OBITUARY: Kenneth G. Skantz, Jr., 59

LOWELL, MA — Born and raised in Wilmington, MA, Ken attended school there before serving his country in the U.S. Army. After his discharge he met Ela Giray, a Turkish national who was studying in the U.S. They eloped and moved to Turkey, where they had a daughter, Deniz. After their marriage ended, Ken traveled Europe and the United States, and at different times Ken’s home was in Ankara, Turkey; Kodiak, Alaska; and, finally, Lowell, MA.

Ken had five sisters and was the only boy in the family, which might explain his desire to travel to far-flung parts of the country and the world. This isn’t to say he wasn’t a loyal brother; He was quick to defend and protect his sisters, like the unforgettable time he single-handedly rescued his partially paralyzed sister Elaine from drowning.

Without any formal training, Ken worked as a freelance journalist while in Turkey, reporting on events there and dispatching them to the States for publication. Besides history, Ken
had a keen interest in world religions and their representations of God; constantly reading books on the subject. We imagine that with his passing Ken has found the ultimate primary source for his studies.

Other passions of Ken’s include the Boston sports teams: Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and
Patriots, and over the last two decades their various championship wins made him swell with pride. A member of the Green Party, Ken also cared very deeply about the planet and protecting it for future generations.

Ken is predeceased by his parents, Kenneth G. Skantz, Sr. and Marilyn J. Skantz, and his sister Elaine Hodgkins. He is survived by his daughter, Deniz Giray, and sisters Betsy Walters, Elise Semmler, Erika Hernandez (Edmund Hernandez) and Leslie Skantz-Hodgson (Kevin Hodgson). He also leaves several nieces and nephews: Robert Semmler, Kirsten Semmler, Ashley Inzinga, Avery Walters, Hansine Hernandez, Evana Hernandez, Colin Hodgson, Christian Hodgson, and Rowan Hodgson.

To honor Ken’s life, and the planet he so loved to explore and protect, please plant a tree or make a donation to an organization that works to combat climate change.

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