MADISON - Kenneth E. Hitzke, age 89, passed away on April 24, 2018, as the result of a stroke suffered in May, 2016. An only child, he was born in Milwaukee on Oct. 14, 1928, to Leora and Walter Hitzke.
He was a graduate of Milwaukee Lutheran High School, and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from UW-Milwaukee, where he played football, basketball and baseball.
He began his career teaching 6th grade for the Milwaukee Public Schools, then became a physical education supervisor. As much as Ken enjoyed teaching, he accepted a central office position in human resources. In that role he recruited teachers from the entire United States including Puerto Rico. Ken was also in the U.S. Army Reserve for 20 years, attaining the rank of major.
Upon his retirement in 1988, Ken relocated to Madison and put his people skills to work as a volunteer for the Madison Police Department, Fire Department, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Meriter and St. Mary's Hospitals, and Meals on Wheels. In the process he gained many lasting friendships, and was especially pleased to be included in sergeant lunches.
Ken is survived by his wife, Margaret Harris; children, Keith (Cheri) Hitzke, Jodi (Robert) Donaldson and stepdaughter, Shannon Barry (William Bolz); grandchildren, Storey Donaldson, Nicolette Van Gelder (Jay), Lisa Peck (Connor), Aaron Donaldson and Margaret Bolz.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers from Agrace HospiceCare, especially Jen and Rebecca, for making Ken's final weeks comfortable. Also thanks to Dr. Sarina Schrager who made house calls. Many thanks to Vic for transporting Ken to his social functions with the Green Gulls and Sergeants lunches; to Ross for his computer expertise; and to both Vic and Ross for making Ken's home handicap accessible. And finally a big thank you to Keith and Betsy, for the many wonderful meals and companionship you provided. You have all been amazing.
Ken loved to tell stories about his many life adventures. If anyone has a special story about Ken, please write about it. They will be compiled and given as a keepsake to his grandchildren.
An informal open house will be held at our home, 1209 Menomonie Lane, Madison, for family and friends, on Sunday, April 29, 2018, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, friends may choose to donate to Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, 2102 Fordem Ave., Madison, WI 53704, or to One Starfish Rehoming (who rescued our Tallulah), P.O. Box 404, Columbus, WI 53925.
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
2418 N. Sherman Ave.