Kenneth Earl Cardinal, long time Kent, Ohio resident and more recently of Stow, Ohio, died on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Robinson Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family, just two days shy of his 86th birthday.
He was born on March 10, 1928 in Sebring, Ohio to George and Clara (Barcus) Cardinal. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees at Kent State University. While at Kent State he was president of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity in 1950 and 1951.
After completing his Bachelors degree in 1951, he served in the Army in Korea during the Korean Conflict and spent nine years in the Army Reserves. During his Korean duty he was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Bronze Star and three battle stars.
He started his teaching career in the Edgewood (Buckeye) District in Ashtabula (Ohio). Roles in the Buckeye District included teaching both elementary and secondary levels. He also served as a football coach, athletic director, assistant principal and high school principal. His administrative career continued as he moved to the Kent City School district in 1966 as Assistant Superintendent.
In June 1977 he became Superintendent and retired from that position on January 1, 1981. His strong interest in personnel selection led to a second career as a consultant, working throughout the United States and Canada. In January 1983, he founded Ken Cardinal and Associates, serving educators from schools in thirty-four states and three Canadian provinces. After two years of active duty in the military, twenty-nine years in education, and thirty years as a consultant, Ken did his last workshop in July 2013.
He received the Phi Delta Kappa award in 1977 for outstanding leadership in education and in 2001 the Kent State University College of Education Alumni Council presented him with the Distinguished Alumnus award for outstanding accomplishment and leadership. In addition, he was selected as a distinguished alumnus by Sebring McKinley High School and was inducted into the Kent City Schools Hall of Fame for his contribution to the Kent Schools and his major contribution through personnel selection practices.
Ken was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a member of the American Legion, Kent Rotary, American Association of School Administrators, National Association of Secondary School Principals and other education related organizations over the years. Ken was a member of St. Patrick Church in Kent.
He is survived by his wife Joanne (Hall), whom he married June 20, 1951; daughters Melissa (Ron) Habowski of Kent; Christina (Jack) Phillips of Harrison, Ohio; and son Vincent of Storrs, Connecticut. Ken is survived by three sisters: Helen Rankin of Aurora; Martha Wuthrick of Beloit; and Evelyn (Bill) Brenner of Sebring. Ken's grandchildren are: Jay Phillips; Katie (Joe) Conley; Kenny, Michael and Mark Phillips; and Scott, Dale, Christopher (Nicole) and Joelle (Bruce) Habowski. Great grandchildren are: Lauren Phillips; Parker and Owen Conley; Serena and Richard Martinez; and Summer and Paige Habowski. Great great grandchildren; Levi Martinez and Alessandra Witherspoon. In addition, he is survived many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers and sisters-in-law, Louis (Ruth), George (Emily) and Robert (Phyllis); one sister and brother-in-law, Louise (Joe) Schwartzhoff; and two brothers-in-law Jesse Rankin and Leroy Wuthrick.
Calling hours will be held 6-8:30 PM Wednesday, March 12th at Bissler & Sons Funeral Home in Kent. Funeral mass will be held 10:00 AM Thursday, March 13th at St. Patrick Church. Burial will be held at Standing Rock Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Patrick School Endowment Fund, 127 Portage Street, Kent, OH 44240.