Celebrating the Life of
Kenneth S. Valade
July 13, 1964 - December 8, 2020
After a brief but brave fight with cancer, Ken died peacefully at Northside Cherokee Hospital in Canton, GA. He is survived by his 3 children: Allyson (20) of Canton, GA; Collin (22); Addison (13); and their mother, Jeni Morgan, all of White, GA. Kenneth was the youngest and loudest of seven children born to Jerome and M. Ruth Valade in Traverse City, MI. His humor and companionship will be missed deeply by his six siblings in Michigan: Ruth Ann LaMott, Jerry Valade, Jim Valade, Marie Comstock, Bob Valade, and Tom Valade.
Since Ken was the last child of a loving and sometimes chaotic household on South Spruce Street, his older siblings relished the opportunity to share in his upbringing, teaching him valuable life lessons through a special combination of practical jokes and love. Despite their best efforts, his siblings were both pleasantly surprised and proud to watch him grow into the determined, loving, and humorous man he became.
After graduating from Traverse City Senior High, he earned his BA from the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University. He was a proud Spartan, one who often told the tale of visiting the Equine Sciences paddock to “tame the stallions, and feel the wind in his golden hair.”
Ken would build a very successful career in Telecommunications that took him to Detroit, Chicago, and Dallas before settling in Georgia. He was the District Manager of Crown Castle’s southeast region of their Small Cell Solutions division. Ken made indelible marks along the path of his career, but more important to him were his lasting friendships which remain to this day. He found fulfillment in the role of assisting others, from household or mechanical repairs to helping others with their personal challenges. Ken was a big brother, mentor, and loyal compadre to many.
Lovingly referred to as “Uncle Pain,” Kenny was a favorite of his nieces and nephews. When he wasn’t prank-calling them as “Officer Peterson,” he liked to lecture them about being responsible humans, threaten them with his “World’s Strongest Man” title, and remind them of his bicep strength (which could “break a finger clean in half”). His nieces and nephews grew up knowing if they ever needed anyone, Uncle Pain would always be there. Ken would have given you the shirt off of his back if you needed it, and they took comfort in knowing they always had him in their corner.
Above all, Ken’s first love will forever be his three children. He wouldn’t hesitate to tell you all about his son’s academic accomplishments, his daughter’s incredible softball skills, or his youngest’s charm and wit. He relished in making his children happy, feeding them grilled meats prepared using his skills as “Grill Master,” and sharing classic family dishes like his mother’s “shipwreck” casserole. He was so proud of the good humans his children became. Despite his painful battle with cancer, he spoke often of feeling blessed with the opportunity to spend quality time with each of them in his final months.
According to Ken’s final wishes, and in consideration of his thoughtfulness and compassion for others, he did not wish to have a public memorial service during these times. When conditions allow, the family will host a memorial in Traverse City, MI in the summer of 2021 for family and close friends.
In Lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.