Ken Kasha passed away on December 28, 2022 at the age of 89 from Covid. He was born in 1933 to J. Clarence and Mary Kasha and raised on their farm near Lacombe Alberta. He went to the University of Alberta for a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Agriculture and then to the University of Minesota for a PhD in plant genetics.
Ken met his wife Marion at the University of Alberta. They married in August 1958 and remained married for 63 years. They had two children Lorelei and David and lived in St Paul, Minnesota, Ottawa and then Guelph when Ken became a Professor at the University there in the Crop Science/ Plant Agriculture Department and ultimately a University Professor Emeritus.
Ken loved his work and had a strong work ethic. He developed an innovative method of crop production called haploidy that halved the breeding time required for new strains of barley and was a major contributor to the field of plant biotechnology. He received many awards for his research including an Officer of the Order of Canada, the Ernest C Manning Award, an honorary degree from the University of Calgary and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Ken was invited to speak about his work all around the world and lived in England and Australia while on sabbatical. He had many graduate students who were always invited into his home for meals.
Ken was a Blues Jays fan and enjoyed watching and playing a variety of sports. He loved playing cards and played poker and bridge with friends. Ken and Marion enjoyed many activities together such as golf, curling, skiing, sailing, and square dancing. They bought a cottage in Meaford on Georgian Bay in the late 70s and the family shared many wonderful weekends there. They were also members of Trinity United Church.
Ken suffered from Dementia the last few years of his life but he remained a kind man whose sense of humour never left him.
Ken is predeceased by his wife Marion, his parents, his siblings Ron Kasha (Marian Kasha) and Nina Brown (Brian Brown), sister-in-law Grace Lenz and survived by his children Lorelei Jones (Ken Jones) and David Kasha (Susan Lapp), grandchildren Karina Hopkin (Jamie Hopkin), Wesley Jones and Greg Jones (Alessia Jones) and great granddaughter Alice Hopkin and his brothers-in-law Al Lenz and Gordon Lenz (Melody Lenz), as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Arrangements entrusted to Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home, Hart Chapel, 1099 Gordon St, Guelph. Visitation will take place on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023 from 7-9pm. A Funeral Service will take place at Trinity United Church, 400 Stevenson St N, Guelph, on Thursday, January 5th, 2023 at 1pm. Reception to follow service. Interment at a later date. The funeral will be lived streamed. See www.gilbertmacintyreandson.com for details.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer’s Society would be greatly appreciated by the family. Donations and condolences can be made at the funeral home or online at www.gilbertmacintyreandson.com