Life Story for Kenneth Spiker
Kenneth Grant Spiker
Our father, Kenneth joined his beloved wife, our mother, Beverly on Monday evening, November 6, 2017. He was 93 and had been in declining health for the last few years. Ken was the younger of two children of Jess Walter and Ruth G. (Jayne) Spiker. He was born in April of 1924 and raised in McKeesport, Pennsylvania where he attended high school and met the love of his life, Beverly. Beverly June Mraz was born February 15, 1923 in Uniontown Pennsylvania. She died on December 19, 1998. Ken and Bev were married for fifty five years. Growing up Ken experienced the effects of the depression era. Ken’s father Jess was a craftsman and supported the family with a variety of skills including as a tool & die maker serving local manufactures. Ken learned from his father during these formative years and developed personal values of hard work, commitment, and self-reliance. Soon after Beverly graduated from high school, she and her family moved to Hollywood for job prospects. Ken decided to forgo his senior year of high school and followed her where their relationship began to blossom. Then WW II happened and Ken enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was sent to Texas for basic training and flight school. He earned his wings piloting the B-25 Mitchell (medium bomber) and served as a flight instructor for the balance of the war. Beverly and Ken enjoyed a long distance whirlwind romance resulting in Beverly finally joining him in Texas where they were married in 1943. Ken remained a member of the Air Force Reserves serving 28 years retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
After the war, Beverly and Ken moved back to Pennsylvania. They then moved to Hollywood in 1950 and settled in Reseda in 1952. Ken began his career as a dedicated public servant, first working for the U.S. Census Bureau as a regional supervisor followed by 28 years as an employee of the City of Los Angeles, including 18 years as a Commissioner on the City’s Employee Retirement System Board. Ken’s employment with the City included 13 years as the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA). Two of his many accomplishments during his tenure as CLA were his involvement in bringing the Olympics to Los Angeles in 1984 and the establishment of the City’s fulltime lobbying effort in Sacramento and Washington D.C. Ken was renowned for his intellect, candor and ability to get things done. He was widely respected by his peers and known as a man of action. Upon his retirement from the City, in 1984 he founded the firm of Ken Spiker And Associates, Inc. (KSA). Leveraging his extensive knowledge of the inner workings of government, Ken’s leadership propelled the firm to become one of Southern California’s senior government/public relations consulting firms. Over the years the firm has represented the interests of fortune 500 companies, individuals, non-profits and other California public entities. The guiding principles of his business approach were his core values of integrity and respect for others. These beliefs were the key elements to merging the interests of his private sector clients with government objectives. “Win-Win” solutions were always his goal. Ken was proud of the fact that his wife and several of his children worked with him. The firm continues today in his honor owned and managed by family. Ken also volunteered as a Police Reserve Officer for the City of El Monte where he participated in ride alongs and assisted senior police staff with writing incident reports. Ken was the consummate family man. He always had the family’s wellbeing at heart. He participated in Indian Guides with his children and dressed up as Santa Claus to keep the spirit alive. Ken and Beverly traditionally took the family on driving vacations to places of beauty such as Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes and Carpentaria State Beach. While working in City government, Ken attended USC to further his education and became a huge Trojan football fan. While his sons played baseball during their youth, Ken volunteered as an umpire and served as the President of the West Valley Little League. Beverly assisted Ken with his presidential duties and often worked in the snack shack and authored game summaries. He enjoyed card games with friends and the competition at the Bicycle Club Casino and occasionally in Las Vegas. He was a capable gin rummy and Texas hold ‘em player. He played the percentages to his advantage having the innate ability to anticipate the next card and recognize the tendencies of his opponents which usually resulted in a winning hand. He enjoyed fishing with his city buddies on their annual trip to Crawley Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He took up golf later in life joining the Chevy Chase Country Club. He enjoyed many golf rounds with his family and friends. Over the years, the Spiker family joined together on special occasions at the Club creating lasting memories. Ken will be greatly missed for his consistent love and support for his family and friends. He will be remembered as a man who lived life his way with good character, strong principals, values, and style. He was always impeccably dressed. He is survived by his five children; Sandee, Ken Jr. (Kelly), Greg (Lailee), Scott (Cory) and Kim (Dan) Nebel. Six grandchildren, Tara, Chad (Katie), Adam (Carrie), Ryan, Grant and Pierce, and seven great-grandchildren Clayton, Carly, Cameron, Jake, Kayla, Gavin, Trevor, and another due next year. We trust that Ken and the love of his life Beverly are now joined together dancing to their favorite Frank Sinatra song. Services with military honors will be held Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., located at the Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery, 22601 Lassen St., Chatsworth, CA. Charitable contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association in Ken Spiker’s memory, 611 Wilshire Blvd. #900, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Please sign the guest book at Lorenzenangeleno.com