Mr. Kenneth J. House

  • Born: May 18, 1942
  • Died: April 15, 2020
  • Location: Cranford, New Jersey

Gray Memorial Funeral Home

12 Springfield Ave.
Cranford, NJ 07016

Tribute & Message From The Family

Kenneth J. House passed away on April 15, 2020 at the Chatham Hills Subacute Care Center in Chatham, NJ.

Ken was born in Elizabeth NJ on May 18, 1942 to Berton and Louise (Buhr) House. He grew up in South Bound Brook where he inherited his love of flying from his dad. With money earned from his Courier News paper route, Ken bicycled to Somerset Airport to take flying lessons. At age sixteen he earned his solo license. Ken enjoyed years of instructing and mentoring flight students at Somerset Airport, many going on to professional aviation careers.

After obtaining his commercial license he worked at Princeton Airport, often taking local residents to the New York area airports. He was so proud when he was accepted to flight school for Eastern Airlines in July 1966. Some of Ken's most memorable trips were flying cross country in a Boeing 757, at the time, the newest most sophisticated airliner in the sky. Ken flew with Eastern for 25 years, until a 1990 strike signaled the end of the airline. Saddened, but not deterred, Ken and other pilots founded KIWI Airlines in 1991. After KIWI, Ken flew Captain for Spirit Airlines. He was privileged to fly corporate jets, and later become an instructor for professional corporate pilots at CAE in Whippany, where he cherished many wonderful friendships. He instructed at CAE for 12 years, retiring in 2019. Ken was always grateful to remain in the aviation industry he loved.

Ken served his country in the U.S. Army Reserve, and was a proud long time member of Ye Anciente and Secret Order of Quiet Birdmen, an aviation club of pilots established in 1921, where he often served in the role of Keyman. As a member of REPA (Retired Eastern Pilots Association) Ken enjoyed life long friendships with former crew members, attending luncheons to recall 'I was there' stories. Ken was a member in good standing of the Cookie Monster club, and never met a cookie he didn't love.

Ken was pre-deceased by his parents and mother-in-law Angelina Martis. Ken is survived by his devoted wife Joyce and his three daughters and their spouses: Megan and Carolyn Cosden-Zak; Melissa and Sergei Dolukhanov; Michelle and Chris Fannell; beloved grandson Luke Cosden-Zak .. His sister and brother-in-law Linda and Robert Barth, and brother James. Father-in-law George Martis and brother-in-law David Martis. Ken is sincerely missed by his beloved dachshund Rosie.

If you wish to honor Ken's memory, a donation to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN would be appreciated. A memorial service to honor Ken's life will be held at a later date.

The House family wishes to sincerely thank and acknowledge Chatham Hills Subacute Care Center, where he resided in the last season of his life. The kind nurses, doctors and staff who provided warm and loving care to Ken in his last year of life will forever be in our hearts. Thank you.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I too, knew Ken from Somerset Airport. I co-owned a Piper Cherokee up until 4yrs ago, and would always look up Ken for my BFR's... I flew at least my last 3 with him, plus other times to clean out the cob webs. He was always a joy to fly with! He would always tell me how he loved flying the small general aviation aircraft that you could actually feel. Not like pushing a button, and going along for the ride! Ken was by far my favorite instructor, and I really miss flying, but I have so many fond memories, and I'm happy to say Ken was a part of them. My condolences to you Joyce, and the family... May he Rest In Peace. Michael Tackvic

Posted by Michael Tackvic - Branchburg, NJ - Friend   May 01, 2020

When I was a teenager working at Somerset Airport back in the mid '80s, I became acquainted with Ken and his family. Ken was a mentor, coach, and sincere friend to me as I started to build my career in aviation. Back in the day we occasionally split the cost of an aircraft rental, and did some fun flying together. When I went away to college at Embry-Riddle, Ken sent me letters and postcards checking up on me, and encouraging me as I progressed through my advanced flight training. Throughout the past few years I did not stay in touch with Ken as much as I should have. I was very saddened to hear of his passing. May God's love be with him in heaven, and with his entire family as they mourn his loss. Rest in Peace Ken.

