Kenneth Robert Williamsen

Kenneth Robert Williamsen (Ken), age 83, passed from this world on January 31, 2024 while in the arms of his son Michael, after a month-long battle with stage four cancer. He was cared for at his home by his family during his final weeks.

Ken was born August 25, 1940 in Chicago Illinois to Helen (Harzheim) and Walter Williamsen. Ken’s grandparents had come from Norway to Chicago in the early 1900s and he had fond memories of Norwegian culture and food in his childhood home. He was the oldest of the Williamsen brothers: Donny (Mary) Williamsen, Michael (Sue) Williamsen, and Paul (Denise) Williamsen. Donny predeceased Ken.

Ken attended St. Alexander Catholic School in Villa Park, Illinois. Ken served in the U.S. Army from December 1963 to December 1965 and also served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1965 to 1969. Ken was a truck driver in the Chicago area and a member of the Teamsters Union. He also was a restaurant manager for Beef Villa in Elgin, Illinois.

Ken married the love of his life, Donna (Hopkins) Gould, on December 12, 1966 and became a caring step-father to Donna’s sons Michael and David, who both took Ken’s last name as their own. David predeceased Ken. Ken and Donna had two daughters together, Karin Williamsen of Bay City Michigan and Julie (Bob Hancock) Williamsen of Seneca Illinois.

At one point, Donna and Ken separated and divorced, but they reunited in later years and were together most of their adult lives. On January 11, 2024, they remarried while Ken was in the ICU of Menorah Hospital in Overland Park Kansas.

Ken and Donna lived in Chicago for many years, but later relocated to Bay City Michigan to be close to their son Michael. In their later years they lived in Raytown Missouri and also in the Overland Park Kansas home of their son Michael and his wife Kapina.

Ken is survived by his Grandchildren: Jennifer (Joshua) Heffner, Joshua (Piper) Williamsen, Jessica S. Williamsen, Joy (Ricky Walden) Williamsen, Hannah (Nathaniel) Franklin, Joelle Frye, Mark Williamsen, James Williamsen, Robert Buntrock, Jessica L. Williamsen, and Samantha (Cory Shockey) Williamsen. Ken is also survived by 17 great grandchildren.

Ken enjoyed creating delicious comfort food in his kitchen and sharing meals with his family.

Ken’s family is thankful for the care recently provided to Ken by Menorah Hospital’s ICU and St. Luke’s Hospice team. Ken’s ashes will be spread at a later date near a favorite river in Bay City Michigan. No memorial service is planned. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the American Cancer Society.


  1. Lisa J Walker on February 5, 2024 at 10:57 am

    I am So sorry for your loss, Mike n Kapina , n Donna.
    May God bless your Hearts with His Peace n Healing.

  2. Rev. Chris and Dorothy Franklin on February 5, 2024 at 5:07 pm

    Mike and Kapina, We are so sorry for your loss! We are keeping your family in our prayers.

  3. LeAnn Thongvanh on February 5, 2024 at 7:40 pm

    I will always remember Uncle Ken’s smile, laugh, and unique sense of humor, Sending love and hugs to the family.

  4. Josephine Bullard on February 6, 2024 at 10:37 am

    Mike, Kapina and Donna, so sorry for your loss. May God comfort your heart, and may the memories of Ken be a blessing to each of you and to the rest of the family members.

  5. Nathan and Linda Bullard on February 6, 2024 at 11:18 am

    Mike, Kapina and Donna we are so sorry for your loss you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Much love to you and your family

  6. Andrew Tyler & Staff Senior Health Advisor Inc. on February 20, 2024 at 2:45 pm

    Our sincerest condolences to you Donna and family. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

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