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Kenneth L. Waters, 99, World War II Vet From New Canaan

Kenneth L. Waters of New Canaan, a World War II veteran, died Saturday at age 99.
Kenneth L. Waters of New Canaan, a World War II veteran, died Saturday at age 99. Photo Credit: Flickr User Shawn Carpenter

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Kenneth L. Waters of New Canaan, a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army, died on Jan. 8 at his home following a brief illness. He was 99.

Born July 22, 1917 in Pound Ridge, NY, the son of Hobart and Eleanor Waters, he moved that same year to New Canaan and and graduated from New Canaan High in 1935,. He attended Short’s Business School in Stamford and in 1939 he was appointed as a member of the New Canaan Board of Assessors.

With the approach of World War II in 1940, Ken sought appointment as a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy for service aboard the 50 old destroyers being transferred from the U.S. Navy to the British under Lend-Lease. While awaiting official acceptance from the British consulate, he was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 21, 1941.

Waters married Lois Ventres of New Canaan on Dec. 16, 1941, while on leave. He served in the 102nd and 91st Infantry Regiments before being assigned to the Army Mineplanter Service in May 1942.

Following 18 months service assisting in the planting of submarine mines across the entrance of Chesapeake Bay, and having earned a Third Mate’s license, he was appointed a Warrant Officer, Second Mate of the USAMP “Frank” on Nov.  3, 1943, then engaged in planting mines across the entrance of Delaware Bay, aboard which he served with a Second Mate’s license until being honorably discharged on March 27, 1945. Volunteering in the Coast Guard Reserve in April, 1945, he was a deck officer aboard Merchant Marine ships until completion of the war with Japan.

From 1946-50, Ken underwent architectural training with Donald G. Tarpley, A.I.A. in Darien, after which he became a Construction Examiner with the Federal Housing Administration from 1950-57.

Waters held various roles in New Canaan government. He served on the West School Building Committee; as; Assistant Building Inspector; Vice-Chairman, East School Building Committee; was certified as a Building Official by the State and appointed Chief Building Official, Town of New Canaan; and served as New Canaan representative, Southwestern Regional Planning Board. Waters also served on the New Canaan Building Board of Appeals and New Canaan Auxiliary Police for 35 years. During a writing career of 50 years, Ken wrote four books and hundreds of magazine articles. His sports were sailing, rifle shooting, shotgunning and hunting.

He was predeceased by Lois after 64 years of marriage in 2006. He was also predeceased by his parents, sister Dorothy Waters Smith and brother Harry H. Waters, all of New Canaan.

Waters is survived by his daughter Suzanne E. Waters of Manhattan, brother-in-law George Ventres of Ridgefield, nephew Peter Ventres (wife Michelle) of Navarre, Fla.; nephews Tad Ventres of Ridgefield; Dale Ventres (wife Elena) of Wise River, Montana; also nephews Cody and Gerrit Ventres of Wise River , Mont.; nieces Jennifer and Tara Ventres of Venice East, Fla.; as well as several grand-nephews and nieces.

Services will be held at the Hoyt Funeral Home in New Canaan on Friday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. Family will receive friends one hour prior to service, followed by Military Services and burial at the Waters plot, at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan. Memorial donations to either the New Canaan Historical Society or the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Service are suggested.

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