Cover photo for Kenneth Nys's Obituary
Kenneth Nys Profile Photo
In Memory Of
Kenneth Nys
1932 2022

Kenneth Nys

March 9, 1932 — March 1, 2022

Kenneth Samuel Nys (Ken) passed away on March 1st, 2022 after complications from diabetes and congestive heart failure. A celebration of his life will be held on March 9th (which would have been his 90th birthday) at First United Methodist Church, 501 Howe St. In Green Bay, WI. Visitation is from 10 to 11 AM with a memorial service following.

Ken was born to Anna Emma (Vandersteen) Nys and Joseph Peter Nys on March 9th, 1932 in Green Bay, WI. He was the youngest of 5 children. All his brothers and sisters preceded him in death. Ken attended school in Green Bay, Dyckesville, where his father ran a tavern, and Sturgeon Bay, where his father worked at the shipyards during WWII. After his father passed away, Ken attended NWTC for auto mechanics and worked to help support his family.

Ken married Audrey Hornby of Kenosha, WI on March 31st, 1951. They were married for over 70 years. They resided in Green Bay where they raised their four children.

After marrying Audrey, Ken worked for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. The family was able to take free train rides while he was there, including a trip to New York that his mother and sister Ruth were able to enjoy. Ken was employed by the Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay where he helped build the SS Badger, now in use as a Lake Michigan ferry and its sister ship, the SS Spartan. Ken and family took several trips on the Badger in later life and he always shared stories of his work on it with the crew and other passengers. He was very proud of his role in helping construct this now National Historic Landmark.

Ken then worked for Orde Advertising of Green Bay for 24 years. While with Orde, he helped put up the first time and temperature sign in Green Bay. He also helped paint the logos at Lambeau Field for the 1967 NFL Championship game now known by all as the "Ice Bowl."

After leaving Orde, he was employed temporarily by Green Bay Canning, driving truckloads of vegetables to their factory. Ken enjoyed a lifelong friendship with Frank Zimonick who owned the company. He left that job for employment at the Brown County Mental Health Center in Green Bay as a maintenance engineer. While working there, he made a suggestion that saved Brown County thousands of dollars. He received a commendation for that suggestion. He retired from the county after 23 years. All his co-workers at the center knew if he couldn't fix something, it wasn't worth fixing.

After retiring, Ken and Audrey traveled to Russia with their daughter, Roxann, as part of a month-long student exchange program with a school in Krasnoyarsk, in the south central region of Siberia. Ken wore his Packers hat during the visit and met Packers fans most everywhere he went. Ken said everyone should take a trip to another country, as it would give them a new appreciation of our own great country.

Upon returning back to the US, he and Audrey spent several years working with the United Methodist Church group called Volunteers in MIssion (VIM). The VIM group helped rebuild homes and churches that were destroyed or damaged by natural disasters in many places throughout Wisconsin and the United States. Countless people benefitted from Ken's "jack of all trades" knowledge of building, plumbing and electrical work. When they weren't working in disaster areas, they helped build and maintain the church's summer camps in Wisconsin. Some of Ken's children and grandchildren were recruited to help out with some of the projects.

In his spare time, as the family grew up, Ken worked many side jobs with which his wife and children helped. He managed a Christmas tree farm, rented and put up large tents for the many church picnics in the area, cut boxes for a local cheese company–doing anything he could to help support his family. Ken was a hard worker and never shirked any job. His family and friends could count on him to always lend a hand whenever it was needed. Ken was a long time member of a local men's social club called "Herman's Club." The club held an annual booyah sale and used the money they made to help out local organizations including the Green Bay Boys and Girls Club.

When Ken took time away from work, he enjoyed camping when the children were younger, fishing, and hunting with his friend Frank and his sons. In his later years, he was always trying out some new craft or project. At 80 years old, Ken built a treehouse for his great-grandsons. At 82, he built a Little Free Library that still stands in front of daughter Roxann's house. Both children and adults have found many books to enjoy because of his skill in building.

Ken was preceded in death by his father and mother, his 5 siblings, his nephew, Michael Nys, and by his
son-in-law, Vincent Martin. He is survived by his wife of nearly 71 years, their four children, Roxann, Joseph Peter II (his child Jennifer Nys), Janice Martin (her children Shaun, Bettina Schuster (significant other Jordan Franklin) and their father Mark Martin) Nancy (Robert) Hacker (their children, Christine Schmitz and Samantha Martin-Dostal (Erynn), Ryan, and David) and very special family friends, Frank Zimonick, Pam Bass; six great-grandsons Kyle Nys, Zachary Schmitz (special friend Morgan Pluger) and Owen Schmitz (their father Christopher Schmitz) Seth Clark, Grady Schuster, and Wilder Franklin, Godson Emmanuel Jadhav (Tricia & Benaiah,) Goddaughter Esther Jadhav, as well as nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank the incredible staff of Aurora Hospital, Grancare Rehabilitation Center, and St. Vincent Hospital for their dedication and kindness.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth Nys, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

WI

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Service

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

WI

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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