•KENNETH JAMES REAU
On April 3, 2020, Kenneth James Reau passed away peacefully, in his sleep. Ken was born on September, 24, 1931, to Roy Reau and Rhoda (Miller) Reau, at Toledo Hospital. Ken grew up on the family farm in Erie, Michigan. Born during the depression, Ken went to work early, helping around the farm with chores and farm work. Ken attended a one room schoolhouse in Erie, Michigan, and later graduated from Monroe High School. Finally, Ken received a technical degree from DeVry Technical Institute in electronic instrumentation and control.
Ken held various jobs after high school, including working at the Erie Shooting and Fishing Club and as a crane operator, helping with the construction of the J.R. Whiting Generating Plant on the Lake Erie shore.
In 1952, Ken enrolled in the U.S. Army as part of the 10th Mountain Division. After basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas, Ken was deployed to Germany. Because of his civilian experience as a heavy equipment operator, Ken was assigned to helping rebuild Germany as part of the Marshall Plan. He always talked fondly of his time in the Army and was proud of his service to his country. Ken achieved the rank of corporal before being honorably discharged in 1954.
When he got back to the states, Ken was rehired at the Erie Shooting and Fishing Club. He would spend the rest of his working life at the club, becoming its manager, a post he held for 50-plus years. Ken became an authority in marshland management, and was interviewed for several articles, consulted by other local wetland managers and, later, worked with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
He was a man of many passions and hobbies. An avid fisherman and hunter, lifetime member of the NRA, the Maumee Valley Gun Collectors and the Ohio Gun Collectors Association, Ken had a vast knowledge of all things gun and fishing gear related, both antique and modern. Ken also enjoyed old cars and farm implements, restoring his Model A and restoring and preserving a variety of farm equipment, both large and small.
In 1959, Ken married the love of his life, Susan (Bender) Reau. As a wedding present, he designed and built a house for her on Bay Creek Road in Erie, Michigan. After becoming parents to two boys, Kenny (1969) and Kirk (1971), Ken and Sue moved to Point Place to a riverfront home, where they would raise their family together.
Ken was a devoted and caring husband and father. He passed along his passions and values to his boys. Later, when he became a grandfather, he took great joy in the accomplishments of his grandchildren and enjoyed spending as much time as possible with them.
Ken was preceded in death by his father, Roy; his mother, Rhoda; his brother, Don, and his wife of 60 years, Susan. Ken is survived by his sons, Kenneth and Kirk; daughters-in-law, Jessica and Lisa; grandchildren, Kenneth, Katheryn (Paul), Keri, Kailey, Kyle and Kendall Sue, and great-grandchild, Carson.
There will be a small family service at Reeb Funeral Home and interment at Ottawa Hills Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be given to the Alzheimer’s Association.