Send a Sympathy Card
Plant Memorial Trees
Sunday, August 20, 2023
3:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)
Sunday, August 20, 2023
6:00 - 6:45pm (Central time)
Kenneth J. Stempinski was the beloved husband of Susan (nee McGovern); cherished father of Kelly (Tony) Metoyer and Jessica Stempinski; adored grandfather of Emilia Metoyer; cherished son of Anna and the late John Stempinski; loving brother of the late Tom (Maria) and Joyce Stempinski; brother-in-law to Laura McGovern (Durward Pettigrew) and Colleen (Mark) Graves; "Treat" Sneaker to Schnitzel, Lola and the late Misty.
Ken was born to John and Anna Stempinski on October 11,
1952 in Chicago and lived in Bridgeport for over 60 years.
He was their first-born son but his most devoted fan was his
godmother, Virginia. Her little "Kenny" as she always called
him. He was a perfect child in her eyes and could do no
wrong; others would beg to differ - just ask his sister Joyce
and his late brother Tom.
Ken attended St. Barbara Elementary and was an altar
server. He told his famllv he was kicked out of the choir and
they all agreed that was a good call after hearing Ken sing.
He attended St. Rita High School not for academic reasons"
but because they had a hockey team. He played numerous
sports throughout his life and was instrumental in the lives
of children as a St. Barbara Little League Coach.
As an adult, Ken became very involved in St. Barbara as a
Holy Name Member, Head Usher and one of the early _,
pioneers for fund raising events like the Holy Name Smoker,
the Parish Picnic and the infamous Ad Books for major
Milestone Anniversaries at St. Barbara. He was also a
member of the Knights of Columbus and a man of strong
Ken received all his sacraments at St. Barbara and
continued to stay connected into his adult life as he married
his wife Sue in 1980 and had both of his daughters baptized
at St. Barbara. St. Barbara was his home for many years.
Ken's entire life revolved around service to others. Service
to God, Service to his family, Service to his community as a
paper boy and Service to the City of Chicago, Chicago Park
District and Service to the State of Illinois. Ken's most
notable career was working for lDOT. He served as a
highway maintainer keeping snow off the highways, fixing
those dreaded potholes and cutting grass along the side .I
roads with the Illinois Department of Transportation. He
completed his career as a time-keeper making sure their
paychecks and overtime were correct.
Ken's most memorable traits would be his smile that he
flashed to everyone he met and his witty sense of humor.
People always commented how kind, generous and honest
he was. He was always the first person to jump in to lend a
hand. No one would ever struggle if Ken was near. He
would drive you anywhere, take your car for an oil change,
and even offered his son-in-law the use of his credit card to
buy Kelly her engagement ring much to Tony's surprise. "
Ken's sense of humor was a trait that followed him through
out his life and many of his relatives and friends have some
stories to tell. One of his funny lines was "I need that like a
Fish Needs a Raincoat". He was a man of simple wants and
While some men would pray for a son, Ken was most joyous
and grateful that he was blessed with a world of women
whom he always referred to "as his girls". He adored his
wife Sue whom he-shared 42 years of marriage, and two
daughters - Kelly & Jessica. They were his pride and joy
and he always made sure they were well cared for and
In 2015, he received a son when Kelly married Tony and he
now had a partner in crime. However, Ken's most precious
blessing came in 2019 with the birth of his granddaughter
Emilia Lynn. Life was complete as far as he was concerned"
and Emilia became his comic side kick often teaching her
some less than appropriate things to say. Emilia and Ken
formed a bond and Grarnpie will now be her Guardian
If you were related to Ken as a son, sibling, sibling-in-Iaw,
cousin, aunt, uncle or any dear name then you know your
position in Ken's heart. He loved everyone in their own
Ken had a special calling twice in his life as godfather, to
Cheryl Lynn Barcas and Lucas Thomas Archer. This is a
responsibility he took very seriously and always made sure
his godchildren were celebrated.
If you were a canine family member, you were often slipped
a special treat and you had a special place on his lap. He .I
loved to pet and cuddle with many dogs within his life.
And last but not least, If Ken called you his friend, he was
like Woody in Toy Story and he would say "You Got a Friend
in Me." Ken treated his friends with the same love and
respect he treated his family and he had many friends
throughout his lifetime.
Throughout the week of Ken's final journey, Ken's family sat
with him, they encouraged him and reassured him that it
was ok to leave them and to complete his journey to
Heaven to meet God. Fr. Li met with Ken on Monday to give
him sacraments and he embraced his fate with courage,
strength and clarity.
Ken's wife and daughters told him that many of his beloved
relatives, friends and pets were just waiting for him to join
them. They believed Ken would gain angel status in Heaven.
After all, He was their angel on earth and they were sure it
would continue in Heaven. We ask God to let Ken rest in J
peace and to find happiness among those who have gone
before him. In the words of his sweet granddaughter,
Emilia always said goodbye to Grampie with See Ya Later
Alligator and he replied Afterwhile Crocodile. So Ken, we all
say See You Later Alligator, until we meet again.
Family and friends will gather Sunday, August 20th from 3-7:00 pm at Damar-Kaminski Funeral Home, 7861 88th Avenue, Justice, IL 60458. A 6:00 pm funeral service will be conducted by Reverend Francis Li. Interment private. (773) 927-6424 or (708) 406-0200.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, MEMORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO MERCY HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS OR LURIE'S CHILDRENS HOSPITAL ARE MOST APPRECIATED.