"As those who knew him can attest, Ken was a true gentleman, a warm and caring man, with a wonderful sense of humor and a story for every occasion and conversation."
Kenneth R. Chadwick, who spent 17 years providing real-estate services in the health-care industry, a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan and patron of the arts, died Monday after a battle with liver and bone cancer. He would have been 69 tomorrow.
As a doting father of rambunctious boys, Ken spent a lot of spare time on the sidelines of their sporting events - baseball, football, track, swimming and crew.
His voice shouting encouragement from the sidelines was unmistakable.
As a grandfather, Ken suddenly found himself with girls, seven granddaughters, and two grandsons, and he was back on the sidelines as the designated rooter.
Growing up in Philadelphia, Ken graduated from Father Judge High School in 1963 and received his bachelor's degree from Penn State.
He went to Baltimore and worked for a time for Bethlehem Steel before returning to Philadelphia and signing up for a management-training program with Sears Roebuck.
He held senior management positions at various Sears stores, including those in Chester, St. Davids and Upper Darby, through the '70s.
In 1984, he left retail and began work in commercial real estate with Coldwell Banker. He later became a partner in Source Realty Group and then director of marketing at the Arsenal Business Center at the former Frankford Arsenal in Bridesburg.
Highlights were converting warehouse space into sound stages for the movies "Philadelphia" (1993), about HIV/AIDS prejudices starring Tom Hanks, and "Twelve Monkeys" (1995), a sci-fi drama starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt.
Ken provided real-estate services in the health-care industry, first for the Albert Einstein Health Network, and for the past nine years at Temple.
He oversaw the leasing of space for physicians as well as working in sales, acquisitions and management of properties.
He supported raising funds for both hospitals through annual golf outings. He also served on the advisory board of the Salvation Army's Kroc Center.
"He loved his work," the health systems wrote in an obituary. "He had a way of making anyone feel at ease and welcome, possessed a quick wit and a wry sense of humor."
As a Philadelphia sports fan, Ken was grateful that he got to experience two Phillies World Series wins in his lifetime. He rejoiced every time the Sixers beat the Celtics and enjoyed Big Five basketball at the Palestra. He remembered watching the Eagles at Franklin Field, and was a lifelong Penn State football fan.
Ken was a supporter of the Walnut Street Theatre and other arts in Philadelphia.
Besides Gretchen, his wife of 37 years, he is survived by his sons, Ken Jr. and Brian, from a previous marriage, and Gretchen's sons, M. Ray, Chris and Geoff Branscome, and nine grandchildren.
Services: Memorial service 11 a.m. Saturday at Kirk and Nice Funeral Home, 80 Stenton Ave., Plymouth Meeting. Friends may call at 6 p.m. tomorrow and 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
Donations may be made to Temple Health Institutional Advancement, c/o Katie Beddis, 3500 N. Broad St., 11th floor, Philadelphia 19140.