-written by Daughter Maranda E. Reed (Golding)

 

I am honored to be sharing my father’s life story with you.

First let me tell you a bit about the amazing man he was... Ken was born on Friday September 13th to Victor and Marilyn Golding. He was the younger brother to Debbie Golding and Vincent Golding and older brother to Jeffery Golding. He was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario. From the stories my grandparents told me, my dad was a quite trouble maker and yet became a very responsible young man at an early age.  He was very athletic, fun, and an outgoing person who always had a sense of humor.

Fast Forward to September 7th, 1980 he was riding his motorcycle when he locked eyes with Laurie Jo (my mother). They both knew right away that they were in love. The two of them had a cross-border relationship for several years when they got engaged on September 7th, 1983 for their 3 year anniversary.  They were married not to long after at St John’s De LaSalle Church in Niagara Falls. Growing up I remember my dad and mom telling me things that they loved to do before they became parents to my younger Sister (Lauren), brother (Kory), and myself.  They loved to go riding on his motorcycle, going out to eat, camping at Long Point Beach, bowling with friends and even just hanging out having a bonfire with a few drinks. My mom said that every month while they were dating they would go out to dinner and my dad would always go put a rose on the table before going to pick up my mom. My siblings and I were very lucky to grow up watching our parents and learning what true love is. One of the best times my mom had before he passed was making homemade pasta together with the pasta maker he had bought her for Christmas 2012. My parents were married for 28 years and together for a total of 32.5 years. He may not be with us anymore but their love for each other will always remain just as strong as ever.

In July 1991 he opened Lauranda’s Bake Shop on Ward Road in North Tonawanda, NY. This was his baby, his passion. He finally owned his own business and couldn’t be happier. He named the bakery after my sister and I, Lauren + Maranda = Lauranda’s. Having a father who owns his own business had its ups and downs, but the best part was getting to go to work with your dad and play in the flour, fillings, dough.  We were even lucky enough to go on several school field trips. A few years down the road he opened his second location for Lauranda’s on Buffalo Ave in Niagara Falls. In May 2003 he opened a third location on Webster Street in North Tonawanda. For 22 yrs he baked the best breads and pastries in town and brought so much joy to everyone. His favorite was at the Webster Street location, where he would often sit out front of the store with his coffee cup, usually accompanied by my mom enjoying the scenery and talking to people walking by. At Christmas, when they had the winter walk he would set up a station for all the kids to come in and decorate a cookie, He more than enjoyed watching all of the little kids and sometimes the adults decorate the cookies. I know to this day if I close my eyes I can still smell the smell of freshly baked bread being pulled out the oven, or fresh sweet rolls.

My dad had many other hobbies and interests, one of them being his pride and joy 1974 Corvette Stingray that he was in the process of restoring. It was his dream to always get an old car and fix it up just the way he wanted. He was looking forward to the day that he could take each of his grandsons out for a ride in it.  He was so much like his own father in the sense that he liked to tinker with things, take them apart and figuring out how they worked or how to improve them. He was the best handyman I know, I don’t think there was anything that he couldn’t fix. He worked on my car, my sisters, mothers and even his own for years. He also loved to walk around their beautiful backyard and pick weeds; he would always say it was his stress reliever.

My dad loved all three of us kids so much and we all had our own special relationship with him.  He first became a Grandfather (Papa) on May 10, 2011 to my son Timothy and shortly after his second grandson Jace was born July 22, 2011.  Words cannot describe how much he loved his two grandsons. Since my husband and I live in Texas, my son Timmy didn’t get to see his papa very often but thank goodness for Skype and Facetime. We would always call each other and video chat several times a week. Jace had a very special relationship with my dad too, they would always spend time together each day, they absolutely loved to nap together on the couch. Unfortunately he missed the birth of his third grandson, my second child, Tanner. It was the most amazing thing when Tanner was born I felt the presence of my dad at the hospital.  We will all be sure to remind our kids what a wonderful man their papa was and that he will always be in our hearts. To this day Timmy and Jace still look up to the sky and say  “ Miss you Papa, Love you Papa” and blow him a kiss. I was also lucky enough to have my Husband (Tim) meet him and create a special relationship with him. They always say that daughters look for someone who is just like their father and I can say that is very true for me.

Overall he had the best sense of humor, personality and was willing to always go out of his way to help others. He loved to bring joy to other people and would put others before himself 100% of the time.

His life was cut to short at 49 yrs of age on May 9th 2013  with a sudden Heart Attack. He may be physically gone, but we all know he is still amongst us, making sure we are all safe, and knowing him, trying to play tricks on us too.  I miss this wonderful man everyday and am proud to call him not only my Father but also my best friend.  He always knew how to make me feel better when I was having a bad day and would always remind me that “ just like the tortoise  and the hare,  life is a marathon not a sprint”

Because he died instantly, we could not donate his vital organs. We were able to donate his tissues and bone.  My family is so happy that he is able to help others in need for years to come.

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