Stroo Funeral Home, Inc. 
1095 68th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Phone:  (616) 455-9280 
Fax: (616) 455-2035
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Michael A. Vos - Owner / Manager
 Robert K. Stroo - Owner / President 



Service Information

 Kenneth Ray Dabney

Visitation: At Stroo Funeral Home, Thursday, December 29, from 10:30 - 11:30, prior to the service.
Service: 11:30 AM, Thursday, December 29, at Stroo Funeral Home, 1095 68th St. SE, Grand Rapids, 49508

Cemetery: Fort Custer National Cemetery
Memorials: Grand Rapids Symphony  300 Ottawa Ave NW #100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, Kent County Humane Society  740 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, Faith Hospice  2100 Raybrook St SE #300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

The service will be live-streamed and can be viewed by going to and clicking on "Watch Live"

Kenneth Ray Dabney, age 77, of Caledonia, Michigan, passed away peacefully with his wife and daughter at his side on Saturday, December 17, 2022. After leaving his home town of Quincy, Florida, Ken served in the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne, as an intelligence analyst and paratrooper. Ken attended Aquinas College, where he met his wife, Connie. After graduating from Grand Valley State University, he spent the majority of his professional life working for the state of Michigan as a probation and parole officer. Ken was known to care about the people on his caseload, doing his best to help them find productive ways to make a better life. Through his work, Ken spent a lot of time talking to people around town, networking for his corrections clients’ benefit. Consequently, he knew numerous people and places around town and loved to talk to anybody. Outside of work, Ken’s adventurous spirit kept him very active. He enjoyed skydiving a few more times even after his military service ended. Ken also became an avid windsurfer and sailor of catamarans on Michigan’s many beautiful lakes, especially with his long-time best friend Dave Centilli. Wilderness State Park was a favorite location. The two friends also enjoyed dirt biking, long-distance bicycling, motorcycling and skiing, even serving together on ski patrol at Cannonsburg. Ken was known by his friends to be kind and generous, ready to help people in any way he could.

Ken had a deep love for animals of all kinds, including several dogs, cats, birds, and horses throughout his life. Sharing this love of animals with his wife, the two owned a horse farm in Caledonia for 16 years, where he enjoyed caring for and riding horses, as well as participating in a few local dressage shows. Keeping the farm in good shape required a myriad of maintenance skills, tools and equipment, as well as lots of time and energy. During the years on the farm (which featured a 100-year-old farmhouse, indoor and outdoor riding arenas, two large barns with stalls and a few other outbuildings), Ken relished his caretaking role. Whether it was mowing the pastures, repairing fence boards, helping to bring in the horses, or trailering someone’s horse to the vet or a show, he was always ready to assist. With nearly 30 years of involvement in the horse community, several terrific people entered Connie and Ken’s lives, many of whom are still close friends today. We are grateful to one good friend in particular, Roger Bast, who helped Ken keep the farm in good running order on numerous occasions. 

To Connie’s delight, Ken thoroughly enjoyed Grand Rapids Symphony programs, Broadway shows and numerous piano performances over the years. During Connie’s years of teaching piano, Ken encouraged every piano student. His love for life and people was always evident.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilbur and Verna Mae Dabney; and a younger sister, Shirley Merritt.  Ken will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Connie; daughter, Tamara; youngest sister, Martha (Herb) Chancey; brother-in-law, Tommie Merritt; as well as many extended family members and longtime loyal friends.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 29, from 10:30 - 11:30 am at Stroo Funeral Home (1095 68th St. SE), where the memorial service will begin at 11:30 am. Chaplain Mike Haefner will officiate. A luncheon will follow the service. Internment, to be held at the end of April 2023, will be at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan.

Contributions may be made in memory of Ken to the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, Kent County Humane Society or Faith Hospice. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to every single person we interacted with at Faith Hospice. Their staff is so exceptionally caring and professional, and we were so strengthened and comforted by the amazing care they provided not only to Ken, but also to us, Connie and Tamara. The work they do is so important and their exemplary services allowed us to be fully present for Ken’s last days.

1095 68TH ST SE
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