Madison - Kenneth E. Brost, age 96½, of Madison, WI, passed away peacefully on June 10, 2014 at St. Mary's Care Center.
Ken was born December 9, 1917, to Edward and Mayme (Brovald) Brost in Grand Rapids, WI. Ken is survived by his sister, Betty Wanek, and brother, Ed (Jan), six children, Ken (Eileen) Brost Jr., Barbara (Bill) Sippel, Mary (Tom) Misco, Susan (Steve) Kluess, Paul (Debbie) Agarwal, and John England; 13 grandchildren: Beth Misco (Thomas Neumann), Laura Misco (Chris Schreiber), Katy (Glennon) Park, Amy Brost (Harvey Wang), Tom Misco Jr., Andy (Dorie) Kluess, Rachael (Matt) Powell, David Sippel, Emily Kluess, Abby (Matt) Stremcha, Matt (Jennifer) Kluess, Sydney and Derek Marion; 11 great-grandchildren: Charlie, Anna, and Tom Park, Charlotte Neumann, Lela and Leo Wang, Charlie Stremcha, Mila Misco, Sam Powell, Clara Kluess, Evan Schreiber, and many nieces and nephews.
Ken was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Jean (Sowle), grandson Ryan Brost, brother Deane, and sister Genevieve Hove.
Ken grew up in Cross Plains and Verona, WI. After high school graduation he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and worked on CCC projects on Isle Royale, MI, and in a Milwaukee, WI County Park. In March 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps then transferred to the Navy and joined the Pacific Theater in World War II. He wrote home to his family, "If I make it out of this "thing" alive, I'm going to make my life useful." And he did.
Ken took immense joy in his family and loved to learn. He earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1952 and worked as a claims adjuster, manager, and agency director for State Farm Insurance for 12 years. In 1966, he began his career as a Contract Specialist for USDA Soil Conservation Service in the Wisconsin State Office. During these years, in addition to their six children, Ken and Jean shared their home with over 50 foster babies, providing a temporary home before permanent placement by Catholic Social Services. Ken was elected the first president of the Wisconsin Federation of Foster Parent Organizations. Ken proudly displayed Red Cross Gallon Pins and decals from his many blood donations.
Ken retired in 1979 and embraced his hobbies with even more vigor: golf, swimming, ice skating, gardening, traveling, reading, composting; he was an avid Green Bay Packer, Wisconsin Badger, and Milwaukee Brewers fan, and the oldest stockholder in Capitol Brewery. He was an active volunteer for the Democratic Party, Edgewood High School, Tax Counseling for the Elderly, and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to serve as a juror. Ken's positive attitude and optimistic spirit was evident to all who knew him.
Ken, with his family, joined Blessed Sacrament Parish in 1957 where he volunteered for many decades.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 2131 Rowley Avenue, Madison, with Father DePorres Durham, O.P. presiding. A visitation will be Monday evening from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison and on Tuesday at church one hour prior to service. Entombment with full Military Honors will follow at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery.
Many thanks to the top notch care Ken received while a resident of St. Mary's Care Center, especially the Memory Care Unit. Also, thank you to Blessed Sacrament Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Blessed Sacrament School Educational Endowment Fund.
His family, friends, and anyone he met knew Ken's message to all: "Take care, have fun, and come again when you can stay longer."