Kenneth Eugene Gonya

On Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, our beloved husband, revered father, honored grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle, Kenneth Eugene Gonya, passed away after a valiant 19-day battle with COVID.

Kenneth is preceded in death by his father, Lawrence Burdell Gonya (Clarence and Minnie), his mother, Maxine Ouida (Burkholder, Abram and Edna) and his nephew, Kevin Lee Herzog, of Port Clinton and Lima, Ohio, respectively.

He is survived by his loving wife Floella Nickerson Palmer (William J. and Catherine Josephine); his devoted children, Lurley Beth Hernandez (Peter); Yolanda Kay Parizek (William); Heather Marie Gonya; Harmony Michelle Ashby (Gregory); Zachary Sinclair Gonya and Marcela Martins Espindula Gonya; Stacy Renee Wendholt (Jarod); Joshua Daniel Gonya (Hannah Pauline); Caleb Christopher Gonya; Hannah Noel Schuchart (Lee); and Thaddaeus Aaron Gonya (Ashley) — all residing in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida.

His descendants include numerous grandchildren — Isaac; Abigail; Audrey; Peter; Olivia; and Isabelle Hernandez (Lurley); Alan Jacob and Kaylyn Victoria Parizek (Lonnie); Avery Rose Brautigan (Heather); Jami Michelle Moore; Marcus; and Austin Ashby (Harmony); Baylee M. Powell; Ethain Kaden Christopher White; Georgia Rae Byrd; River Analise; Oliver Anton Raghib; Francis Ismail Sinclair; and Caleb Zahir Eugene Gonya (Zachary); Marcus Stradlin; and Lily Marie Knight (Marcela); Ruth Grace; Rae Elizabeth; and Leah Renee Wendholt (Stacy); Lincoln Matthew; Samuel Owen; Harlan Isaiah; Jaqueline Elise; and Jeremiah Maxwell Gonya (Joshua), Mackenzie Noel and Charlotte Leigh Schuchart (Hannah) — all thriving in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, the American Mid-West and thereabouts.

Kenneth’s great-grandchildren are Finley Abel; Luther Abram; and Tanner Aquila Moore (Michelle) of Terre Haute Indiana, and Bellamy Michael; (Baylee) Utah. He is also alive in the memory of his only sister, whom he loved, June Ann Herzog (Jerry Lee, deceased), and their sons, Kerry Scott Herzog, of Lima, Ohio, and Kenneth Wayne Herzog, of Yorktown, Virginia.

Ken or Kenny, to his friends, was born the summer of 1947. He took an early interest in music and the girl next door. He dutifully attended Lima Central Catholic High School and graduated in 1965. He volunteered for conscription in the United States Army, attending basic training in Fort Benning Georgia. He paid tribute to many of his fallen brethren by offering “Taps” on his bugle as the enlisted were laid to rest.

Kenneth invited Floella on a date at the age of five. They eventually went on to marry and raise at least 10 children.

Ken was employed at Ford Motor Company for 33 years. He was selected for exemplary attendance to study as an electrician; he was certified as a Master Journeymen with scores at the top of his class.

Kenny performed a multitude of music throughout his life. He specialized in keyboard and trumpet. Ken composed musical arrangement for and was the musical director of the choir and orchestra at Atlanta Christian Center, he led praise and worship for the congregation. He became a staple at Springs Valley High School competitions, heralding the National Anthem at opening ceremonies. He provided music for community dances and town festivals. He played alongside his sons Joshua and Thaddaeus as part of Coralus.

Kenneth retired and moved to the countryside surrounding French Lick with his wife of 48 years, Floella. Cookies were his favorite dessert; he could calmy discuss any topic for hours as long as conversation remained polite and avoided repetition. He enjoyed traveling to visit his children, watching his grandchildren tumble and laugh together, and dog sitting. He liked to catch up with old and long-ago friends using social media.

Kenny doted on his self-proclaimed best friend, Shadow.

We lay our father to rest with sorrow and gratitude, with prayers and blessings, and in the name of The Lord. We invited those wishing to attend the viewing with our family on Dec. 20, 2021, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Brosmer-Kemple Funeral Home, 9640 West State Road, French Lick. We followed with a sermon, supper, and wake at New Life Community Church, 8183 West State Road 56, West Baden Springs. In lieu of flowers we request donations in any amount be given to Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles. Mail checks to 3016 South Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90007 or visit sheprescue.org.

Our Dearly Beloved

Kenneth Eugene Gonya

July 13, 1947

Dec. 16, 2021