7651 S. Jeffery Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60649


Fax: 773.721.9106

Mr. Kenneth J. Washington

Born Into Time: August 03, 1957
Born Into Eternity: February 09, 2016

KENNETH J. WASHINGTON - son, brother, husband, father, martial arts and music aficionado, conscientious neighbor, a friend to many, and the consummate “nice guy.”

Ken, was born on August 3, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois to the union of Melvin Washington Sr. and Gwendolyn Plick Washington (deceased). To that union, two other children were born, Melvin Washington Jr., and Sylvia Washington. Educated in Chicago’s Catholic school system, Ken attended St. Felicitas Elementary School and Mt. Carmel High School. While he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Illinois State University, he continued to feed his passion for life-long learning by completing various enrichment programs,
professional certification courses and numerous graduate level seminars.

A charismatic and personable man who never met a stranger, Ken met his future best friend and soulmate at a casual gathering of friends. What started as an offer of “a ride home” began a journey of love, matrimony, parenting and eternal partnership for Ken and Megon Bernadette Hill-Washington for 30 + years. During their journey, Ken and Megon expanded their family with the births of their daughter, August Simone Washington, and their son, Kenneth James Washington II, affectionately nicknamed “Nikko” by his sister at birth.

Besides his love of family and pride in his children, Ken was passionate about music! He loved all genres, but especially jazz, as evidenced by his experience as a DJ while attending ISU and his licensing as a radio operator by the FCC. He passed on his love and knowledge of music to August and Nikko, teaching them to appreciate the legends of R&B, while growing his appreciation of “their” music of choice, hip-hop. On many occasion, he would entice them with the line, “I’ll give you five dollars to guess who this is we’re listening to!”
In addition to their mutual appreciation of music, Ken and his children shared a passion for martial arts. Following in his son’s footsteps, in 1998 Ken began studying the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do, ultimately rising to the level of Sa Bom Nim (Master Instructor) of the art form. Throughout the years, he, August and Nikko shared a Saturday routine of classes followed by meeting for lunch at Carl’s Hot Dog Stand. Annually, the classes would culminate with tournaments in Pittsburgh, where the family would travel with Megon as the
official cheerleader and pep squad; while Ken, August and Nikko competed. Once again, embracing his love of learning, Ken was passionate about training and cultivating an appreciation of the martial arts.

Professionally, Ken worked for more than 20 years in the academic publishing industry at several publishing houses, rising to the rank of Vice President, and receiving recognition for setting million dollar sales records on numerous occasions. Ken leveraged his sales experience and his out-going nature, and started building a career in the insurance industry where he worked until his passing. Ken was active in the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Illinois State University Alumni Association, and past president of the Northern Illinois Education Representative Association (NIERA) and a former member of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE).

Whether it was biking or barbequing, making favorite playlists for his family and friends, lending a helping hand to a neighbor or stranger, or working for the betterment of his community, Ken Washington loved life and believed in sharing its goodness with everyone he met! And those of us he has left behind, are better people because of his having touched our lives and our hearts.

Ken departed this life on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 but he leaves to cherish and honor his memory his loving wife, Megon; his children, August Simone, and Kenneth James “Nikko”; his father, Melvin Washington Sr.; brother and sister, Melvin Jr, and Sylvia Washington, Mother in law Ann Hill, three sisters-in-law, Leah (Tim) Marable, Patricia Hill and Ona Hill-Lewis and a host of family and friends.

