Kenneth “Ken” L. Hartke, 77, of El Paso, passed away at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday (July 9, 2019) in El Paso, following a long battle with cancer.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, July 12, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomington. The funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomington, with the Rev. Chuck Bahn officiating. The family would like to invite everyone to a luncheon and time of fellowship following the service at church. Interment will be at 3:30 p.m., also on Saturday, in El Paso Township Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso.

Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Kiwanis Club of El Paso, or Community Cancer Center in Normal.

Ken was born March 18, 1942, in Kankakee, a son of Kenneth Theodore and Wilma Bertha Kirchmann Hartke. He married Sherry Von Behren on Dec. 1, 1963, in Charleston.

Surviving are his loving wife of 55 years, Sherry Hartke; children, David Hartke, of Chatham, Sarah Harrison, of Bloomington, Michael (Amy) Hartke, of Barrington, Stephen Hartke, of Pontiac, and Rebecca (Brad) Kassing, of Mount Sterling; grandchildren, Gabriel, Abigail, Luke, Faith, Cole, Emma, Elijah, MacKenzie, Joshua, Michael, Marlee and Madison; sisters, Jan (Hal) Bryant, of Bourbonnais, and Nancy (Rufus) Blackley, of Charlottesville, N.C. Ken is also survived by many nieces and nephews; and his dog, Lily.

Preceding him in death were his parents; and an infant brother, David.

Ken was employed as a teacher and coach at Forman Junior High School in Manito for 14 years. Later he was employed with Funk Seeds in Bloomington for 16 years. He then retired from Country Insurance, where he was employed as an insurance agent in El Paso for several years.

He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomington for many years. Ken was also a member of the Kiwanis Club of El Paso. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved filling his time with hunting, fishing and travelling. Ken and Sherry traveled to all 50 states together. He loved reading and speaking of his grandchildren, of whom he was extremely proud.

Ken will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Funeral arrangements are by Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home in Bloomington.

Please sign his online guestbook at


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