With deepest sympathy,

Arnie Quast
Airbus 320 Captain
United Airlines
Chicago-O'Hare Int'l Airport

Posted by Arnie Quast - McHenry, IL - Friend   April 29, 2020

Posted by Binka Bone    April 29, 2020

Our condolences to Ken's family and friends. I too was hired by Eastern in 1966 and share his love of flying.

Posted by Capt. Andy & Colleen DeFelice - Wesley Chapel, FL - Coworker   April 27, 2020

Our most heartfelt condolences to the House family. Ken and his love for flying will always be cherished as he shared his flying experiences and knowledge of aviation history. Always a pleasure to converse with, fly with, and being in the presence of his personality. You will be missed. Clear skies ahead my friend.

Don and Charlotte Malko

Posted by Donald Malko - Lakewood Ranch, FL   April 27, 2020

"Oh Captain, My Captain" In the summer of 1994, Ken encouraged me to "bring your daughter to work". I was thrilled and my 8 year old daughter tagged along on our 2 day trip. She still remembers our shared adventure at KIWI and the positive impact of role models and kindness. God Speed, Captain House. Our lives were enriched by your kindness and fore-sight.

Posted by Binka Bone - Memphis, TN   April 27, 2020

I worked with Kenny way back at Princeton Airport and was in the national guard he was a great person rest in peace god bless

Posted by milan brkal - dayton, NJ - Friend   April 26, 2020

I will miss Kenny, he was one of the great ones! He was a great friend and mentor to me over the years.

Posted by Robert Anderson - Staten Island, NY - Friend   April 26, 2020

I went all thtu Grammer school n high school with Kenny...always first class. We knew at a young age his interest in flying. I lost track of ken thru the tears but always felt he fulfilled his dream..I am so sad and sorry to hear of his passing. My prayers go out to his family and close friends and may he now fly with the angels.

Posted by Judith Asay Diehl - Wellington, FL - classmate   April 26, 2020

I am so, so sorry to hear this. It has saddened me quite a bit. May he rest in peace in the arms of Jesus.

Posted by Laura Dabrowski - South Bound Brook, NJ - Friend   April 26, 2020

Our Sincere Sympathies!

Posted by Arnold Quast - Bridgewater, NJ   April 25, 2020

I looked up to Ken in many ways; in fact, he was the first person to invite me to a QB meeting. And because of him, I'm now a good fellow. I will never walk into another QB meeting again without thinking of Ken! I'll truly miss him. Gone west . . .

Posted by Andrew McCune - Bartonsville, PA - friend   April 25, 2020

Ken was my fight instructor at Somerset. He instilled confidence in me and imparted his knowledge to me. I would always tell people how lucky I was that he was my instructor. I want to send my condolences to his family. He was such a nice man.

Kathy Connell

Posted by A friend   April 25, 2020

I saw the governors message this afternoon although I didn't know Captain House, I felt a strong connection, having recently been seriously treated for COVID-19. I thank God that I seem to have survived and hope to leave rehab in a few days. I'm so sorry for your loss. I was also an airline pilot for Pan Am, TWA AMERICAN and several smaller airlines.

Posted by David Singer - Mt. Laurel, NJ   April 25, 2020

To the House Family,
My sincere condolences To you and Your Family for the loss of Kenneth. He worked many years in the airlines and his contributions were greatly appreciated. Much Love, prayers to you and your family at this difficult time.
C. Anderson

Posted by Cassandra Andersson - Montclair, NJ   April 25, 2020

Our sincere condolences to Joyce and her family on the passing of Ken. We remember him fondly and enjoyed learning more about him from his obituary and photos. It was all a beautiful tribute. Much love.

