March 3, 1947 - October 4, 2022
It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of Mr. Kenneth 'Ken' Ronald Mandrusiak. He took his life's last breath in the early morning of Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at the age of 75 years. Ken was born in Edmonton, Alberta on March 3, 1947, to Nick and Rose Mandrusiak.
Ken was raised in Boyle, where his father had a John Deere Dealership. Even at a young age, watching his father, Ken's interest in business was ignited. Ken graduated from Victoria Composite High School in Edmonton in 1964. He played hockey and played drums in a popular dance band.
After school, he worked at the Corona Hotel, as a manual elevator lift operator. It was here, he gained extensive experience and knowledge for his future career choices. In 1965, Ken moved to Prince George, British Columbia and became an accounting student with Winspear Higgins CA.
From 1967 to 1969, Ken worked with BC Tel, and then ventured to Fernie, British Columbia. Here, he helped his brother, Ernie set up a new hotel, the Fernie Motor Inn.
Ken arrived in Fernie thinking this was going to be a temporary gig; so he purchased a one-way ticket to Australia. He then met Darlene, (nee Sclippa) and the rest is history. Poor Ken never did make it to Australia LOL.
In 1971, Ken and Darlene were married, and Ken provided accounting services for several local businesses.
From 1972 to 1975, Ken and Darlene moved to Calgary, Alberta, where he worked as Controller and General Manager of the Carriage House Inn under his mentor, Leo Sheftel. From 1975 to 1986, he undertook another hotel venture with his brother to rebuild and run the Klondike Inn in Whitehorse, Yukon.
In 1979, Ken's only child, Brandy was born. There were further investments in the Terrace Hotel, and the Simon Fraser in Prince George, British Columbia. In 1987, an opportunity presented itself to manage and then eventually own The Black Knight Inn in Red Deer, Alberta. This hotel became his passion and Red Deer became our home.
Its progress was so important to him. He loved being a great "booster" in bringing in new businesses and events into the city - he was the happiest when Red Deer was "thriving". He was giving with his time when it came to supporting and leading groups, committees and boards in the city - he was a community leader.
Ken was a listener, a mentor, a great storyteller, friend, leader, never judgmental and he was generous to a fault. He was always a gentleman, a "constant", distinguished, honourable, and a strong man who always had an open-door policy, unusual in Corporate world today.
At the hotel, he knew how to exceed guest's expectations and his hospitality was always first class. Ken is going to be deeply missed by all that knew him and worked beside him.
In 2017, Brandy gave birth to a sweet little boy, Ryker. Ken's love for his grandson always brought a smile to his face. As ill as he was, there are no words to express how much they loved each other. Wherever you are Ken, our love will find you and we'll remember you always.
Ken will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his wife of fifty-one years, Darlene, his daughter, Brandy and his grandson, Ryker.
He will also be sadly missed by his brother, Joe (Mary) Mandrusiak; his sister-in-law, Iris Mandrusiak; his nieces, Kim (Tim) Thompson and Sharon Mandrusiak; his nephew, Greg (Sally) Mandrusiak; as well as numerous family members and dear friends.
Ken was predeceased by his parents, Nick and Rose and a brother, Ernie.
A Celebration of Ken's Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, if desired, Memorial Donations in Ken's honor may be made directly to an Education Fund for his grandson, Ryker at any Royal Bank.
Cremation entrusted to Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium, Red Deer, Alberta. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed at www.parklandfuneralhome.com
Arrangements in care of Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium, 6287 - 67 A Street (Taylor Drive), Red Deer. 403.340.4040.
Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium