Kenneth Raymond Suarez
April 12, 1943 ~ July 29, 2023
Resided in: Fort Worth, TX
Ken R. Suarez, (80), passed away in his hometown of Ft. Worth, Texas on July 29, 2023 surrounded by his “girls” after valiantly battling Alzheimer’s for three years.
Ken, more fondly known as Kenny or Piggy, was born April 12, 1943 in Tampa, Florida to Joe and Gladys Suarez along with his younger brother Jimmy. Ken grew up with a love and passion for baseball, taking him to Tampa Jesuit where he was their starting catcher. It was then he met the first love of his life, Irene Lopez Suarez. Their life took them to Florida State University where he played baseball for three years before signing with the Kansas City Athletics after his junior year. He and Irene married in 1964 and had two girls, Denise (1966) and Kendra (1968). After leaving the Kansas City As, he played for the Cleveland Indians from 1968 to 1971. He then joined the Texas Rangers in their first two seasons in Arlington, Texas where he retired from baseball. Following his baseball career, Ken did some radio and television commentary and color for the Rangers before spending the rest of his professional career in sales, where he was able to do his next favorite thing, talk to people and tell stories. In the meantime, Ken had two loving grandchildren, Marylynne and Griffin. Griffin was the son he never had. They spent countless hours, days, and years playing and watching baseball, as Griffin was also a catcher. After 49 years of marriage, Irene passed away from cancer. God then blessed Ken with the next love of his life Kay Blankenship Suarez, whom he married in 2014. Ken and Kay traveled to many places, which he loved, played with and loved their children and grandchildren, danced whenever they could, and laughed often. In his retirement years, Ken manicured his yard and gardens with the workmanship of a professional. He continued to be the athlete he had always been, working out at least five times a week. It was that healthy body that kept him alive even in the worst times of his battle with Alzheimer’s. Many will never forget his larger than life personality, his pig call (winning him the nickname “Piggy” at Farm and Ranch night at the ballpark), but most importantly his love and fierce protection of his family. He worked hard, he played hard, he loved hard.
Ken is preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Gladys Suarez, and his first wife Irene Suarez. He is survived by his wife, Kay Suarez, daughters Denise Turner and Kendra Suarez, stepchildren Tammy Harlan, Chad Blankenship, and Abbie Blankenship, his grandchildren Marylynne Case and Griffin Tolle, his brother Jim Suarez (Sonia Suarez), nieces Kim Terrell and Tricia Frost, and many loving step grandchildren.
The visitation and funeral will both take place at Wade Funeral Home 4140 W Pioneer Pkwy, Arlington, Texas 76103. The visitation will be Sunday, August 6, 2023 from 1:00-3:00 PM. The funeral will be Monday, August 7, 2023 at 10:00 AM with a reception following at Globe Life Field.
In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make contributions to the Alzheimer’s Foundation. You can donate now by clicking here.