Kenneth Maury DeCesare, 79, died peacefully on Friday, May 21, 2021, following a short illness at Tryon Estates in Columbus, NC. Born on July 4, 1941, in Brooklyn, NY, he was the oldest child of Maury Joseph DeCesare and Loretta Augusta Gilley. He graduated from H. Frank Carey HS in 1958 (Franklin Square, NY) and Pace University in 1962 (New York City, NY). Ken was a U.S. Army Reserve veteran.
Ken spent his career in marketing with a long tenure at the J. Walter Thompson Agency working on campaigns for Goodyear, Norfolk Southern, and Budweiser at the height of advertising glory in the 1980s. His time in the industry moved him and his young family up and down the east coast. After settling in Georgia for quite some time, he retired in 2003. It was then that he took on the role of Mr. Mom as he and his second family moved to Fort Myers, Florida, and eventually back to Georgia. In December 2018, he settled in his final home at Tryon Estates in Columbus, North Carolina.
Ken was known for his friendly outgoing personality. He never met a stranger often engaging in friendly conversation with all those he met. He enjoyed social gatherings with friends and neighbors.
Ken loved to cook and was often found scouring the meat counter for deep discounts, an activity for which his family lovingly teased him. His Italian heritage shone through in his delicious lasagna recipe which was passed on to his son. Although his happy place was the family’s cabin in Blue Ridge, GA, he enjoyed traveling and had taken recent trips to Nova Scotia, Alaska, and Maine. He also enjoyed sports and could often be found watching Clemson or Auburn football (his daughters’ alma maters) on Saturday afternoons. He enjoyed golfing and made a hole in one in 1971 at the Plandome Country Club golf course during the Ladies Home Journal Invitational, a feat only dreamed about by most golfers.
He is survived by his wife, Lorraine Sandra Watkins DeCesare, and their son, Vanya Adam DeCesare, as well as his daughters from his previous marriage, Jill DeCesare Geary (Curtis) and their daughters, Kaitlin (Taylor) and Caroline and Ann DeCesare Carr (Jon) and their sons, Logan and Cooper. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by both of his parents and his twin siblings, Loretta and Maury.
Ken will be interred at the Columbarium at Tryon Estates. A memorial service will be held at Tryon Estates in Columbus, NC on May 28th at 2:30 and a Celebration of Life will be held on July 4th at the beloved cabin in Blue Ridge, GA. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Ken’s name to the Acts Legacy Foundation – Tyron Estates Samaritan Fund (https://www.actsretirement.org/acts-benevolence/acts-legacy-foundation/), St. Jude’s Research Hospital, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, or the charity of your choice.
Sanders Funeral Home.
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