Public Viewing:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
2:00PM To 7:00PM
Cage Memorial Chapel
7651 South Jeffery Blvd
Chicago, IL 60649

Service Information:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Visitation / Family Hour:
Service Time:
Cage Memorial Chapel
7651 South Jeffery Blvd
Chicago, IL 60649


Oak Woods Cemetery


#34 Patrick Grady 2016-11-21 11:41
I went to school with Ken in grammar school and then Mt. Carmel. He was a great guy and so friendly to all his classmates. I can't believe he was taken too soon. My deepest sympathy to all his family and friends.
#33 Frederik Dissel 2016-03-16 20:34
Dear Washington Families, Relatives, and Close Friends,
My wife Karen and I were just informed about Kenneth's passing. I cannot tell you how saddened I am to see that he has left us for now. Kenneth and I worked together at Pearson Publishing and again at Scholastic Education where our two offices were next to each other. I admired him in so many ways. I will never forget a demonstration of utilizing "expert selling techniques" and tying it together with his expertise in his martial arts. EVERYBODY loved him. I was always excited to see him. We both took on other positions and obviously lost some contact. Nevertheless, I consider him a dear friend. I didn't see him for several years in that I live in the West. But there was a time when WE spent so much time together during those Management Meetings during those years in Publishing. Many discussions, many meetings, many dinners, many national meetings, many many management meetings all helped us get to know each other.
I'd like to express my condolences and sincere sympathies to his family and friends. I guess my entry will be one that will demonstrate just how broad and wide his influence was felt--in that I am sure I am not the only person Ken influenced who isn't aware of his passing. My mind fills with the fun we had and the things I learned from him. I remember him taking me to some wonderful home-made cookin' somewhere out "in the sticks" of New Orleans--what a night of fun food and taking care of some special customers. Kenny was so inclusive and always made everyone feel comfortable and at ease in every situation. Great Man, Great Leader, Great Teacher, and a Wonderful Individual.
May Heaven continue to send you peace and may Heaven's tender mercies surround you.
Frederik and Karen Gasparac Dissel
Cottonwood Heights, Utah
#32 Terry R Griffin 2016-03-03 00:03
We have only just started our journey and I have to write this sentiment. My heart aches. I have the deepest sympathies for you and your family. There are so many things I could say, with none of the words able to take away your pain. Just know that I am reaching out to you and will be here for support and understanding.
#31 Charlotte Curry 2016-02-22 19:25
I had the pleasure of working with Ken at Houghton Mifflin & remember him fondly as a kind, compassionate colleague. My your memories and love help provide peace to all of you.
#30 Alicia Shelton Moore 2016-02-18 10:23
Dear Megon,
My condolences. Hearing the news took my breath away and I cannot imagine what you are going through. You and your family are in my prayers. If there is anything I can do for you please don't hesitate to ask. I will be in Chicago as of March 16th (no return date yet) and can be an "ear" if you just need to talk.
#29 Ernest and Yvonne Huey 2016-02-17 14:11
Our thoughts are with with each of you. Praying for God's strength and Love to comfort you.
#28 Holly Inoshita 2016-02-17 11:38
To the family of Master Washington I extend my sincerest condolences. I met him just two years ago at a local Tang Soo Do tournament. I instantly liked him for his joyous nature and depth of knowledge. I was able to interact with him one other time at another local tournament and was truly looking forward to many future experiences with him. I am grateful that I was able to bring him into my life, however briefly, and mourn the loss of a friendship that could have been life long. I send love and respect to you and hope you get much comfort from how much he was loved and respected. Respectfully, Master Holly Ino[censored]a
#27 Arlene Hopkins 2016-02-17 07:38
To Meagan August and Nikko. I'd like to extend my deepest condolences to you guys. I'm sorry for your loss. Mr. Washington was a very pleasant guy. I've never met him without a smile on his face. Always great short pleasant conversationsag God watch over you guys.
#26 Jonathan & Jil Ross 2016-02-16 20:03
Megon, August & Nikko, when we think of Ken we think of a welcoming smile. Know that we're keeping your family lifted up in prayer during this very difficult time. - Jonathan, Jil, Julian & Jace.
#25 Marybell Perez 2016-02-16 13:30
My deepest condolences to the family, ken was a co worker of mine. He always brought jokes & smiles to the office. you will be missed...RIP!

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