Seung-il Kang (known as Ken to his friends and affectionately called “Appa-sang” by his family) was a beloved husband, father, fur-grandpa, brother, uncle, and all-around gregarious guy. It is with great sadness that we announce his passing on Mon. June 6, 2022, in Edmonton, Alta. at Roozen Family Pilgrim’s Hospice with his family by his side. He was 78 years old.
Ken was born on Sept. 21, 1943 in Osaka, Japan, the eldest son of eight to Rha, Sang-soon and Kang, Chi-won. Spending just a couple of years in Japan, the family moved to Kwang-ju, South Korea where he spent his childhood and young adult years.
Following his university education studying the arts, he spent three years in the Korean military to fulfill his mandatory conscription duty; he spoke often of his experiences during that time. Always incorporating humour in every situation, he said he hated having wet boots more than anything and if he never saw another bowl of bland chicken and rice soup it would be too soon.
Following the Korean War, it was a difficult time of rebuild in his homeland and in 1972, Ken made the brave decision to immigrate to Canada in hopes of a fresh start to build his career and life.
This new chapter started in Grande Cache, Alta., a small mountain town and a far departure from the city life and culture he knew. Even so, he dove into his new life, receiving many accolades at work at the McIntyre Mines, discovering a passion for ice fishing and developing fast and long-lasting friendships with Koreans and Canadians alike.
He was introduced to his wife Aeng-Soon (Anne to friends, and “Mama-sang” to Ken) through his family in Korea and they married in Grande Cache in 1976, followed by the birth of his daughters Grace in 1977 and Gloria in 1980, who he lovingly called “gangaji”, meaning “puppy” in Korean.
Entrepreneurial and resourceful, Ken and Anne sought betterment through business opportunities that took them through many stops in Alberta communities, enjoying each stop along his journey and making many friends along the way, eventually settling in Edmonton.
He was sure to find the local golf club, spending many hours perfecting his driver (and far less time with his putter), and embraced becoming a grill master, often hosting impromptu barbecues for his friends and community.
Appa-sang cherished spending time with his family and friends, travelling, golfing, listening to music, and singing us songs (both real and made up).
He was known for his dislike of the cold (he wore long johns in the summer), his love of dogs (and the countless hours spent playing with his furry best friends and sneaking them beef jerky), and his devotion to providing for his family.
He will be deeply missed but forever celebrated by Mama-sang and his girls, his siblings and their spouses, and his large extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Ken was predeceased by his parents, Sang-soon and Chi-won.
Ken was diagnosed with Stage 3 Prostate Cancer in October of 2017 and valiantly fought until his passing. The family thanks Dr. Usmani and Dr. North, the radiation and chemotherapy teams at the Cross Cancer Institute, his palliative care team, especially Dr. Fanous from Pilgrim’s Hospice, and all of his friends and family who supported him during his time.
A Celebration of Life will be held Sun. July 24, 3 p.m. at the Old-timers Cabin, 9430 – 99th St. (Scona Road), Edmonton. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org.
Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed at www.HainstockEdmonton.com.
If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Pilgrim’s Hospice Society, 9808-148th Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alta. T5N 3E8 Ph. 780-413-9801, https://pilgrimshospice.com/.