Kenneth Lawrence Gittings, born June 6, 1933, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on January 21, 2023, surrounded by his loving wife and daughters. He was a few months shy of his 90th birthday. Ken was the beloved son of Lawrence Gittings of Birmingham, England and Agnes (Nancy) Stevenson of Glasgow, Scotland.
Ken is survived by his wife, Sandra Brennan, of thirty years, his daughters, Claudia Von Savage and husband David, Andrea Smith and husband Craig, Amy Williams and husband Karl and two stepsons Thomas and Eric Mertz and their wives Rose Marie and Theresa. He was blessed with eleven grandchildren: Maddie (and husband John Maloy), David, Jackson, and Kate Von Savage, Charlotte, Chloe, and Christopher Smith, Katarina, Ethan, Christian, and Phillip Williams and four step grandchildren, Morgan, Matthew, Stevie Rae, and Tyler Mertz; and one great granddaughter, Scarlett.
Raised in Elmont, New York, Ken was active in sports, earning a lacrosse scholarship to Colby College. He served in the United States Army and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War. Ken earned a B.A in Mathematics from Rutgers University in 1958 and was a proud member of Beta Theta Pi. He raised his three daughters with his first wife Janice in Closter, New Jersey.
Ken was a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and enjoyed a career in life insurance, eventually serving as CFO at Swiss Reinsurance before retiring to Naples, Florida with his wife Sandra. They enjoyed life in Florida and traveling. Ken loved the racetrack and endless pursuit of perfecting his handicapping abilities. He was a diehard New York Yankees fan, passionate golfer and long-time member of the Knickerbocker Country Club and Naples Heritage Golf and Country Club. Ken’s proudest personal achievements included two lifetime holes-in-one and once shooting a 79 at the St. Andrews Old Course to win twenty pounds from Nils Els, father of Ernie Els. He loved being a bellringer for the Salvation Army during the holidays and hammering nails for Habitat for Humanity, even though notoriously “unhandy”.
Ken was admired by those who knew him for being a rare and true gentleman.
A funeral service will be held at South Presbyterian Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey on Monday, January 30th at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Avow Hospice of Naples or the Salvation Army.