Kenyon “Kenny” Wray Schatz
February 24, 1955 - September 2, 2021
Kenny Schatz passed away Thursday, September 2nd from injuries sustained in an accident.
Kenny was born in Wichita, Kansas to Donna and Eldon Schatz. He was the eldest son in a family of 8 children. He loved working on anything mechanical. He spent many happy hours fixing motorcycles, cars, and antique engines. Anything that was supposed to work but wouldn’t, he could fix. He also enjoyed having fun with many of his repaired vehicles and engines. He pulled his brother and sisters on sleds behind his motorcycles in the snow; raced go-karts around the yard with his kids; and was famous for wheelieing his golf cart with friends.
Kenny graduated from Wichita Heights Highschool in 1973. He married Ellen “Ellie” Steger in 1975 and they were blessed with twin sons Jason and Jeremy. Kenny received his certification in electronics from Wichita Technical Institute in 1977 and worked in the aviation field for several companies in the Wichita area. He and his family moved to Indiana in 1989, where they lived for 27 years. He made many close friends, with whom he enjoyed going to races, boating and target shooting. While living in Indiana, he worked in the IT field for Eli Lilly and Company and National Notification Center (NNC).
He and Ellie learned to scuba dive in 2013, and soon after, as retirees, they embarked on their island adventure. Kenny refurbished their island home on St. Croix in the USVI. Kenny made many friends with whom he enjoyed diving. He especially liked helping at Dive Experience, the local dive shop. After weathering hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, their island adventure ended.
Kenny and Ellie then moved to Boise, ID to be closer to their sons and families. Kenny soon rekindled an old passion of off-road 4-wheeling, first with “Sprout” an army green Geo Tracker that he adorned with a pair of jackalope horns on the front grill. He traded Sprout for his bright yellow Jeep Wrangler, which he outfitted with all the bells and whistles. He loved 4-wheeling on weekends with his son Jeremy and granddaughter Sabrina. He went on several major off-roading trips: completing the Rubicon, Bear Lake and Death Valley trails in CA, along with Engineer, Imogene and Black Bear passes in Ourey, CO.
If you knew Kenny, what you will remember and likely miss most is his quick wit and boundless sense of humor. He had the ability to make you laugh at the silliest of things. He was the most selfless person, helping anyone who needed a hand with his labor, advice, or financially. While most would get upset or perturbed by a flat tire or getting stuck in snow or mud, Kenny would love the opportunity to fix the situation. His garage was frequently occupied by multiple projects, some of them his, and many of them brought to him by friends and family. He especially liked working side-by-side with friends and his kids to complete the project and teach them during the process.
Kenny was preceded in death by brother Phillip; mother, Donna (Holsworth) Schatz; father, Eldon Schatz; and sister, Donel Browning. He is survived by his wife, Ellie; son Jason (Carol) Schatz of Maple Valley, WA; and son Jeremy (Kerry) Schatz of Boise, ID. He had four grandchildren whom he adored: Rose Schatz, Emily Schatz, Sabrina Schatz and Ian Schatz. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his 4 sisters Joan Schatz of Wichita, KS; Lanetta “Fritzi” Schatz of Greensboro, NC; Marla Simmon of Albuquerque, NM; Melva (Allen) Jeter of Berthoud, CO; and 1 brother Noel (Merritt) Schatz of Aberdeen, MD. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews who will miss his mischievous smile and quick wit.
No memorial services are planned at this time.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association links below:
American Diabetes Association
2451 Crystal Dr Ste 900, Arlington VA 22202
American Diabetes Association (Noel's Page "Team Lizzie")