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Kenneth James Denton Jr. (86) was born in Tacoma, Washington to Kenneth James Denton Sr, and his wife Frances Bernice Denton (Berg) on March 14, 1937. A few years later the Denton family would grow with the addition of Dorothy (Dottie Rhoads), a sister that Ken loved dearly. Ken passed away on January 7, 2024, in Vancouver, Washington and will be remembered for his positive outlook on life and his love of family.
In Ken’s youth his father managed oyster plants and the family moved around Western Washington from Aberdeen to Vaughn and eventually Gig Harbor in the Swede Hill area. Ken’s mother Frances’ extended family the Bergs were also local to Swede Hill. Often Ken would share his fond memories of the Berg family, there was no shortage of dancing, singing, playing instruments, etc.
Ken’s early years saw him attend schools in Aberdeen, Vaughn, and Gig Harbor, WA. Ken Jr. was known by many in the Gig Harbor area as “Denny”. He attended Peninsula High School in 1951 and graduated with his class in 1954. A lover of sports, Ken was lettered in both baseball and football. Ken was an active member of The Order of DeMolay, a youth organization dedicated to Masonic teachings. This interest would follow Ken into his adult life as he later became a member of the Sunnyside Masonic Lodge #138. Ken met and dated Nettie Louise Hill, his future wife, in high school, attending dances, parties and basketball games.
Ken and Nettie parted ways after high school only to be reconnected while planning and organizing their 25th high school reunion in 1979. The next year the two married and settled in Sunnyside, WA. The year 1993 saw the Denton’s moving to Gig Harbor, WA. Ken and Nettie had a passion for travel with several trips abroad, cruises and visiting all 50 states.
Ken was an avid reader and a lover of history; he had a particular interest in World War II. In his pursuit of knowledge Ken spent time attending The University of Washington, The University of Puget Sound and Mt. Hood Community College.
Ken loved going with his guy friends to their yearly elk camp retreat that may have been more eating good food and drinking than hunting! He had a 1948 yellow Chevy that he enjoyed taking out most recently with his son Tim for breakfast.
Ken worked at St Regis paper company in the lab. Simpson PW pipe in Sunnyside, WA and continued to work there when they moved back to Tacoma. Ken excelled in his career becoming plant manager at both companies. He would eventually retire in his late 50s.
Ken spent the last few years with his longtime friend Joyce Wingett at Harbor Place, then moved to Ridgefield, WA the summer of 2022 to be near Joyce’s son, Don Griswold. Special thanks to Don for his care and compassion over the last year.
Kenneth Denton Jr. was a man of exceptional character. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and he was a firm believer in charitable work.
Ken was proceeded in death by his wife, Nettie Louise Denton in 2019.
Ken is survived by his sister Dorothy Rhoads, his children Tim Denton, Ted Denton, Barbara Chintagavongse (Tom) and Doug Hill (Gail).
Niece and Nephew Andrea Rhoads Day and Peter Rhoads.
Grandchildren Nathan Chintagavongse, Alina Chintagavongse, Joshua Denton, Dillon Pawlak, Douglas Hill Jr., Bradford Buchanan (Maddy), Amber Mickelson (Tyler). Great-grandchildren Ezra Denton, Maia, Leila and Kai Mickelson. Griffin and Reagan Buchanan.
Services will be at 2:00pm, Saturday, March 2nd at Haven of Rest, Gig Harbor. Remembrances may be made to The Gig Harbor Peninsula FISH Food Bank.
For those unable to attend there will be a live stream of Ken’s memorial service via Zoom which can be accessed here: Link to Ken's Memorial Service Live Stream