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In Loving Memory

Herrick, Dr. Kenneth Earl

The beloved patriarch of 5 children, 16 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, was reunited with his great love Louise and his guiding Savior on Sept. 10, 2023.

Ken, also known as the Big Tiger for his support of Mizzou Football, was the epitome of the self-made man. He was born on August 14, 1933, the height of the Great Depression, the second of four children to Norbert and Minerva Herrick.  He grew up in a humble home in Lemay, MO, and learned early on that education was his ticket out of poverty.

In high school he worked his way to pay for a Jesuit education at Christian Brothers College (CBC) where he earned straight As.  He later served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War where he was assigned to work in a dental lab. It was there that he discovered his passion for dentistry, which led to Ken graduating from the St. Louis University School of Dentistry at the head of his class.

While at a dental convention, he met the love of his life, Louise Ketcherside, also from Lemay. She was an Elizabeth Taylor-style beauty working as a dental assistant who had rejected more than 10 marriage proposals.

But she said “Yes” to Ken because she saw both an inner drive to succeed and a kind heart to be the loving husband and father she wanted for the five children (yes, exactly five) she had always dreamed of.

They were married in 1962 and immediately began building a life together. Ken fulfilled Louise’s dream of parenting a brood of five, raising them in a beautiful home he designed himself that later became the place of so many lasting memories.

Ken worked quietly and tirelessly building a successful dental practice in South County while being a loving father to his children. He taught them the value of independent thinking, determination, hard work and family.

He also taught them the love of MIZ! Ken, an avid Mizzou Football fan since the ‘60s and season ticket holder, enabled his children and grandchildren to bond every Saturday on the 50-yard line of Faurot Field.  Those bonds went far beyond the gridiron.

This was just one of many family traditions Ken inspired. In his later years, he became father, grandfather, friend, advisor, and colorful storyteller to a large extended family that adored him. He was known for giving toasts, speeches and colorful yarns at family events that motivated his family and made them laugh at the same time.

During his final hours, surrounded by loved ones, he whispered the simple words that his Forever Love, Louise, revealed to him about heaven in a dream many years ago: “This is Neat”. And so it is.

The following people are living and carrying on Ken’s legacy:

Bryan Herrick, his spouse Michelle, and their children Josh Herrick and Gabby Griffin; Brad Herrick and his children Emma McGuire, Maggie Derstine, Grace Cohen, and Nick Herrick; Allison Lang, her spouse Rick Lang, and her children Megan Luecke, Sean Kirkpatrick, Kelsey Kirkpatrick and Katie Kirkpatrick; Jason Herrick, his spouse Amy, and their children Isabelle and Elizabeth Herrick; Jonathan Herrick, his spouse Ashley, and their children Nathan, Morgan, Savannah, and Truman Herrick.

Ken’s Great Grandchildren include Kingston Cohen, son of Reese and Grace Cohen; Jack Derstine, son of Michael and Maggie Derstine; and 2 Future Draft Choices to Be Named Later of Reese and Grace Cohen and Emma and Dave McGuire.

Ken’s siblings include Skippy Merlo and Linda Sackin.

The souls that were waiting for Ken in heaven include: his beloved wife Louise; his father and mother, Norbert and Minerva Herrick; his brother Bert Herrick; and his faithful dog, Shadow.

Services: Celebration of life services will be held at the Kutis Funeral Home South County Chapel on 5255 Lemay Ferry Road on Thursday, September 14, from 4:30 to 8 pm.  Mass will be held Friday, September 15 at Assumption Catholic Church, 4725 Mattis Road, at 9:15 am, followed by a military honors burial service at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Road in South County, at 10:30 am.


5 thoughts on “Herrick, Dr. Kenneth Earl”

  1. I’m so sorry about Dr. Herrick dying! He was my dentist from the time I was 14 till Jason took over. What a nice guy! I’m sure he will be missed by his huge family.
    – Abby Zaitz

  2. Dr. Herrick treated 4 generations of our family. We started going to him when his office was in the back of an old drug store on the corner of Telegraph and Lemay Ferry. His wife was his assistant and office manager in only two rooms. He was so handsome and she was just beautiful. I remember he always ask me questions when my mouth was full of fingers and cotton! Always had a good tale to tell too! I once had to go to another dentist and he ask who my dentist was, then he said that Dr. is an artist! God bless Dr. Herrick and family and may his journey be speedy and reunite with he beloved.

  3. Dr. Herrick always had a smile on his face, and he would put me at ease whenever I had to have dental work done. He got me past my fear of going to the dentist. I think he invented painless dentistry. He was so kind, and he genuinely cared about his patients. His office sent me a beautiful flower arrangement when our son was born. I was so touched by his kindness. I will never forget that.

    Dr. Herrick was a wonderful man, and I am sure he will be missed by his family and friends.

  4. John and family,
    We are so very sorry for your loss. What a wonderful life your father led. He left you all a beautiful legacy to carry on. He will be watching over the entire Herrick family as your lives continue on.

  5. Dear Bryan and family:
    I was so sad to hear of the passing of your beloved father. I was just thinking of you two last week and now I know why. I did not hear until today, or I would have been there in support of your family. I know the stories I heard from you about your dad that he was a very special man. Sending hugs and prayers to all of you at this sad time.


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