A. Kenneth Prior Jr.
A. Kenneth Prior Jr., age 84 of Ludington passed away peacefully with his family by his side on May 27th, 2018. Ken was also known as A.K., Fat Cat aboard the car ferries, or Cappy in his younger years. He was born September 9, 1933 in Ludington to A. Kenneth Prior Sr. and Ann (Mockovic) Prior. He lived in Ludington most of his life except for a short time in Texas where he played football and graduated from high school.
As a young boy Ken worked at his grandparents Dry Cleaners in Ludington and had a perch business where he fished for them off the break wall, cleaned them and packed them in ice and sold them to regular customers on specific days. That is where Ken got his start fishing where he always provided his family as an adult with plenty of fresh catch until the age of 82 when his body started slowing down.
Ken retired in 1990 from the car ferries in Ludington where he worked for 36 years in the engine department for Chesapeake & Ohio Railway and Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation. He worked on all 7 ships that were in operation since 1954 in which his favorite ship to sail on was the City of Saginaw, 31. He was also the local representative for the National Maritime Union (NMU) for the car ferry personal during his last 5 years of work. Ken was awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the American Red Cross in 1976 for saving the life of Mrs. Robert Flowers, who was a passenger aboard the City of Midland. Captain Ernest Barth reported “his calmness and quick thinking in administering prompt first-aid to Mrs. Robert Flowers resulted in saving her life”.
After Ken’s retirement, he enjoyed the many sports teams that Mason County had to offer and enjoyed the many special relationships that were developed. He and his wife enjoyed cooking and serving food in between the baseball doubleheader games for LHS, along with serving breakfast to some of the LHS wrestling teams. He was a member of the LHS Sport Boosters for years.
Ken was an avid hunter, besides a fisherman, even in his 80’s, with the help of his son setting him up in a heated Condo that he could drive right up to, he could keep deer hunting. He was also a Charter Boat Captain back in the 70’s and 80’s and was a past member of the Fin and Feather Club.
Ken will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 62 years Jeanette Prior, his children Debra (Jeff) Kruse of Jackson, Terri (Brian) Brinks of Traverse City, A. Kenneth Prior III of Pentwater and Jill (Les) Kaines of Ludington; his grandchildren Pastor Chris (Kim) Pedersen of Chicago, IL., Jennifer (Jason) Flietstra of Boston, MA., Jason (Anna) Peterson of Jackson, Lindsey (Grant) Durga of Charleston, SC., Mason Wild of Branch and Megan Wild of Ludington; great grandchildren Drake Peterson of Jackson and Anya Pedersen of Chicago, IL. He is also survived and will be missed by his younger twin siblings Barb Prior of Muskegon and Bill Prior of Tampa, FL.
A visitation will be held Thursday, June 7th, 2018 from 6 to 7:30 pm at Oak Grove Funeral Home in Ludington.
A celebration of life will be held Friday, June 8th at 11 am at Oak Grove Funeral Home with another hour of visitation prior to the service starting at 10 am. Grandson Pastor Chris Pedersen will be officiating.
In lieu of Flowers, memorial contributions can be made to “Ludington Area Schools” stating Prior memorial-Athletics or Band in the comment column, make checks payable to Ludington Area Schools, 809 E. Tinkham Ave., Ludington MI 49431 or to the various high school sports teams in Mason County.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home and Cremation Center of Ludington.