Kenneth L Whitican

September 5th, 1926 to October 13th, 2021

Kenneth Leroy Whitican, 95, of Port Huron, died Wednesday, October 13, 2021.

He was born September 5, 1926 in Port Huron to the late Temple and Irene Whitican. In high school he met and later married Elaine Isla Reichard on September 4, 1948. She preceded him in death on December 13, 2012, after 64 years of marriage. He attended Colonial Woods Missionary Church since 1948 and Brown City Camp meetings and work bees. Memories of their family and friends are reflected in many hours of Ken’s home movies.

Ken attended Port Huron K-12 schools and graduated from Port Huron High School in January 1945, ahead of his classmates, and reported immediately to Fort Sheridan, IL for US Army Boot Camp. During WWII he was assigned to the Pacific Theater, Japanese Occupational Force, Medical Corps. He received an honorable discharge at the rank of Staff Sergeant and returned to Port Huron where he started a four-year Machinist Apprenticeship at Moak Machine and Tool using his GI Bill benefits. Ken sought further professional advancement by undertaking another GI Bill four-year Apprenticeship Program at Mueller Brass Corporation as a Tool Maker and Die Sinker. Ken retired in 1988 from Mueller’s after 40 years of dedicated service.

In his youth he worked summers on his grandfather’s North Street, Michigan farm and helped his father maintain several rental properties. Lessons of manual labor created a notable work ethic which ultimately shaped his remarkable character.

Ken was a gifted athlete, specifically, he was Co-Captain of the Port Huron HS Football Team and also lettered in Basketball. He enjoyed outdoor sports, including water and snow skiing, playing hockey and golf. He was a lifelong fan of all the Detroit area teams: Red Wings, the Tigers, the Lions and, of course, U of M Football - GO BLUE!!

Ken also enjoyed many deer hunting trips in Northern Michigan with longtime friends and following retirement he preferred walleye fishing on Lake Huron and perch fishing on Lake Erie. He was a lifelong gardener who grew legendary tomatoes of which he gladly shared with neighbors, friends, and family. Their motorhome crisscrossed the United States many times from East to West and North to South and he and Elaine wintered in Florida.

Family was the most important aspect of Ken's life, as a devoted son, a caring husband and an awesome father. After welcoming his firstborn son Frederick Lee into the world, he and Elaine sadly experienced the grief of losing a child when daughter Judy Isla died shortly after her birth. Ken and Elaine made every effort to adopt an infant and, after waiting a few years, they welcomed their third child, Rebecca Elaine into their family.

Ken worked incredibly hard providing opportunities for his family to experience sports, vacations, travel, boating and camping trips. He loved the home he helped build and enjoyed hosting many family gatherings. During winters he skillfully constructed a backyard skating pond for the neighborhood to enjoy, and each night carefully patched and resurfaced the ice - for him it was a labor of love. As much as he enjoyed fatherhood, his six grandchildren enriched his life immensely and he loved sharing boating, fishing, and camping adventures with them.

Our family is eternally grateful for the heartfelt care and comfort provided to Kenneth by his two caregivers, Donna Dunsmore and Alissa Johnson. Special thanks to his neighbors who kept a watchful eye on him.

Ken lived his life with discipline and integrity, and he did things his own way.

He is survived by his son, Colonel Frederick (Cheryl) Whitican USAF Retired; daughter, Rebecca (Craig) Compton; six grandchildren: Andrea (Todd), Michael (Jose), Ryan, Danielle, Kristyn, and Austin; five great grandchildren: Isabelle, Ashton, Cailin, Rowan and Jamie, brother-in-law, David Reichard; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased in death by infant daughter, Judy Isla Whitican in 1961; siblings, Dorothy Gingrich, John Whitican, Margaret Harris, and Erma Jean Summerer; son-in-law, Thomas Kinsman; son-in-law, Matthew Webb; and several brothers- and sisters-in-law.

Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, October 20, 2021, in Pollock-Randall Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 21, 2021 in Colonial Woods Missionary Church with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. The Reverend Brian Ake will officiate.

Burial will be in Lakeside Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of the United States Army and the St. Clair County Allied Veterans Honor Guard.

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