The son of Carl and Marie (Ahrendt) Renken of Le Mars, Ken spent his early years on the family farm. He entered the Army Jan. 22, 1946. After his honorable discharge he returned to farming and married Beverly Schuette.
In 1955 he started selling insurance in Algona. By 1960 he had moved the family to Sioux City Iowa and was working for Sears. In 1964 Ken and Beverly divorced and by the late 1960s he had started selling land in Prescott Valley, Ariz. He moved to Prescott Valley full time in 1972 where he met and married Rose Mary Gonzales.
Ken loved living in Prescott Valley and was very active in the community. In 1977 he and a group of residents formed the committee that led to the incorporation of Prescott Valley. He was a member of the first appointed town council in 1978.
Also, in 1977 he was asked to be a member of the Yavapai County Industrial Development Authority which approves and issues proper bonding for projects in the county including Yavapai Regional Medical Center (east and west campuses), Embry-Riddle University, Tim's Toyota Center and many others.
Prior to his death, Ken was the only original member still active and was serving as the chairman.
In 2004 he was given the Heritage Award by the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce as someone instrumental in the founding and organization of Prescott Valley.
Ken had a passion for baseball and was an avid Diamondbacks fan. He loved gardening and especially growing roses for his wife. He will be missed by family and friends.
He leaves his wife of 36 years, Rose Mary Renken; sons Larry (Kathy) Renken, Jeff (Joanne) Renken, James (Stacey) Renken, Jon (Lisa) Renken and daughter Lisa (Chuck) Gonzales; stepchildren, Sue Gemmill, Chuck Gonzales and Annette Jackson; 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; siblings, Herbert (Elnora) Renken, Vernon (Fran) Renken, Ramona (Robert) Lang, and Gene (Barbara) Renken.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Marie Renken.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 15, at the VA Chapel at 500 Highway 89 North, Prescott, Ariz.