Funeral services were held Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee, with Rev. Armand Bertrand officiating. Burial was in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cherokee. Greenwood Funeral Home in Cherokee was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.greenwoodfuneral.com.
Ken Lee was born Jan. 17, 1936 in Battle Creek to Bill and Phoebe (McTasney) Lee. Sr. He attended school in Cherokee, graduating from Washington High School in 1955. He worked for the Iowa Highway Commission and then as a salesperson, selling cookwear for Wear-Ever. Ken met his wife Molly while making a sales call in Sioux City. On June 4, 1960, he married Molly Treft in Battle Creek. Ken then changed careers, and became the manager of the shoe department in the JC Penney store in Cherokee. He was promoted, and Ken and Molly headed to Milwaukee, Wis. With another promotion on the horizon that would have taken them to Chicago, they decided to return to Cherokee and purchased Klatt's Hardware Store, later to be renamed Lee's Hardware. This hardware store was part of the Cherokee community for 23 years, until 1989, when Ken closed the store and began selling International Trucks for Bushlow's, Inc., where he worked for 10 years. He then "semi-retired," and worked as a short haul delivery driver for Hy-Vee until recently.
Ken was an active member of the Cherokee community, and assisted in helping Cherokee grow. He was responsible for starting the Friday morning coffees sponsored by the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Ken was past president of the Iowa Hardware Association, a member and unofficial joke-teller of the Cherokee Kiwanis Club, and the Serpaci antique auto club.
His hobbies were collecting old cars, old coins, and old stories! He enjoyed traveling and spending time with his friends and family. He was gifted with a wonderful personality and made friends wherever he went.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Molly, a daughter, Nancy Hofer and her husband Brent, of Scranton, Iowa; a son, Tom Lee and his wife, Maureen of Dallas, Texas; a daughter, Wendy Nelson and her husband, Ken, of Sutherland; his mother, Phoebe Lee Mummert, of Cherokee; and 11 grandchildren - Katie Hofer, twins Scott and Alex Hofer, Kody Nelson, Ryan Lee, Patrick Nelson, Samuel Nelson, Emily Hofer, Thomas Nelson, Collin Lee and Abigail Nelson.