Kenneth “Ken” Gene Mullen was born December 19, 1941 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to John Atchison Mullen and Audra (Chenoweth) Mullen. When Ken was just fourteen months old, his mom tragically passed away. His aunt Ruth, lovingly known as “Yen”, moved in with the family to help care for Ken and his older brother, Patrick. Unfortunately, Ken experienced another tragedy at the age of twelve with the death of his dad. Patrick, who was now nineteen, was legally able to raise Ken. However, this wasn’t done alone- Yen continued living in the home and was a tremendous help. Ken also pitched in by doing several odd jobs including delivering coal and newspapers.
Ken was an exceptional athlete, excelling in both football and baseball. He was so talented that he was being scouted by a baseball team in New York. Again, no stranger to tragedy, Ken was injured playing football and wasn’t able to continue with his dream of playing professional baseball. He began working as a mechanic in the automotive industry. Little did he know, he was extremely skilled. This, along with his hard work ethic paved the way to build a successful career that he loved in the automotive aftermarket industry.
During high school, athletics wasn’t the only thing Ken was focused on. He was quite smitten with a young lady by the name of Carol Nordstrom whom he met at the age of 14. There was an immediate attraction; however, Carol’s Mom asked that they not get serious at such a young age. They submitted to her wise counsel. Several years later, Ken was still thinking about Carol and decided to give her a call and invite her to a New Year’s Eve party, which she accepted. The happy couple married on November 17, 1962. They made their home in Pittsburgh where they eventually grew their family with the birth of daughters, Christine, Joann and Anita.
Ken was employed by Remco and eventually Moog, where his career took off. He was transferred to Detroit, Michigan in 1974 where he was a District Manager. Westland, Michigan was home for more than eight years. Here, Ken and Carol became foster parents to more than thirteen babies.
Ken and his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri after another transfer. Here, Moog realized his strong work ethic and how dedicated Ken was to their company and promoted him to the Vice President of Sales. He retired in 1997 as the Senior Vice President of Sales. Ken made quite a name for himself and once word got out that he had retired, he was recruited by Cardone Industries and moved to Philadelphia. His role was to establish a sales force and train and mentor young executives. He retired for a second time in 2007. He remained an advisor on the Board at Cardone until 2015. He was also on the Board for Teaching the Word Ministries in Lancaster, Pa.
In 2007, Ken and Carol moved to Tulsa. They immediately joined Victory Church where they were extremely active. Ken loved the Lord and started each morning spending time in the Word. He was generous and giving and enjoyed supporting new churches and young pastors. His lifelong career allowed him the opportunity to continue mentoring young professionals- always sharing with them the priority of God and family in life.
Ken received the honor of earning a spot in the Automotive Hall of Fame. He was also an author and published his first book, Thriving in God’s Life Preserver. Of all his accomplishments, Ken’s greatest accomplishment was his family- his number one goal was to have and love a wife and family!
Ken passed away March 27, 2021 with his family by his side. He was 79.
Those he leaves to cherish his memory are: wife, Carol Mullen of Jenks; daughters, Christine Branson and late husband Rick of Labadie, MO, Joann McFarland and husband, Pastor Rick of Colorado Springs, CO and Anita Klein and Mark of Frisco, TX; grandchildren, Ashley Exler and husband, Andrew, Kenneth Austin and wife, Carmella, Patrick Eberle and wife, Casey, Mason Klein and Anderson Klein; great grandchildren, Abigail, Ari David, Kristian, Tatiana, Sophia, Lorelai, Bella, David and Kai; and close cousin who was like a sister Shirley Morschl and husband Carey Morschl of Pittsburgh, Pa. along with a host of other relatives and friends.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents; Aunt Ruth “Yen”; brother, Patrick Mullen and wife, Anita; and son-in-love, Rick Branson.
Ken's family will greet friends from 7-9:00 pm Thursday, April 1, at RiverCrest Chapel and Event Center. The funeral will be 11:00 am Friday, April 2, at RiverCrest Chapel and Event Center. The service can be viewed live by following this link: https://webcast.funeralvue.com/events/viewer/51274
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