Posted by: Joy Strasser - Marquette, MI
“So sorry to hear about Ken's passing. I have such great memories of vacationing at Boot Lake and chatting with Ken in the Lodge. Such a great guy! ...Read More »
52 of 60 | Posted by: Mark Johnson - Maitland, FL
“Will never forget when my youngest, Kara, met Ken for the first time. She had just met Kenny, and when introduced to his father, decided to call him...Read More »
53 of 60 | Posted by: The Moreno's: Ric, Chris, Kara and Amanda - MO
“I will never forget when Ken and I (Jessica) met when we were both at Mayo's. We were on the same floor. My husband and I ate lunch with him and...Read More »
54 of 60 | Posted by: Jessica and Paul Racine - MI
“I have many years of great memories that will never be forgotten. He will be missed by all.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Kathie, Howard,...Read More »
55 of 60 | Posted by: Mike and Joyce Smiley - Apopka, FL
“Kathie & family, Was sad to see that Ken passed. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
Kitty...Read More »
56 of 60 | Posted by: Kitty Shaw - Skandia
“A lot of fond memories of "Mr. Ken" at The Birches...he will be missed by many including all of the athletes from Northen Michigan University. Our...Read More »
57 of 60 | Posted by: Tim & Sue Burge - Springstead, WI
“Kenneth was a special person. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Love and prayers to Kathie, Howard and all the family.
58 of 60 | Posted by: Edith Johnson - Zephyrhills, FL
“So many years of wonderful memories of Ken, Kathie and the children at Boot Lake -- 4th of July picnics, cribbage tourney's, great fishing. The...Read More »
59 of 60 | Posted by: Paula Johnson - Honeoye Falls, NY
“We have so many great memories of Ken. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Kathie, and your family.
60 of 60 | Posted by: Diane & Larry Glen - Chicago, IL
Kenneth G. Godfrey, 64, of Marquette, passed away Wednesday evening, April 17, 2013, at Marquette General Hospital after a long battle with graft versus host disease as a result of a bone marrow transplant.
Ken was born on April 10, 1949, in Melrose Park, Illinois, a son of the late Gilbert and Shirley (Patton) Godfrey. He earned a bachelor's degree in Social science from Illinois State University in 1971 and a master's degree in Recreation from NMU in 1984. Prior to his time at Northern, he was a junior high teacher, coach and school administrator in Maywood, Illinois.
Ken spent over 32 years working at Northern Michigan University. He started as a graduate assistant in 1978 and was the Special Assistant to the President/Athletic Director through May of 2011. He was hired as the Director of Athletics in June of 2003. The Superior Dome, Vandament Arena and Berry Events Center all opened during Godfrey's tenure and his leadership and oversight of the facilities developed them into some of the best facilities in NCAA Division II.
He served on the GLIAC Executive Committee and was Chair of the CCHA Executive Committee. Ken was also a member of the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association, Marquette Kiwanis Club, Lake Superior Community Partnership board of directors and Recreational Tourism Commission.
Ken spent many joyous times at The Birches; which is a family owned and operated resort in Springstead, Wisconsin. The resort has been in his family for over 60 years. He enjoyed working at the resort as often as he could.
Ken greatly enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and attending NMU athletic events. He also enjoyed visiting with fans and alumni of the university.
He is survived by his wife, Kathie J. Godfrey of Marquette; four children, Kenneth M. (Elizabeth) Godfrey of Marquette, Keith Godfrey of Springstead, WI, Kristine (Christopher) Rempala of Appleton, WI and Kimberly Godfrey (Matt Franti) of Marquette; four grandchildren, Kailey, Lauren and Tyler Godfrey, and Cody Rempala; one brother, Howard G. Godfrey of LaGrange Park, IL; also several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church on Tuesday, April 23rd from 12 noon to 2 p.m. where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. in the church with the Rev. David Van Kley officiating.
Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are kindly asked to consider the NMU Foundation, Shirley Godfrey Memorial Scholarship, 1401 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette, MI 49855.
The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting the family. Memories of Ken may be shared at canalefuneral.com.