In Memory

Ken Weaber

Ken Weaber

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07/02/15 03:18 PM #1    

Vincent Summers

To me, Ken was one of the most quiet and retiring brilliant intellects in the classroom. He was never rude or pushy, but would present super answers when queried by an instructor. His responses were always straight-forward and respectful. A pleasant guy that for some reason suggested to me a "Native American" heritage (whether he had one or not).

07/07/15 04:31 PM #2    

Ed Madden

(Note: This was my letter of recommendation for Ken's nomination for the Alumni Association's Life Time Achievement Award which he won posthumously in November 2014,)

By way of background, I first met Ken in 1960 when we were in Mr. Elliott’s seventh grade home room at Haddonfield Junior High School in a world before the term “middle school” existed.  Ken had gone to Lizzy Haddon for elementary school, and I had attended Central.  We became fast friends during our years at HMHS and were both members of a group of second tier cool guys that we liked to call the Magnificent Seven.  Without going into great detail, Ken helped make high school a most enjoyable and memorable experience from so many perspectives. We even avoided arrest.

After graduating as co-salutatorian of the class of 1966, Ken went off to Princeton, and I ended up at Rutgers in Camden.  Fortunately, the good times and comradeship continued during breaks and summer vacations.  The bonds of friendship which had been established in early adolescence were further cemented as we drifted our way into adulthood during a very turbulent time. In the years since, our brotherhood expanded and mellowed as we both married, started families and established careers. He will always be Uncle Big Kenny to my children. Despite the fact that Ken was in Lancaster, PA and I was here in South Jersey, I always felt that my good friend was only a phone call away.  Over the years and as our children grew, our interests may have diverged, and the frequency of our visits may have dropped off, but those bonds were still there and just as strong.  I will always cherish the delightful time we had at the wedding of Ken and Dottie’s daughter Kate a few years back. Of course, as part of the maturation/aging process, our last few visits were on the occasion of funerals for parents and other friends.

From my personal perspective, Ken was one of the most intelligent persons I have ever known, but he was also one of the most personable. He was an excellent conversationalist who could convey his thoughts coherently and with a great sense of humor. Ken was capable of expressing great enthusiasm in the course of a discussion. Others who knew Ken well will no doubt remember the way he would close his eyes tightly when expressing an interesting point while gesturing somewhat dramatically with his right hand.  He was always appreciative of the views of other people and always eager to learn from them. Ken was seldom if ever judgmental. It was not unusual for us to pick up on a conversation months or years after we first had initiated it. Ken was always a gentleman, and condescension was never a part of his make-up. While a scientist and engineer by training, Ken’s interests were varied.  He would take great joy in explaining some new piece of knowledge that perhaps he just picked up while reading.  At the same time, he was anxious to know your feelings on the topic.

While I knew that Ken had taken on a multitude of new endeavors after he was able to take early retirement from M&M Mars, it was only after his passing that I became more fully aware of the extent to which Ken had contributed to his community and his church. But I have to say that I was not at all surprised, only upset that I would never have the opportunity to discuss with him more fully those endeavors.  The work he undertook with helping others less fortunate should be of special note since I’m sure the impact of his giving will have lasting impact. But, of course, that was just my friend Ken.         

Please consider this to be my hearty recommendation that Ken Weaber be recognized for posterity as an outstanding alumnus of Haddonfield Memorial High School.

Respectfully submitted,

Edward F. Madden, Class of 1966


07/19/15 06:19 PM #3    

Vicki Meece (Knowles)

Ken graduated from Princeton and worked in the food science industry where he earned several patents. He proudly stated at many reunions that his goal was to make a better chocolate for the world while working for M&M Mars in Lancaster, PA. After taking early retirement, he led many youth mission field trips to rebuild homes after disasters and help others. Ken and Dottie adopted two children from Korea. He will always be remembered for both his brilliant mind and devilish grin.

07/30/15 10:52 AM #4    

Craig Miller

I remember Ken on the practice football field.  I was a defensive back and did not get to be around the offensive lineman much, but I do remember the coaches getting on Ken if he missed an assignment.  I believe he was in the Joe Berg Society, and that is what they would call him if he missed a block.  They would tell him, " Joe Berg, don't think, just do your assignment and react!"  Ken seemed to get this expression on his face as if to say, "But i think there is a better way."  He never talked back to the coaches and did what they told him as a TEAM player, which he most certainly was.

08/14/15 12:45 PM #5    

Ed Madden

Great story, Craig. It really gives a great picture of who Ken was. He was also called Joe Berg by a lot of non football players.

08/14/15 05:09 PM #6    

Vicki Meece (Knowles)

I can't remember who told me this, but Ken got more letters of recommendation for the Lifetime Achievement Award than any other nominee had ever gotten. I have to admit that I did resort to a little bribery along the way. I packaged up all the printed letters of recommendation and threw in about 10 "fun size" packs of M&Ms for good luck. It just seemed appropriate.

Dr. Oddis, Ted Laux, Marian Paules, Warren Levy, Kathy Howell Starnes, Susan Hughes Bigham, Bruce Tracy, Janice Mayo McNally, Jeff Lucas, Ken Weaber, Pete Zwarg. Latin IV

08/15/15 09:34 AM #7    

Ed Madden

Vicki: I think that was me. One of the alumni association officials mentioned that fact in passing at the award ceremony. That being said, you did a terrific job in organizing the effort to gain Ken the recognition he deserved. I'm just happy to have been a part of it.

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