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Ken Verplaetse, 62, of Matherville, Illinois died Thursday, December 3, 2020 at Amber Ridge Memory Care, Moline from complications of COVID-19.
Private family graveside services will be held at John’s Catholic Cemetery, Viola. A Memorial Mass will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Matherville Fire Department. Dennison Funeral Home, Viola is handling arrangements.
Ken was born May 12, 1958 in Moline, a son of Walter and Patsy Kellum Verplaetse. He graduated from Winola High School. Ken worked in the family excavating business for over 40 years; he took to that task naturally. Every excavator and backhoe he operated seemed to be an extension of his arm. When teaching his nephews to run the equipment he would tell them to listen to the machine, be efficient and never waste a move or a pass. He was a lifetime member of IUOE Local #150. During his career he came to specialize in the excavation and removal of underground storage tanks and was sought out for his exceptional operating capabilities. Ken also enjoyed farming. In the fall after a long day working construction Ken enjoyed helping his friend at his family farm. Ken said he found picking corn relaxing.
Ken was a long time resident of Matherville and enjoyed spending time with his friends, enjoying rare leisure time to hunting or fishing, or riding downtown on one of his unicycles. Ken especially enjoyed spending time at his cabin on the river, trips to Kentucky Lake and winter trips to Florida with friends. Ken was also proud to be a member of the Matherville Fraternal Order of Eagles and assisting them with their fish fries and other events. Ken was also a member of the National Wild Turkey Foundation.
Ken is survived by his siblings: Lynn Carlton of Seaton, Illinois, Randall (Dru) Verplaetse of Friendsville, Tennessee, Annette (Kirk) Doonan of Viola, Illinois and Wayne (Angie) Verplaetse of Matherville, Illinois; sister-in-law: Cheri Verplaetse of Washington, Illinois and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brother-in-law: George Carlton, parents: Walter and Patsy and brothers: Robert and Scott Verplaetse.
Online condolences may be left at www.dennisonfuneralhome.com.