Kenneth John Pakenham

February 27, 1946 ~ December 29, 2019 (age 73)


Dr. Kenneth John Pakenham, 73, passed away peacefully on December 29, 2019.

Born on February 27, 1946, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he lived much of his adult life in North Canton, Ohio.

Ken was a scholar. Following graduation from the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, he attended Trinity College Dublin, where he majored in German and French, graduating in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then earned a Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Leeds, England, in 1970, and taught English in Germany for several years.

He later earned an MA Degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Essex, England, in 1974. He earned his doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating in 1980 with a PhD in Linguistics.

Ken joined the English Department at The University of Akron where he taught Linguistics and English as a Second Language and served as Director of the English Language Institute. He retired in 2010 as Associate Professor Emeritus.

He was the author of four ESL reading textbooks, including three editions of Making Connections: Skills and Strategies for Academic Reading. 

He attended St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Canton, where he served as a member of the Vestry and as an usher.

Ken is survived by his wife of 31 years, Pam McCarthy; daughter Bethany Marvin Stevens (Andy), of Los Angeles, CA; twins Michael (Courtney) of University Heights, and Kate, of Solana Beach, CA; brother Ralph (Patricia), of Fochabers, Scotland; sisters-in-law Kathy McCarthy and Karen Uber, of Cuyahoga Falls; grandchildren Jackson and Elia Stevens; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Kay Pakenham of Belfast, N.I.

The family would like to thank Arden Courts of Bath for their compassionate care of Ken. The family is also grateful to the Alzheimer's Association for their resources and support.

Calling hours are 4-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at the Arnold Funeral Home, 4817 Cleveland Avenue, Canton, OH 44709. 

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 515 48th St., NW, Canton, OH 44709, with guests received an hour before the service. 

Memorial contributions may be made by check to the Dr. Kenneth J. Pakenham Memorial Scholarship, and mailed to John Arnold, Arnold Funeral Homes, 4817 Cleveland Avenue, Canton, OH 44709.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenneth John Pakenham, please visit our floral store.


Calling Hours
January 3, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Arnold & Spiker-Foster-Shriver Funeral Home
4817 Cleveland Ave NW
Canton, OH 44709

Memorial Service
January 4, 2020

11:00 AM
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
515 48th Street
Canton, OH 44709

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