Date of death: 9/14/2021
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1966
Kenneth Bechert of Coral Springs, Florida, passed away peacefully on September 14th after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Ken was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 28th, 1940, to Charles and Katheryn Bechert. He leaves behind the love of his life and wife of 45 years, Catherine “Katie” Bechert, son Tom (and Kari), and daughter Molly (and Nathan), along with three grandsons: Oliver (6), Leo (6), and Augie (3). He is reunited in heaven with his parents and by his brothers Charles “Skip” Bechert and Gerald “Jerry” Bechert.
Born into a close-knit Irish Catholic community in Indianapolis, Ken entered Saint Meinrad seminary at the age of 13 and was a dedicated Catholic priest for 5 years after being ordained. But after dreaming of starting a family, Ken received his dispensation from Pope Paul VI in 1975 and set out on a new path in life in South Florida, while remaining dedicated to his Catholic faith. A natural-born salesman, he quickly rose from early jobs selling gas grills in hardware store parking lots into an incredibly successful medical sales executive, earning innumerable awards and accolades during his decades-long career. His outgoing nature and his care and loyalty for those around him earned him life-long friends both personally and professionally.
Post-retirement, Ken and Katie enjoyed spending long stretches of time in their mountain home in Franklin, North Carolina, socializing, golfing, gardening, and tinkering around the house. He relished his role as a grandfather (or “Bubba” as his grandsons called him as soon as they could talk) and spent his time making his grandsons laugh as much as possible.
A lifelong Fighting Irish fan, sending both his children to Notre Dame was among his proudest achievements. He could be found yelling at his TV with his ND ballcap on every Fall Saturday. And despite not being an alumnus himself, he spent several years as the President of the Ft. Lauderdale chapter of the Notre Dame Alumni Association.