Posted by Sharlene and Ted Langner - Maplewood, NJ - Friend   April 23, 2020

I didn't know Ken at Eastern, but we met at CAE. What a gentleman Ken was. We only worked together a couple of months but I will always remember him. Jan Williams

Posted by Jan Williams - Parlin, NJ - Coworker   April 23, 2020


To the House family
Hearing of Ken's passing left means with terrible sadness and I am very sorry for your loss. Knowing ken from our first days at Eastern he was always a true friend. He was a great pilot, a good person, but more than anything a first class individual. Friends like Ken can never be replaced and I will truly miss him'

Posted by James` Hamilton - Dawsonville, GA - Coworker   April 21, 2020

Joyce, so sorry for your loss. You & your Family are in my thoughts & prayers

Posted by Marylou Handzo Calaman - Sandy, UT - Friend   April 20, 2020

"Kenny, where's your jacket?" "In the closet." "Put it on, we're going for Cheesburger." "REALY!" He said. With that,his face lit up in the biggest smile I ever saw. We sneaked out of the rehab center and got that burger! If it had been at night, I wouldn't have needed headlights. His smile would have lighted the way, while pure joy filled his heart! I shall miss you my dear friend and one day, when I travel west, we will meet on the horizon and share another. God bless gentle soul! Rest well!

Posted by Eddie Gantner - Bluffton,, SC - Friend   April 19, 2020

Ken and I became friends when we were 4 years old because our families lived in the same South Bound Brook neighborhood. We grew up together. As soon as Ken was able to fly with passengers, I volunteered to be one. We were still teenagers. Grinning, Ken threatened to toss me out of the plane if I got sick. We flew over our parents' homes, tipping a wing as we did so. Oh, what a thrill! I have never feared flying since. Life took us in different directions - his to the sky, and mine to the classroom. Through the years we met occasionally, usually at family related gatherings. At those times, we realized that our childhood friendship had lingered quietly in our lives. "Kenny" will remain "gentle on my mind".

Posted by Tina Hills, (Roeder) - Piscataway, NJ - Friend   April 19, 2020

Dear House Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. I worked with Ken at CAE since the day he started, as soon as I met him I knew he was going to be fun. My favorite memories was sitting at the lunch table with Ken and joking around, we would tease him and he would give it right back. Ken and Paul McDonnell would always share a sandwich, he loved Paul. Ken would share memories and photos with me from Kiwi and Eastern Airlines, and some of the interesting people he flew with. He was truly a kind and gentle soul, we are really going to miss him. Ken Rest in peace my friend I'm really going to miss you.

Posted by John Ferrara - Milltown, NJ - Friend   April 19, 2020

Ken and I rode our bikes to Somerset airport when we were 15 and washed, fueled, parked and cut runway grass for minutes of flying time. We progressed to solo, Private and Commercial ratings before 1960. We entered the military, Ken...US Army...I went to USAF. We met again after discharge at Princeton Airport to begin serious commercial flying and instructing. Ken was hired by Eastern, I went to United. Another friend, Bill MacAuer went to Eastern also. 3 pilots from one airport!
Our paths crossed several times over the years and I will always remember Ken's smile, handshake and the next flying story. I had hoped to see him at the 60th reunion, but I know he will be there watching from the skies above.

Posted by Bob Whitman - Kingston, OK - Friend   April 19, 2020

10 years ago Hurricane Irene hit Cranford. The day after Kenny drove over with Penne (their dachshund dog) on his lap to see how we were doing. Michelle and Chris just started dating October, 2009. I will always cherish this memory of him coming over to make sure we were okay. I believe he also delivered a pot of pasta! Thank you for loving our son. We certainly love your daughter, her sisters, their spouses and your wife, my fellow "Milbilly".

Posted by Dianne Fannell - Cranford, NJ - Family Friend   April 18, 2020

May your wings continue to carry you. Gods speed

Posted by Andrew Gaudette - Oakland, CA   April 18, 2020

God Speed Capt. House.

Posted by Frances Gregoriou - Pompano Beach, NJ - Coworker   April 18, 2020

Doug... thank you for sharing that wonderful story about Ken. There dad nothing pretentious about him. Child I bother you to send that picture to me? Thank you Joyce

Posted by Joyce House - Cranford, NJ - Spouse   April 18, 2020

Before KIWI first began it's quest for flight, we got our first plane. Imagine a pilot rolling up his sleeves and scrubbing an airplane. Well that was Ken! There was nothing fake about this man. He never put himself first, or said no to a favor. So glad to have called you a friend

Posted by Doug & Deb David - Windham, ME - Friend   April 18, 2020


My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Ken House. He was the most amazing man, I worked with Ken at CAE. He loved sharing his love for everything relating to flying. I cherish the stories he would tell me anytime I came into his room at CAE. He will be missed, he was a one of a kind. RIP Ken House.

