Kenneth Edward Sutten, 77, of 7 E. Ingledue Street, Marshalltown, passed away peacefully on September 26, 2012. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, September 29, at the Hope United Methodist Church, 2203 South 3rd Avenue in Marshalltown, with Rev. Scott Lothe officiating. He will be laid to rest at a private family burial in the Prairieview Cemetery at Gilman, Iowa. Visitation will be held on Friday from 5-8:00 p.m., also at Hope United Methodist Church. The Mitchell Family Funeral Home is caring for Kenneth and his family. For condolences, please visit www.mitchellfh.com. Ph. 641-844-1234.
Ken was born in Newburg, Iowa in his family home to Nellie (May) and Kenneth W. Sutten on May 29, 1935. During his high school years, he played for several semi-pro baseball teams. He graduated from Newburg High School in 1954 and went on to Iowa Wesleyan College, where he received his BA in education and continued his love of sports by playing baseball and football. This is where he met the love of his life, Pat Schwiebert. Ken and Pat were married on the Iowa Wesleyan Campus on April 26, 1958.
Ken began his teaching and coaching career in Williams, Iowa from 1958-1961. He coached baseball and both girls' and boys' basketball. He and Pat then moved to Greene, Iowa where Ken continued his career teaching and coaching football, baseball and girls' basketball. In 1968, they moved to West Marshall in State Center, Iowa where he taught and coached girls' basketball, and started the softball and track programs. After 13 years at West Marshall, Ken and Pat moved to Marshalltown in 1981 where he served as a PE teacher and coached girls' basketball and softball. While still teaching and coaching in Marshalltown, Ken also coached the South Tama Girls' basketball teams from 1988-1991. Among one of his joys of coaching was being able to coach his daughter, Laurie, through high school and also coached with her for six seasons. Ken retired in 1994. Over his 36-year career, Ken has received numerous honors and awards including induction into the IGHSAU Hall of Fame in both basketball and softball. He was also inducted into the Iowa Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame. Ken was a highly respected coach around the state and often served as a guest lecturer at softball and basketball coaching clinics and camps. He served on a number of advisory committees of the IGHSAU. Ken enjoyed a remarkably successful career doing what he loved.
Ken was a lifelong sports fan and participant. He enjoyed all sports; playing fast pitch softball; riding bikes with Pat, friends and family; watching and listening to games including those of the Cyclones, Hawkeyes and Cubs. Ken spent his winters in Texas where he and Pat were blessed with so many wonderful friends.
Ken's grandchildren were the pride of his life. He loved nothing more than attending the kids' sporting events. He spent countless hours playing ball, hunting, fishing, building puzzles, and park hopping with his grandkids, while teaching life lessons through it all. Kids loved sleepovers at Grandpa's where they would build tents to read under and listen to Grandpa's stories. Gramps was the undisputed family champion in Nintendo, Ping-Pong, darts and Phase 10, all of which provided the family with hours of fierce competition and wild laughter. His competitive spirit has lived through his children and grandchildren. Grandpa's mischievous and fun loving ways were adored by his children and grandchildren and will be greatly missed.
Ken will be remembered as a positive role model for countless students and athletes. He has enriched many lives and was an inspiration to all through teaching, coaching, and the many hours spent in the hot seat of the driver's education car. He loved talking with former students and listening to where life has taken them. He lived by the rule, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!" and lived that out to the very end of his life.
Ken is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Pat, and their six children: Mike (Sonja) Sutten of Leesburg, VA; Marty (Kim) Sutten of Kansas City, MO; Kelly (Denise) Sutten of Austin, TX; Kerry Sutten of Washington, DC; Laurie Flynn of Pleasant Hill, IA; and Tim Sutten of Pleasant Hill, IA. Ken has 17 adoring grandchildren: Tyler Sutten, Mitch Sutten, Cody Sutten, Mackenzie Sutten, Sarah Sutten, Ryan Sutten, Luke Sutten, Jessica Sutten, Emma Sutten, Jake Flynn, Nick Flynn, Sam Flynn, Nate Flynn, Austin Sutten, Abby Sutten, Liza Sutten, and Griffin Sutten. Also surviving is his sister, Barbara (Dean) Douglas of Grinnell, Iowa.
Ken was a loving son, brother, uncle, husband, father, and grandfather. He will forever live on in our hearts.
Memorials may be directed to the family to establish a scholarship in Ken's name.