Kenny Mapes, of Curtice, Ohio passed quickly and peacefully under his own terms surrounded by his loving family on Monday, September 13th. 8 days before his passing, Kenny suffered from a major heart attack requiring a risky surgery he did not want! In his own words, "I have led a complete life and couldn't have been more blessed. It's time to go home." Kenny loved life but knew something better was in store for him!
Kenny was born in East Toledo July 7th, 1943, to Elmer and Florence (Klickman) Mapes. Even though he grew up in East Toledo and eventually graduated from Macomber High School as a Mechanic, he loved farming and horses. From the time he was a small boy until his early teens, he would spend his entire summer at his Uncle Albert and Aunt Marvel Neuman's 40-acre farm in Tecumseh, MI working the land with draft horses. Eventually, they replaced the team of Clydesdales with an Oliver 77. This led Kenny to his love of green tractors! But like his deep love of farming, the tractors he loved were also a deeper green called John Deere!
But Kenny's love of horses persevered even after Iron Horses took over working the fields!
He bought his first saddle when he was 13 years old from a tack shop on Oak Street for $125. This was before he even had a horse! He later kept his three horses at Pearson Park riding his bike back and forth from Earl St over four miles twice daily to take care of them until he started driving. He knew what he wanted and was willing to work to make it happen. Pearson Park played a pivotal role in Kenny's life. Unfortunately, his life abruptly changed in September of 1958, when Kenny was fifteen. His dad, Elmer, who worked driving Jeeps off the line from 1943, died of a massive heart attack in front of him at the kitchen table. This left an indelible scar in Kenny's heart which would resurface 63 years later. Kenny and his mother, Florence, suffered incredible poverty as a result of Elmer's death, and he had to sell his horses and even his prized saddle!
Kenny was not afraid of hard work to help support his mother and him. He began working in a dental lab and at National Flight as he pursued auto mechanics at Macomber. He was extremely frugal and resourceful. He bought his first car for $75 that had a blown engine and rebuilt it. This was the car he drove on his first and last blind date with Ardys Kay Westenbarger to Pearson Park where they roller skated. Ardys was the love of his life and they got married November 30, 1963, after buying a 5-acre farm in Monclova.
Within 2 1-2 years after getting married, Kenny and Ardys had two kids within 16 months, Kenneth Leroy known as "Dusty" and Alicia Kay,
Kenny then bought his first John Deere as he continued to work 2 or 3 jobs as a mechanic at Ed Schmidt's and Perrysburg Collision while working full time at Pure Oil. In 1969, when Pure Oil relocated to Texas, Kenny moved over to Sun Oil Refinery. He began as a machinist, then worked in Operations at Plant 4, and finally back to the machine shop where he retired 38 years later in 2003.
His decision to stay in Ohio to work changed the course of his life. Kenny and Ardys bought a house in Curtice. As he worked at Sun Oil, he became known as an "Overtime Hog" but that did not keep him from farming with Leo Wasserman for 30 years and working as a part time mechanic at Perrysburg Collision for over 10 years. He continued to buy John Deere tractors and even restored a rusted steel body 1940 Ford to perfection! He was a jack of all trades, and he instilled this work ethic into his kids.
Even as he and Ardys made a very comfortable living, Kenny remained frugal. He bought one new vehicle during his entire life. It was a 1985 (Almost John Deere Green) one-half-ton Dodge Ram Truck with a tan cap. Kenny was so proud of the truck that the truck outlived him with 329,632 miles! When the ignition switch went bad, he bypassed it! He used this truck for farming for 36 years!
Kenny had a way of overcoming adversity while affecting so many lives with his congenial and generous personality. Kenny and Ardys loved traveling, but Kenny really liked to work. They also loved going out to eat and socializing with their friends.
Kenny's life changed dramatically in 1999 when Ardys, who worked as the Secretary at Allen Central School, died of pancreatic cancer after being married for 36 years. This led him to work another 4 years at Sun Oil before retiring, while continuing to farm as he shifted to a life of generosity giving so much of his time to his kids and grandkids.
Alicia, his daughter, a registered nurse, had moved to Stuart, Fla in 1990 to build a life with her amazing husband, Mario Sanguily, MD, a vascular surgeon. Alicia and Mario had two kids, Brianna, and Justin, who Kenny adored. This distance did not keep them from staying connected though. He and Ardys made several trips to Florida through the years, and Kenny continued to be there for his family even after Ardys died in 1999 and Mario died in 2011. Kenny and Alicia talked every day. He loved hearing about Brianna and Justin as they grew up and pursued their careers.
Kenny's son, Dusty, became an Emergency Medicine Physician after marrying Kathy Scarpello from Plattsmouth, Nebraska in 1997. Kathy was like another daughter to Kenny and Ardys. Kenny had a favorite motto. "Call me anything you want to, but don't call me late to dinner!" Kathy only had to mention food and Kenny was there. He loved home cooked meals followed by a game of Euchre but also loved going out to eat. Dusty and Kathy have two kids also, Garrett and Marissa.
Dusty also loves farming. After residency, Dusty bought a couple of farms before Kenny bought his own in Genoa. Kenny and Dusty also got back into horses together. For Kenny's 70th Birthday, Dusty found Kenny's old saddle and surprised him with this gift! Kenny was in awe as he looked over the saddle. Kenny and Dusty worked thousands of hours together. At the end of the workday, they always had a nip of bourbon and would split a beer. Kenny also loved watching Garrett and Marissa in their sporting activities. He rarely missed an event.
Kenny gave so much to so many! He loved life, work, his family, and friends! He was an incredible role model here but continues his journey of making a difference on the other side joined by loving family and friends that have passed before him.
Kenny will be missed by so many but those that knew him will forever feel his spirit in their hearts.
"To live in hearts, we leave behind is not to die."
Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)
He is survived by his son, Ken "Dusty”; daughter in law, Kathy Mapes; daughter, Alicia Sanguily; Alicias husband Bill Flemming; and four grandkids that he loved with all his heart. Brianna Sanguily, 28, her fiancé Mitchell Perry, Justin Sanguily, 26, Garrett Mapes, 22, and Marissa Mapes, 15.
Kenny did not want a funeral to mourn his death.
A private graveside service will be held with interment at the Allen Township Cemetery in Williston, OH where he will be laid to rest next to his loving wife, Ardys Mapes.
Kenny said, "After you bury me, you can have any celebration of life you want! I will be there! You can "Cheers to me!"
A Special "Celebration of Kenny's Life" with his Loving Family and Friends will be Saturday, November 6th at Sunrise Park and Banquet Center in Millbury, OH from 3p-7p
RSVP required. Please call or Text Kathy Mapes at 419-654-6273.
The family has profound respect for Hospice of Northwest Ohio as they peacefully helped Kenny and Ardys on their journey. Kenny loved donating to this organization.
In Lieu of flowers, the family is requesting charitable donations to go to
Hospice of Northwest Ohio
30000 E River Rd
Perrysburg, Oh 43551
Please write on the “memo “line …. In memory of Kenneth Mapes.
God Bless You All!
To send flowers to Kenneth's family, please visit our floral store.