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Kenny Lee Walkden
March 3, 1957 ~ December 21, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old
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Kenny Lee Walkden, 66, of Columbia Station, passed away December 21, 2023 at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center in Elyria. He was born March 3, 1957 in Berea. Kenny was a lifelong resident of Columbia Station and was a 1975 graduate of Columbia High School. He received his BFA in Fine and Professional Arts from Kent State University in 1980. Since childhood, he helped at his family’s grain and dairy farm. Kenny started working in retail hardware stores with his father at Kredo Hardware in Berea which later became Walkden Hardware. In 2014 he retired as the manager at Eaton Hardware in Eaton Township.
Sports were a big part of Kenny’s life. He was passionate about all of the Columbia Raiders teams, and during home football games he was always in the bleachers on the 50-yard line quoting stats about that year’s football team! He was also an avid fan of THE Ohio State Buckeyes and all of the Cleveland professional sports teams. He formerly coached Columbia Local Schools Freshman Boys Basketball, Freshman Baseball and Jr. Varsity Baseball. Kenny also enjoyed volunteering as a youth basketball coach at Elyria East Park Recreation Center for many years. In addition, he was the co-founder and chairman of the Columbia Athletic Hall of Fame. For more than 50 years, he played, coached, and umpired for the Columbia Hot Stove Baseball League and he organized, coached, and officiated for the Columbia Adult Basketball and Softball Leagues. He enjoyed traveling, especially to Las Vegas. Kenny was a past President of The Exchange Club of Black River, a philanthropic group that started the Santa House on Ely Square in downtown Elyria, and he enjoyed playing the role of Santa for several years.
Kenny Walkden is survived by his sister, Kelly Gulick (Matt) of Hebron; two nephews, Max Gulick of Newark and Andrew Gulick of Hebron; many cousins; and a special friend, Debbie Heller. He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Helen (nee Spitzer) Walkden; and an infant brother, Douglas.
Kenny’s family donated his corneas so that two persons receive the gift of sight through Lifebanc and they donated his pacemaker to the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center to maintain the rhythm of life for their canine patients.
Ken requested that his family and friends should gather in small groups to eat dinner at a local restaurant and share stories. A graveside service will be at Columbia Township Cemetery on West River Rd. in Columbia Station on Friday January 19, 2024 at 2pm. Pastor Phil Betts will officiate. The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Columbia Athletic Department, please specify the Athletic Hall of Fame.