January 5, 1946 - December 31, 2020
Kenneth J. Klages, 74, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, December 31, 2020, after a short battle with acute leukemia. Ken was born on January 5, 1946, to Rev. Cecil and Clara (Esslinger) Klages in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan, Canada. His family lived for several years in Ontario, Canada before moving to Grand Haven, MI. He married Ruth Koenig on December 26, 1971, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Chicago, IL. Ken had a love of music that was nurtured early. He stated in a recent interview, “As the son of a pastor, I grew up immersed in the music and liturgy of the church. My Lutheran school principal/teacher saw my musical gifts and encouraged me to become a church musician. He was my organ teacher and had me play for services during my high school years. At college, I continued my education in parish music.” Ken was a member of the first graduating class of Concordia Lutheran Junior College in Ann Arbor, MI in 1965 and graduated from Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, IL in 1967. He faithfully served for over 53 years at several Lutheran congregations including Bethel in Chicago, IL; Our Redeemer in Muskegon, MI; Saint Paul in Leavenworth, KS; and Peace Lutheran in Saginaw, MI. During that time, he worked as a teacher, minister of music and the church organist. He also directed adult and children's choirs, men’s and women's ensembles, handbell choirs and instrumental ensembles. Ken considered himself not just a minister of music, but also a minister of God's Word, doing his preaching from the organ bench in the balcony of a church. For the past 33 years, that's been the balcony of Peace Lutheran Church. Even though he officially retired on June 30, 2020, he continued to work at Peace part-time. Ken played the organ for his final church service on Sunday, December 13, 2020. Ken supported music in the community. He could regularly be heard as the narrator for the Classic Legacy Band of Saginaw concerts, providing interesting and informative commentary about the band’s pieces. He was a member of the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Surviving are his wife of 49 years, Ruth; one daughter, Kristen Klages of Saginaw, MI; his mother, Clara Klages of Grand Haven, MI; four siblings, Ronald (Meryl) Klages of Cape Coral, FL, Lois (Robert) Eich of Grand Haven, MI, Carol (James) Spoelma of Holt, MI, and Ross (Kathie) Klages of Mason, MI; many nieces and nephews; and two brothers-in-law, Ernest (Karen) Koenig of Chicago, IL and Bruce (Carol) Koenig of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Ken was preceded in death by his father, Rev. Cecil Klages. Visitation will take place Friday, January 8, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Fischer Family Funeral Home, 504 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, MI 48602. In accordance with current state mandated restrictions, safe distancing and limitations on number gathered within the building will be observed. Attendees are also asked to wear a mask or other facial covering while inside the funeral home, per state requirements. Funeral Service will take place Saturday, January 9, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, 3427 Adams Avenue, Saginaw, Michigan 48602. Rev. Matthew Hauser will officiate. Guests are requested to wear a mask and observe safe distancing from those outside their household. Thank you for your understanding as we do our best to keep everyone safe and healthy. For those unable to attend, Ken’s funeral service will be live-streamed at the following web address: http://peacesaginaw.org/watch/ In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Peace Lutheran Church General Fund, Music Fund, or Peace Foundation Future Church Worker Scholarship Fund. For information, please call (989) 755-8277. To express your condolences, please visit www.fischerfuneral.com.
Kenneth J. Klages, 74, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, December 31, 2020, after a short battle with acute leukemia. Ken was born on January 5, 1946, to Rev. Cecil and Clara (Esslinger) Klages in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan,... View Obituary & Service Information
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