Kenneth Gumm

Kenneth E. Gumm, 1942-2020. His life was well lived, and he was well loved! The Lord called him home in a peaceful manner at his home, with his family by his side, on Saturday, July 25, 2020 in his 78th year.

Born in Sheboygan on July 16, 1942, Ken spent his life as a hardworking, dedicated, faithful, and loving man. He had a long-standing relationship with God and was very blessed with his faith to his dying breath.

Ken was a 1960 graduate of Central High School in Sheboygan. On Oct. 17, 1992 Ken married the former Charlene M. Ninneman (Lorenz) at Our Shepherd United Church of Christ in Howards Grove. He had been employed at Sheboygan Auto Supply, and later at Optenburg Iron Works as a machinist and foreman for over 30 years, retiring in 2007. Then in retirement, Ken worked for the Town of Sheboygan.

Ken was very active in the community. He was a 2003 charter member for the Town of Sheboygan Lions Club where he was a past president, and recently honored with the Ray Hempel Fellowship Award. He was a member of the Town of Sheboygan Fire Department for 60 years, serving as fire chief for 24 years. In 2008 he was honored as Wisconsin Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year. Ken was a dedicated member of People to People International Sheboygan Chapter and the Sheboygan Historical Society. Ken loved working in his shop, gardening, cutting grass, camping, fishing, and frying out with a whiskey manhattan in hand.

This gentle, loving, wonderful man has left a permanent mark etched on our hearts and will be supremely missed by his wife and best friend of over 27 years, Charlene, and their children Brian (Laura) Gumm, Carrie (Larry) Simolke, Tyler (Erin) Gumm, Kim (Todd) Tiede, Kevin (Mary) Ninneman, Karen (Mark) Plocar, Kathy (Scott) Schaetz, Kent (Connie) Ninneman, and Kyle (Terri) Ninneman. He will be greatly missed by his loving dog, Snickers.

Family was the pivotal essence of Ken’s life. He was proud and honored to be the patriarch, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to their large family. He has been a major presence in the lives of his children and grandchildren.

He is a proud grandfather to Brandon, Emily, Justin (Stephanie), Jason (Ericka), Samantha, Elizabeth, Cameron, Hannah, Foster, Dieter, Marcus (Megan), Ben (Abbey), Jon (Aly), Matthew, Margaret, Mahala (Cody), Alex, Ethan, and Veronica. He cherished his role of great-grandfather to Jordan, Jace, Jillian, Parker, Peyton, Brynn, and Connor, with two more to arrive this fall.

He is survived by his loving in-laws Nick (Janet) Steinmetz; brother Larry (Darlene) Gumm and sister Carolyn (Rich) Meisfeld; siblings-in-law Joan Najacht, Helen Peters, Carol (Kevin) Jones, Shirley (Roger) Bender, Ronald (LoAnn) Lorenz, Janice (Richard) Casper, Barbara (Steve) Berger, Judy (Dennis) Wallner, David Lorenz, Richard (Tina) Lorenz, Lila Andrews, Tom (LaVern) Ninneman, Janet (Jerry) Beck, Mary (Fred) Sepsted, Margrett (Dan) Miller, Robert (Mary) Ninneman, and Jon (Margie) Ninneman; and former wife Anne Nelson. He will be sadly missed by his many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Elmer and Nelda (Mog) Gumm and in-laws Clemens and Florence (Jaeger) Lorenz, brother-in-law Bill Najacht, his sister-in-law Debbie Lorenz, and other brothers- and sisters-in-law.

The family would like to thank all the health care professionals from Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center, especially Dr. Woody and his nurse navigator Debbie for their great care in the last couple months of his life, and are sincerely grateful to the wonderful staff and volunteers at Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice who comforted and cared for him in his last days.

Ken will be forever remembered for his beautiful smile, gentle eyes, caring heart, loving embrace, and unconditional love. Although our hearts are heavy, we will celebrate his life and find comfort that he is in heaven watching over us.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, there will be a drive-through visitation from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31 at the Town of Sheboygan Fire Department, 3911 CTH Y in Sheboygan. People are asked to enter through the south driveway (park entrance), and remain in their vehicle as they greet the family. Outdoor funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. at the Fire Department. Masks will be required, and please bring your own seating. Following services, Ken will be brought to his final resting place at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

A celebration of Ken’s life is being planned for Saturday, July 17, 2021.

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations to the Town of Sheboygan Lions Club, the Town of Sheboygan Fire Department, Our Shepherd United Church of Christ, and Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.

Please visit to leave online condolences for the family.

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