October 24, 1943 - June 27, 2019
Kenneth Marshall Hastings, age 75, of Laurel, passed away surrounded by his loving family on June 27, 2019 at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford, Delaware. A lifelong resident of Sussex County, he is the son of the late Marshall E. Hastings and Kathryn Bailey Hastings. Kenny graduated from Laurel High School in 1961. He then attended the University of Delaware where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. He loved to tell his children stories of hitchhiking back and forth from college to his parents’ home in Laurel and working in the dining hall with his lifelong friend, Robert Wheatley. After graduation, he was offered a full scholarship to get an advanced degree but was drafted into the U.S. Army and proudly served his country in the Vietnam War. Kenny was employed by Campbell Soup, Green Giant, and Cannon Foods. He also worked for many years as the farm manager at what is now known as the University of Delaware Carvel & Research Center in Georgetown. Many good memories were made with family and friends at the two-story brick house on the farm he and his family called home for nearly 20 years. Kenny was an amazing husband, father, and grandfather. He will be remembered as a true hero to his devoted children and grandchildren, whom he loved to spoil and never liked to discipline. He let his grandkids at a very young age sit in his lap and drive the family car around and around the house, through the front yard and back, much to their Nana’s dismay. Then there were the frequent trips to Toys ‘R Us, riding in the back of Pop-Pop’s pickup truck down farm roads, and the time just a few months ago when Kenny crawled inside his beagle Percy’s dog crate to get laughs from his youngest grandkids, Olivia and Wyatt, during a trip to visit him from Indiana. He never failed to go above and beyond for his family, always being there when they needed him no matter when and no matter what. If you ran out of gas at midnight, got into a fender bender, or just needed someone to talk to, you could always count on Dad to be there for you. While Kenny loved all of his children equally, he shared a special bond with his son, Jason. When Jason was a young boy, he was inseparable from his father. Kenny started taking Jason to his greenhouse, Kathryn’s Flowers, regularly when he was just a tot, and oftentimes Kenny could be seen walking around with an extra diaper for his son hanging out of his back pants pocket. Kenny will be remembered for his hilarious wit, kind heart, and his practical jokes. A favorite family story is when Kenny told his sister Cheryl that Skate World in Seaford had burned down. It happened to be Sunday so Cheryl said a special prayer out loud at Bethel Church for the skaters and their lost skating rink, only to find out upon returning to their mother’s and father’s home, the family gathering place, that he had made up the entire thing. When it came to his wittiness, his wife Kathy was often the focal point of his humor and although he never meant any harm by it, it drove her crazy on a daily basis. Kenny loved his greenhouse. It was his place of refuge over the years and he made it there most days, even when he was very sick from cancer. Many members of the family pitched in to keep it running in his final days, and that is much appreciated by his wife and children. During this time, everyone working there loved to hear the kind words and fond memories shared by his customers, many of whom have been coming to Kathryn’s Flowers for years. Kenny loved growing things but perhaps what he loved best about the greenhouse is that it was a place for him to catch up on the local “news.” Kenny could talk for hours, chatting with Dennis Hearn, Robert Wheatley, and many other friends who would stop by regularly. He believed in hard work and instilled that work ethic in his children. Another family memory is the Labor Day Kenny made his two daughters pull weeds and pot chrysanthemums the entire day in the hot sun while everyone else was enjoying the beach. He surprised them that afternoon with a trip to Rehoboth, a swim in the ocean, and Grotto pizza . . . and all was good. He is survived by his wife of 49 years Kathleen Hastings; son, Jason Hastings, and his wife Melissa; daughters, Jennifer Boes and her husband Doug; Colleen Reed and her husband Glenn; brother, Irvin Hastings and his wife Rose; sisters, Barbara Jean Scarborough, Marlene James, Cheryl Hearn and her husband Dennis, and Marsha Murphy and her husband Jerry; grandchildren, Gage Reed, Joshua Reed, Kaisey Reed, Olivia Hastings, Wyatt Hastings, and soon-to-be granddaughter, Grace Hastings. Many nieces and nephews and their children also survive him. Kenny fought the good fight. He beat cancer once only to have it return. He had chemo, radiation, and immunotherapy. Many days he was very ill and was in a great deal of pain, but he never once complained, and he never gave up. His strength, courage, and character live on in his children and grandchildren. In addition to his parents, Kenny is preceded in death by his sister Dawn Steen and her daughters, Sherre Steen Price and Donna Steen Hitchens. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, July 5, 2019 at Sailor’s Bethel United Methodist Church on Main Street in Bethel. A visitation will be held at the church from 10 am until 11 am. Reverend Bill Nack will officiate. Interment will follow at the Delaware Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Millsboro, where Mr. Hastings will receive full military honors. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mr. Kenneth Hasting’s memory to Sailor’s Bethel United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 187, Bethel, Delaware 19931. Arrangements are in the care of the Hannigan, Short, Disharoon Funeral Home in Laurel, Delaware.
Kenneth Marshall Hastings, age 75, of Laurel, passed away surrounded by his loving family on June 27, 2019 at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford, Delaware. A lifelong resident of Sussex County, he is the son of the late Marshall E. Hastings... View Obituary & Service Information
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