Marriott, Kenneth

August 23, 2018

ALBANY – Kenneth Marriott, 93, formerly of Delmar, NY, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on August 23, 2018. Born September 7, 1924, to parents who emigrated from Leeds, England, Ken grew up in Plattsburg, NY. The oldest of three (younger sisters Irene and Joyce), he had an active childhood enjoying Lake Champlain and working at a friend’s candy store.

In 1943, the draft cancelled his plans to attend Plattsburgh State Teacher's College. Stationed in England, he was a navigator for the Army Air Corps, directing B17 planes during bombing raids of German factories. He was proud of his military service. Discharged as a First Lieutenant in October 1945, he then enrolled at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on the “GI Bill.” He graduated with a degree in engineering and soon after (1950) got a job working for the NYS Dept. of Transportation in the Bridge Office. He stayed with the DOT, where he was a well-respected civil engineer until his retirement in 1986. Ken was fortunate enough to remain close friends with those from work, even up until his death.

Ken was introduced to his wife Jean (Van Etten, who predeceased him in 2016) through a mutual friend, and they married in 1951. He designed a home for them in Delmar, where they lived together for 59 years, raising their three children: Robert, Richard, and Barbara.

Ken was active and enjoyed the outdoors. He loved walking, gardening, doing yard work, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, golfing, swimming at his camp on Helderberg Lake, and, especially, hiking.

With several different friends over many years, Ken hiked a total of 111 northeastern peaks, each over 4,000 feet in elevation — this earned him a membership to the Northeast 111 Club. He then traveled to England, Wales, and Scotland to continue hiking.

He also enjoyed traveling and photographing his trips along the way. He and Jean took cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. His vast collection of slides is a testament to his passion for exploring.

When in Delmar, Ken enjoyed reading, singing, square dancing, playing cards and board games, listening to music, and doing home repair and construction projects. He was a highly intelligent, curious person who made friends easily. Ken found problem-solving thrilling: he was supremely organized and famous for making lists. At the end of a long day, he enjoyed a good joke and a good glass of Scotch.

He also felt driven to help others — volunteering at the Albany Food Bank, the Helderberg Lake Community Association, the Tri-Village Squares, and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.

Ken is survived by his son Robert, of Delmar, Richard, of Rensselaer, Barbara, of Waltham, MA; his twin granddaughters Sarah and Amelia Van Donsel and son-in-law, Jim Van Donsel of Waltham, MA; his sister Irene Rennie of Bridgeport, CT, three nieces and two nephews, and his close friend and caretaker, Barb Q. He is also pre-deceased by his sister Joyce Griffen. He enjoyed the past two years living in the caring, active community of Atria Crossgate.

Viewing will be held Monday, August 27 from 4-7 pm in the Daniel Keenan Funeral Home,490 Delaware Ave. Albany. Funeral services will be held Tuesday August 28 at 10:00 am in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Delmar. Burial will follow in Bethlehem Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Food Pantries of the Capital District, 32 Essex Street, Albany, NY 12206 or the Adirondack Mountain Club, ADK, 814 Goggins Road, Lake George, NY 12845.

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