Obituaries prior to 2020 can be found on our Archive Page.

Kenneth J Vonderhaar

11/01/1952 - 03/20/2020

Obituary for Kenneth J Vonderhaar

Kenneth J. Vonderhaar, 67, rode his bike to his heavenly home on Friday, March 20, 2020 in Fort Wayne Indiana. Ken was a caring person who spent his lifetime helping others. Ken graduated from Bishop Dwenger High School and St. Francis College. He most recently worked at MTC in New Haven after a significant career with Anthony Wayne Services serving people with disabilities. Ken participated in and often coached track, softball, basketball and was instrumental in starting softball teams for men with disabilities in the Fort Wayne Leagues. He enjoyed spending time with friends and family sharing tales and “trying to make a long story short”. The time of his life was the bicycle trip he and friends took to California and back during the Summer of 1974 to raise money for Johnny Appleseed Center. Ken is survived by his sisters Louise Vonderhaar; Marie (Jeffry) Hilker; Geralynn (Carol Ort) Vonderhaar; Charlene (Michael) Rorick; and favorite brother, Jerome “Jerry” (Patricia) Vonderhaar and many life long friends. Ken was preceded in death by his twin brothers, Anthony and Michael Vonderhaar; and parents Arthur and Barbara Vonderhaar. Memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran Life Villages or Heartland Hospice who provided excellent care and comfort to Ken on his last ride. In light of current conditions, a gathering in Ken's honor will be scheduled at a later date for friends and family. If you would like to be notified of the event, please give your name and address to Divine Mercy at 260 426-2044. To leave an online condolence visit

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Ken was one of the nicest people I have ever known. Most of my memories of him were from St. Jude's grade school, Wildcat baseball, Bishop Dwenger High School, Shed House and St. Vincent Youth Group.
- John Klein
Hi Charlene, Mike, Aaron and extended family Sandy and I send you a great big hug and assurances that we will keep all of you in our hearts and thoughts and prayers, as you deal with and mourn the loss of Ken, but with the comforting realization that he lived a life that needs celebrating. What a human being he was and how he touched others! He and I were always dear friends and my life was enriched by his presence therein. Ken is one of those persons I have met and was "on my train," whom I will always remember with fondness and love. May he rest in Light! Love and peace Steve
- Steve Sullivan
Thanks to all for the kind comments and memories about our brother, Ken Vonderhaar. You cut and paste this URL to view the video of pictures collected from Ken's family and friends:
- Marie Hilker
I was so sorry to hear about Ken. I remember playing softball on the old Shed House team back when I was 13 (I think). I seem to recall we wore orange jerseys. Always lots of fun to be had around the Vonderhaar house! My sympathies to the entire family. Steve Ankenbruck
- Steve Ankenbruck
ken taut me how to drive an on our way to new haven I ask him if he had his licent an he said it was lock in his car at my house so he show me how to get back to my house an I got my licents an I starteded to get a headache an end up getting the flu he was a nice person I will miss him tricia stein latham
- tricia
Ken was so good to my Dad (Richard Bohnke) at LLV and came to get him for every meal as he tended to forget the times to go. Ken really helped Dad in making the transition from living in a farmhouse on his own schedule to moving to an apartment in the city and we all appreciated getting to know Ken when we visited. Thank you for sharing your brother with our family. The last time we talked to Ken he had shared with us that his biggest concern about moving to assisted living was that he needed to find someone to care for our Dad and he cried as he was talking to us. I was so touched by his concern for Dad. When he made plans to share about his bike ride across the country with the people at LLV, he also asked Dad to share about his hitchhiking after high school to work out west in the wheat fields. Ken's struggles are over here on earth and he is blessed to be with his Lord. God bless your family. Our family sends our love and thankfulness. Richard Bohnke's family
- Michele Hosmon
Ken always thought of others and made a great effort to keep people connected. He was a great USF alum. May God bring him peace. Maureen McCon
- Maureen McCon
Thoughts and prayers to Ken's family at this difficult time. I was aware of the infamous 1974 California bike ride but did not know that they also raised money for the Johnny Appleseed Center, although, knowing Ken, this does not surprise me. I have many fond memories of Ken in the early 1980's with the Fort Wayne Young Catholic Adults (FWYCA) group.
- Joe Peters
Ken was a friend to our Dad. When our dad first came to Lutheran Life Villages Ken befriended him and became his good friend. Ken made it his mission to make sure our dad made it to the dining room daily. When Dad had a fall and was home bound to his room for a few days, Ken took it upon himself to make a list of other residents to check on Dad. It was evident very early on in our family's acquaintance with Ken that he had a sweet, giving spirit about him and that he was his happiest when he was serving others. We daughters are all grateful for his friendship.
- Peggy Turner
Ken was a blessing to my dad, Richard, and our entire family. He made Dad's transition to LLV much easier by being a friend, meal companion, and great joker. He is missed.
- Pat
Sorry to hear of Kens passing . Great guy and lots of awesome stories . Loved is bike ride to California the best . RIP with our Heavenly Father Ken .
- Julie Shifflett
What a beautiful obituary. Being a few years younger than Ken, I remember him as being the kind and quiet oldest brother of the other (not so quiet) Vonderhaar siblings. The Kensington block where the Vonderhaar family resided for many years was a place of activity, love and many fond childhood memories. God bless your family during this challenging time and may memories of your brother bring a smile to your face. God bless, Deb (Talarico) Caudill
- Deb Caudill
Ken was such a sweet guy. He was agreat friend to my brother, Stan. Every time I saw him he had a big smile on his face. He will be greatly missed.
- Nancy
To the Vonderhaar family, I am very sorry for your loss. I hope you can find comfort with many great memories and fun times you enjoyed with Ken. I know he will always live in your hearts.
- Janet Bouwkamp
We want to express our deepest sympathy to Ken's entire family. Lois went to St. Jude and Bishop Dwenger with Ken and Bernie had recently spoken with Louise and we have kept you all in our prayers. Bernie and Lois Jozwiak
- Jozwiak
Ken always tried to have a smiling face and loved to share his brand of humor! He could make a short story long and had a caring heart. He will be missed.
- June
Very sorry for your loss. I'm glad I was able to meet family members on your visit to PA. I enjoyed meeting up with Ken to look for family history. Prayers!
- Gretta Moyer
Welcome friends and family of Ken. We are so glad during these uncertain and ever changing days, that you have taken the time to click into this page to look or add to photos, memories, or good wishes for us, Ken's family. As his obituary states, a gathering WILL take place at sometime in the future, for now let us gather our virtual funeral home. And remember, Ken would want us to smile, laugh, and relax...and so much more.
- Charlene Rorick

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