Kenneth E. Ilvonen

Jul 21, 2020
Kenneth Ilvonen

Owls Head — Kenneth Elwyn Ilvonen, 84, passed peacefully July 14, 2020, with his loving family at his side after a period of declining health.

Kenneth was born July 10, 1936, the fifth child of Uno and Helen Ilvonen. He grew up with a loving, hardworking, family of Finns on their Owls Head farm, where he learned all aspects of farm life.

His father Uno and his brothers taught him to have a great work ethic and more importantly, how to drive and fix just about anything. The children Carl, Richard, Barbara, Mary, Uno Jr., Kenneth and Elsa were very close, and loved to socialize on “Sauna Night” or during Sunday coffee with their mother’s wonderful homemade treats.

He attended Ash Point School and Timberhill School in Owls Head, and started at Rockland High School. He went to work driving trucks for his brothers Carl and Richard at age 15.

In February 1956, at the age of 17, Ken joined the Marine Corps and traveled the world. His major field was academic, he was always expanding his skills. Kenneth was honorably discharged September 1958 and was very proud to follow his older brother’s military service.

He then returned to Rockland High School, where he completed, graduated and found the love of his life Kathy.

Ken and Kathy married Feb. 18, 1961. They raised three wonderful sons, Kevin, Kerry and Karl. They lived a short, memorable time in “The Bogg” on his Aunt Rauha’s farm. After living on the farm, they moved back to Owls Head and made their home. He was very active in the community with the Masons as a Past Master, as well as with the Shriners and Elks.

Ken spent many years working for New England Telephone around the whole Northeast, and was well-respected for his knowledge and work ethic. He wasn’t all work though, and made sure to share his love of nature, hunting and fishing with his sons.

He also passed on his knowledge of machines, tools, woodworking, electrical and plumbing, but more important to him, he taught his sons to be caring, giving men. They too went on to become Masons and Shriners.

Ken loved camping with Kathy, traveling with family, and spending time in Florida. Ken absolutely loved his dogs, they were family. Occasionally he’d have a special houseguest, Mr. B.

Ken also suffered heartbreak, with the loss of his son Karl, far too soon. After his loss, Ken and Kathy moved to Swanville and built a beautiful home himself, on his beloved Swan Lake. They lived there 13 years, but family pulled them back to Owls Head. He was busy till the end, finishing his jobs. He didn’t want to leave anything undone. What a special man!

Kenneth was predeceased by his parents, Uno and Helen Ilvonen; beloved son Karl Ilvonen; sister Barbara Lindquist and three brothers Uno, Carl and Richard.

He is survived by his loving wife, Kathy Ilvonen; sons Kevin Ilvonen and partner, Lori, Kerry and his wife, Tina; five grandchildren Keagan, Kade, Kurt, Karl and Kyle; a great-grandson Kooper; sisters Mary Orne and Elsa Ilvonen McFarland; and several nieces and nephews, whom he loved dearly.

Kenneth’s family has chosen to remember his life privately. Interment will be at the Ocean View Cemetery in South Thomaston at a later date. To share a memory or condolence with Kenneth’s family, visit their Book of Memories at

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