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In Memory of Kenneth McShane


June 5, 1930 - April 22, 2019

Kenneth George McShane passed away on Monday, April 23, 2019, at the age of 88.

Ken McShane was born in Spooner on June 5, 1930 to Michael Joseph McShane and Catherine ”Carrie” Elizabeth Stratton McShane. Four years later Ken’s father would die of an appendicitis attack and he would grow up in Spooner under the guidance of his grandfather, two term Washburn County Sheriff and the first chief of police in Spooner, George E Stratton, his mother Carrie, and his talented older siblings James, Irene, George, Gladys and Quint. Taking after his brothers, Ken was a talented artist, athlete and musician from an early age, drawing beautifully, playing ragtime and many other tunes on the piano by ear, and playing basketball for Spooner High School, from which he graduated in 1948. Ken went into the Air Force in the fall of 1950. He trained at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls, Texas to become a Repair Engine Technician, spent time at the base in Bermuda as a part of the 40th Air Transport and exited his four years of military service as an Airman 1st Class at Dover, Maryland, in the fall of 1954.

Under the GI Bill Ken would attend The College of Visual Arts, in St. Paul, living in Roseville, MN. On trips home he had met Katherine (Kay) Waggoner Vraniak.  Ken and Kay were united in marriage and together they had a son, Michael Kenneth McShane, in 1960.

Kay McShane and her three children – Day (6), Jay (5) and Mark (4) Vraniak - moved from Minong, WI to be with Ken, as he finished up his education at The College of Visual Arts, then they moved to Milwaukee, WI in order for Ken to attend another two years of education and training at the Layton School of Art.

In 1966 Ken moved his family to Cloquet, MN as Ken took a position with Ojibway Press in Duluth who was purchased by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1968 and then Edgell Communication. In 1971 Ken and Kay moved to Minong where he continued to drive to Duluth for work until he retired as Division Director in the winter of 1991.

Along with working his regular job he owned, remodeled, and ran several small businesses, some of which are the Hayward Bakery, Silver Lake Saloon (Warm Beer Ed's), and the Minong Mini-Market.

He is survived by Kay McShane, Spooner, sons Michael Kenneth McShane (Jean) Spooner, Damian Anthony Vraniak (Christina), Springbrook, John Vraniak McShane, Dominican Republic, Mark Vraniak McShane (Laurie), Duluth, MN, 13 grandchildren, and 16 great grand children.

Ken was ever ready to help anyone out who asked. He painted signs, was an accomplished mechanic and musician, a crack shot, enjoyed fishing, and with his wife Kay built two home from scratch, fixed up, renovated, re-modeled and restored over 30 different homes while the kids were growing up, Kay being the general contractor, children the help, and Ken the craftsman and carpenter.

Ken always did more for his family, relatives, neighbors and friends than he did for himself. A quiet, gifted man who rarely enjoyed the spotlight, but brought much joy to those he played the piano for or to whom he gifted his artistry.

Ken will be laid to rest at a Graveside Service at Greenwood Cemetery in Minong, Wisconsin on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.

The family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to Maple Ridge Care Center in Spooner, for the wonderful compassion and loving care they offered Ken as well as relatives and friends for their thoughts and prayers for Ken and his family.

Memorials may be made on Ken's behalf to Maple Ridge Care Center Interior Court Yard improvement project. Maple Ridge, 510 First St. Spooner, WI 54801.


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