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1926 Kenneth 2022

Kenneth Calvin Hanks

October 31, 1926 — December 23, 2022

Ken Hanks died Friday, December 23, 2022 at the age of 96 in Joliet, IL.  Born in Kewanee, IL, on October 31, 1926, the son of Clifford and Edna (nee Franks) Hanks.  Ken is preceded in death by his parents, brother Clifford Jr., sister Madolyne Louise, and son Casey Hanks, as well his former wife LaVerne Hanks (nee O’Reilly).

Ken is survived by his daughter Joan (Krueger), and sons Mike (Jacquie nee McDonnell) and Joe (Jean Eckhoff).  Grandchildren include Katie (Steve Henry) Krueger, David Krueger, Mike and Jacquie’s children Ryan (Christina nee Kulovitz), Rachel (Cody Kendra), and Joe’s daughter Casey.  Great grandchildren include Katie and Steve’s son Rory, David’s children Abigail and James, Ryan and Christina’s children Calvin, Remy and Christopher, and Rachel and Cody’s daughter Sophia.  Ken also leaves behind his friend Caroline Reed.

At the age of 17 and graduating from Kewanee High School, Ken convinced his parents to enlist him in the Navy where he served in the South Pacific during World War II.  After coming home, Ken graduated from Bradley University in 1948 with an Associates Degree in Mechanical Drafting, where he held the pole vaulting record for years.  He then went on to work for Walworth Manufacturing Company, Maytag, Caterpillar, the Don E. Williams Company, and after corporate life, owned and operated J&K Die Supply in Gallatin, TN.  A lifelong member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Ken loved to design, build, and fix anything he could get his hands on.

Never one to sit around, Ken kept active his whole life.  He enjoyed fishing and hunting, playing softball and coaching baseball, and never shied away from participating in pick-up games with his kids, nieces, and nephews.  Ken was a passionate golfer, a member of many company leagues, and held the Inwood Golf Course club champion title for three years running.  In retirement, Ken said the secret to a long life was to keep moving, and he remained as active as ever.  Driving up until his passing, he would often start his days with the guys at McDonalds or the Donut Den (affectionately referred to as the Liar’s Club), and attend picnics at St. Joe’s Park, and could always be found at his son Mike’s house gardening, cutting grass, tinkering in the workshop, and just enjoying visits with his loving family.

A proud, but quiet veteran, Ken routinely gave to the American Veterans Disabled for Life fund, was a member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion, a parishioner of St. Patrick and later, St. Raymond Catholic Churches.

A celebration of Ken’s life and funeral mass will be held on January 20th, 2023 at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Church,604 N. Raynor, Joliet, IL. at 12:00 p.m.  Visitation will be held at 11:30 a.m. before mass at the church.  Interment at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery will take place at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Disabled American Veterans organization at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth Calvin Hanks, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 20, 2023

11:30am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, January 20, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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