Kenneth Reed

Kenneth L. Reed, Jr. “Zip, DeerNek, or Toad,” 81, of Eau Claire passed away on Saturday, December 12, 2020 at River Pines in Altoona with his family by his side after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Ken was born on July 12, 1939, the oldest child of Ken Sr. and Frances (Garnett) Reed. He grew up in Eau Claire and Hallie area. At age 15 ½ he drove and worked for Spickler Garbage and Storlies DX Gas Station. At age 17, Ken quit high school and joined the Marines. He got an honorable discharge for very bad knees and being sick with pneumonia twice while in. In 1958, with friends, Larry Heller and Butch Kerry, Ken went to Kenosha, WI to work at American Motors. In 1959, Ken married Patricia Owen, and they settled in Kenosha for 10 years. Ken also worked part time through the years for Bell City Founderie, drove cab in Racine, WI, worked for Private Police, and Printing Developing Inc. In 1966, Ken and Pat moved back to Eau Claire, and Ken worked at National Presto Plant when they made shells for the Vietnam War. In 1969, Ken started working at Uniroyal Tire Plant and retired from there after 24 years. Wanting to keep busy after retirement, Ken worked part time for Jim Gruen and Ken Stolp. He then began driving for Western Wisconsin Auto Auction for many years. He also worked part time at Pine Edge Mobile Home Park, where Ken and Pat lived.

Ken enjoyed plowing snow, mowing grass, and watching the park for the owner when he was not available. (Thanks for everything, JB) Ken enjoyed staying busy. Ken also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and having breakfast on Thursdays with his driving buddies. For a few years every October, Ken went to Montana to hunt with friend John Bauer and his brothers. He always had a great time being with his hunting buddies.

Ken is survived by his wife, Patricia of 61 years of marriage; children, Ann, Chris, and Andrew (Sheila); grandchildren, Johnathon Kloss, Jason Kloss, Parker Reed, and Austin Reed; great-grandchildren, Levi, Lukas, Lily, Aaron, Kenney Jay, Patty Ann, and Quinten Kloss; and sister, Nancy (Lee) Benson of Tucson, AZ.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents; a premature daughter, Susan; and a very beloved granddaughter, Taylor Reed.

A small memorial service will be held on Friday, December 18, 2020 at 4:30 pm at Smith Funeral Chapel. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Friday. Masks and social distancing will be required. Burial will take place at Rest Haven Cemetery at a later date.


  1. Pat, Ann, Chris, Andrew and family, we are so sorry for your loss. Ken was always enjoyable to be around, he had a great sense of humor, and always brought laughter where ever he went. I think of the years we hunted together, the trips to Indy and times spent with your family growing up. Ken was always good to talk to. Ken and Bud spent a lot of time together and he was a good friend to him. I have fond memories and will cherish them. I hope that your fond memories will help soothe your sadness. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
    The Staffords, Nate, Lisa, and Jasmine

  2. Pat, Ann, Chris and Andrew, Ann and I offer our deepest condolences to you and your families. As you know Ken was my right hand man at Pine Edge, my Montana hunting buddy and a true dear friend. Ken did everything and anything for me and I will never forget him. To this day I still tell the Deer Nek story, oh what fun we had! My hunting camps are not the same. I hope in the not to distant future we can get together and share more stories because I am fortunate to have so many with him.

    John & Ann Bauer

  3. Dear Pat and Family,
    My sincere condolences to all of you. I have great memories from the time I lived in Eau Claire…you are a special family.

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