Kenneth Edwin Bengoechea, Champaign, died on Monday, March 21, 2022 at Carle Foundation Hospital. Ken was born April 1, 1937, in Jerome, Idaho, to Victor Bengoechea and Margaret Strain Bengoechea,
He was a proud veteran of the US Army 1959-1966. He married Wanda Boyer in 1968 in Ada, Idaho. Ken was a resident of Champaign County since the early 1970s, having come to Illinois from California.
On July 8, 1995, he married Nancy Louise Stremme Johnson at Grace Lutheran Church, Champaign. She survives.
Ken also is survived by his children: Tasha (Andrew Goldman) Bengoechea Goldman, Poway, CA; Tyler Bengoechea, Boise ID; granddaughter Nina Bengoechea Goldman, Poway, CA; step granddaughter Delaney (Ryne) Johnson Kemplin, Champaign; Stepson Lance (Arlinda Zaucha) Johnson, Champaign; grandson Jonah Bengoechea Goldman, Poway, CA;
step grandsons Sinjin Johnson, Melbourne, FL; and Tanner (Diana) Johnson, Brunswick, MD. Also surviving are sister-in-law Linda (Jack) Farmer, Parkersburg, IL; brother Scott (Karen) Bengoechea, Boise, ID; brother-in-law Don (Dee Breen) Stremme, Parkersburg, IL; and brother-in-law Don (Sharon) Judge, Olney, IL; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings, and sisters-in-law Evelyn Judge and Karen Murphy Stremme.
Ken was a Produce Manager and Buyer for Eisner Food Stores and Jewel Food Stores. In semi-retirement he brokered the Southern Illinois peach and apple harvests. Fully retired, he completed many college courses of interest to him and was a very active member of the local bridge culture playing at Ginger Creek Bridge Club several times weekly. He became an loyal Illini, holding many season football subscriptions with Nancy. Ken was a lover of the arts, most particularly classical music. He and Nancy were at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts nearly weekly during the season. Sinfonia da Camera was dear to him as was the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Weekends often found him and Nancy at local and regional antique shows and sales. His collection of antique clocks fills the walls at their home. He was a member of the University of Illinois President’s Council, the Krannert Art Museum, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Marquee Circle, Friends of Allerton Park, Friends of WILL, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), the University Library Friends, and the Fighting Illini I-Fund. Additionally, he supported Sinfonia da Camera, the University of Illinois School of Music, the University Bands, the Lyric and Opera Theater, the Carle Illinois School of Medicine, the Champaign Park District, the Public Art League, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the Champaign-Urbana Ballet, and the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana. Ken loved to entertain, and he and Nancy were well known for their wonderful and large holiday parties and dinner parties, He loved the holidays, especially Christmas, helping Nancy with their many holiday trees. He and Nancy enjoyed traveling in the US and abroad, including most of Europe plus northern Africa, and South America.
Memorials may be made to Sinfonia da Camera, 909 W. Oregon, Suite 202, Urbana, Illinois 61801, or the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, 611 W. Grove St., Boise, ID 83702.
Visitation will be Saturday, March 26th from 2-4 pm, at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St., Champaign, IL 61820. Burial will be on Tuesday, March 29 at 1 pm at Roselawn Cemetery, Champaign.