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Obituaries » Kenneth D. Penaluna

Kenneth D. Penaluna

November 2, 1938 - April 1, 2013

Service Date: January 25, 2022

Funeral Home Memorial Services of Iowa

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Kenneth Daniel Penaluna, 74, of Ankeny passed away at Mercy Hospice of Johnston on Monday, April 1, 2013. He was very fortunate to have been visited by numerous family members and friends during the last few days before his death.

A Celebration of Life for both Donna and Kenneth Penaluna will be held on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Memorial Services of Iowa (4208 N. Ankeny Blvd.) with a prayer service at 6:00 p.m. A graveside service for family will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 27, 2022, at Hampton Cemetery in Hampton, Iowa. The prayer service will be livestreamed at the following link: https://vimeo.com/667492240

Ken was born on November 2, 1938, to Kenneth H. and Mignon Cronin Penaluna. He grew up in Hampton, IA, and attended Mason City Junior College where he met his wife to be Donna Mathahs. Ken and Donna were united in marriage on May 28, 1960.

Ken graduated from ISU with a BSIE degree in 1962. He wrestled for ISU and was affiliated with the SAE fraternity during his time there. He began his career as a management trainee with International Harvester Truck Division, in Fort Wayne, IN, later transferring to San Leandro, CA. In 1966, Ken returned to IA and joined Ruan Transport in Des Moines, where he enjoyed a 34 year career, retiring in 2000 as Vice President of Purchasing and Engineering.

In the early 1980s, Ken led the establishment of the MEGA Task Force at Ruan, initiating 20 plus years of collaboration with key suppliers for continual improvement in the quality, efficiency, and longevity of Ruan’s fleet. He led this national team from the automotive industry to engineer the MEGA Truck, a highly-developed “super” truck designed to travel a million miles without requiring major repairs. The MEGA engineering and marketing concept became known as “A million miles from America’s best” in the trucking industry.

Ken loved trucks, cars, and anything that ran on an engine. While growing up, he spent much of his free time working with his brothers at his parents’ trucking company in Hampton. As an adult, he could often be found in his garage working on cars or motorcycles. He also loved to spend time on the golf course with coworkers, family, and friends.

Ken had a great love and devotion for his family. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Donna, son Dan of Ankeny, and daughter Sue (Tom) Ward of Iowa City; six grandchildren Brandan, Carissa, Jordan, and Cadan Penaluna, and Tyler and Caitlin Ward; brothers Dick (Marlie) Penaluna of Spokane, WA, and Tom (Sonja) Penaluna of Cedar Rapids, IA; sister Jeri Bradley of Waverly, IA; and many dear nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Joel Penaluna.

The family would like to thank Mercy Hospice of Johnston for their compassionate care of Ken during his final days, and family and friends for their love and support. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Ken’s name to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Catholic Church of Ankeny or Mercy Hospice of Johnston.

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