Kenneth Charles Artkras

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September 12, 1940 - June 6, 2021
Born in St. Charles, MO
Resided in St. Charles, MO

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Kenneth Charles Artkras, of St. Charles, MO, passed away Sunday, June 6, 2021, at the age of 80. loving husband of 60 years to the late Marlene Artkras; cherished son of the late Elmer and Josephine Artkras. Devoted father of Carol Jean (David Mintert) Insalaco, Kathy Ann (Rev. Patrick) Poole, Susan Diane Artkras, and Stacy Marlene (Gary) Hagner; loving grandfather of Kyle Nuetzel, Karl “Alex” Nuetzel, Noah Hagner, Leah Hagner; beloved uncle and friend. Kenneth is preceded in death by his two older sisters Shirley Gregory and JoAnne Artkras.

Kenneth “Kenny” grew up at 724 S. Main St. in St. Charles and attended the local Catholic schools. When he first saw Marlene, it was love at first sight. They dated for four years then married in 1961 at St. Peter Catholic Church. Like his German forefathers, Kenny was frugal, hardworking and therefore able to buy a home for his growing family. Their relationship weathered the ups and downs of a marriage stressed by careers, economics, and raising four girls.  We all remember Dad lecturing to us, “Save for the future.”  Through it all, Dad faithfully said that he wanted the best for Mom; that she was a good woman. True. Loyal. And that she had great legs!

Kenny held high expectations for himself. He served in the U.S. Army and Army Corp Reserves (1959-1967) as a mechanic and while there, earned marksmanship awards. His mechanical training enabled him to secure a position as an Eastern Airline mechanic (1960-1987.) He was skillful at fixing things, and instilled in his family the values of taking care of tools, vehicles, homes, and more.

“Good luck with that!” Dad sarcastically asserted as we complained about our struggles with school, work and cars. We assumed he was unsympathetic but instead these were the words of a deeply loving father who afforded each of us the space, while remaining ever present, to make our own decisions, to learn the lessons of failure, and to rejoice in the rewards of hard work.  Over the years, we learned and even came to appreciate that his mindset was a gift, raising his girls to be independent, aware, and capable of pursuing our goals, which included his goal that each of us attend college. All four of his daughters are part of the first generation in the family to do so. As time honed Kenny, his sensitivity and sentiments were much more evident, learning to hug his family and even to express his love out loud. He was quick to choke up when telling others just how proud he was of each of his daughters and of each grandchild. He sincerely loved each of us.

Kenny was an avid outdoorsman. He thoroughly enjoyed fishing and hunting and shared his passions with his family and friends. His military marksmanship and pursuit of excellence paved the way for additional honors at the gun club. Kenny had a reverence for nature, abiding by the established rules and treating game and the land with the utmost respect. He instilled these values in his daughters and his grandchildren. Through his work and passions, Kenny formed strong bonds with friends, who dearly love him, and these relationships have lasted many, many years.

Dad fought his heart conditions for over 40 years and is now at peace, with a strong heart and with his dearly beloved bride Marlene. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

In honor of Kenny’s older sister JoAnne, born an invalid and who passed at the age of 13, and in lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Ervin and Gerri Shields June 8, 2021 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Please except our condolences from your next door neighbors of 49 years Erv and Gerri. Ken and Erv had many hunting and fishing experiences together. Marlene and Gerri had many good memories together. Their girls and our daughter spent many hours playing and schoo.lThey will be missed by both of us.

  2. Steven D and Debbie Berhorst June 8, 2021 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Please except our condolences. You will be greatly missed especially at deer season.

    • Ken and Carol Iffrig June 9, 2021 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      Sending our condolences to the Artkras Family, so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom and dad. We were their backyard neighbor for years. Shared many conversations with Marlene and my Ken with your dad over the fence. Our kids loved your dog, and played with it often when they were young. May they both be at peace.

  3. Shirley McClintock June 8, 2021 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    To the family of Ken and Marlene Artkas my deepest sympathy for your loss. They were dear neighbors. Ken was always there to help me with my lawn mower. Marlene was so sweet and always had something interesting to say or showing me what crafts she was currently working on. They will both be greatly missed.

  4. Kathy Morrow June 8, 2021 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    We will miss our beautiful neighbors of 38 years!!! At times Kenny thought we were nuts! Mowed grass at 10:00 pm, backed everything you can imagine into our backyard! At one point he asked Web, “Will I see a yellow submarine next”.
    Marlene with her beautiful flowers. She helped me several years trying to keep mine alive.
    Good Neighbor’s!!!!

  5. Dave & Deb Gregory June 9, 2021 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Sorry for your loss and our prayers go out to all of you. Growing up I have found memories of your parents and remember Uncle Kenny teaching me wood working in the basement of their home. Reloading ammunition, going to the river to target shoot and loaning me one of his rifles for my first deer hunting season. Aunt Marlene and God Mother was always kind to me when I would visit and enjoyed teasing about something silly. Blessings to all of you.

  6. Ken and Carol Iffrig June 9, 2021 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your mom and dad. We were their backyard neighbors for years. Shared many conversations with Marlene, and my Ken with your dad, over the fence in your back yard. Our kids loved your dog, and played with it often. May they both be at Peace. Please accept our condolences.

  7. BRIAN T GREGORY June 9, 2021 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Deepest Sympathies for your family. Prayers and thoughts. I will always have great memories of time together. Brian Gregory

  8. Geoff Orf June 9, 2021 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear about Kenny and Marlene. I wish I’d seen this earlier. I grew up across the street from Kenny and Marlene who we called “Mr. Artkras” and “Mrs. Artkras”. Kenny, had a tremendous positive impact on our entire family but especially on me and on my son, who Kenny never met. When I was young, my Dad wanted to introduce my brother and me to shooting a shotgun and hunting but Dad had never done either. Ken, saw us leaving one day with our shotgun and he offered to take us to his gun club. Ken showed us how to shoot a shotgun and took my brother Gerard and I dove hunting and duck hunting and squirrel hunting. We LOVED it. Hunting and shooting have been a huge part of my life ever since and I passed those passions on to my son Andy. Hunting and shooting really are his greatest passions in life. None of this would have happened if Ken had not just come over and offered to help us. I am so grateful for Ken and to Marlene and the girls for letting him spend time with us, I cannot express it. My life and my family’s life was so enriched by Ken’s generosity. Thank you for sharing him with us

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