Posted by Kate Kohn - Morristown, NJ - Coworker   April 18, 2020

May he Rest In Peace. Really good man and friend!
Pete Purnell QB

Posted by Pete Purnell - Leesburg, FL - Coworker   April 18, 2020

What an amazing life , how much experience , what an amazing human being he was . Thankful to have had you as my coworker and as my friend ...thank you for teaching me and making sure that I got it ... I will miss you always !

Posted by Agi Kazmer - Front Royal, VA - Coworker   April 17, 2020

I will miss you my friend but I know you are truly in a better place. Heaven has grass strips where every flight is a morning flights into cool still air with the smell of fresh clover crushed under your tires. Fly west my friend.

Posted by Jack Stevens - Far Hills, NJ - Friend   April 17, 2020

Hello, I flew as Ken's copilot at Eastern and walked the picket line with him at Newark Airport. So sad to hear of his passing, I remember him as a fine gentleman. My sincere condolences.

Posted by Gary Fredericka - Montclair, NJ - Coworker   April 17, 2020

To the House family, I'm sorry for your loss and my deepest sympathy. I had the pleasure of knowing Ken while we flew at EAL and as a fellow QB. Ken was a great guy always with a smile and gracious a real gentleman. He set a high standard as a professional airman and was highly regarded. Happy Landings, Ken.

Posted by Ron Krantz - Warren, VT - Friend   April 17, 2020

Please know that my heart goes out to the family at this sad time. Rest In Peace Captain House.

Posted by Tiffany Read - Smyrna, GA - Coworker   April 17, 2020

Ken was a cherished friend. We flew together at Eastern, worked together at CAE and socialized together at the Quiet Birdmen meetings. To fly west is a flight we all must take. Ken just went ahead of us. He will be sorely missed. I offer sincere condolences to his lovely wife, Joyce.
Bud Leppard

Posted by Bud Leppard - Morristown, NJ - Coworker   April 17, 2020

God rest the soul of our dear friend, co-worker, and gentle man! Ken was so kind, respectful of others, and dedicated to his work family and clients. I am grateful our lives crossed paths for a time, working together and becoming friends. Peace to him and blessings on his family in your grief.

Posted by Jack Norman - Bethlehem, PA - Coworker   April 17, 2020

To the whole House family, my sincerest sympathy. Ken was a gentleman and a close friend. He will be greatly missed but will join the many who have "Gone West" and are exchanging flying stories in the hereafter.
Bless you all.

Posted by Susan Hofschneider - Clark, NJ - Family Friend   April 17, 2020

Hello Joyce, I am so sorry to hear of Ken's passing. Such a nice man. He always had a kind word for me when I would see him around CAE. I had the honor of flying with him at KIWI when I was a young copilot. One dark night in February we were headed to Midway where it was snowing. Ken said it's your leg young man, I was like are you sure? He responded you will be in this seat one day soon, so yes, it's your leg. I have never forgotten the lesson, thank you captain......he will be missed.

Posted by Rob Iverson - Basking Ridge, NJ - Friend   April 17, 2020

I was a Second Officer in Eastern before the strike. I never flew with Ken at EAL, but we met during many International Procedures recurrent training at Simuflite.
As an Ex EAL pilot he welcomed me with open arms. He was a real gentleman and I enjoyed his wisdom he imparted on me through his beautiful teaching technique.
He loved the Lancaster bomber and over the years I sent him articles and photos and some memorabilia of the Lancaster.
I know he had a wonderful life and adored his chosen profession. His love for not only the craft of flight but also the people in aviation was obvious. Always the professional, always the gentleman, and always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone, makes him a true hero in my mind. P
My life was truly enriched by the comparably short time I knew him, compared to his other friends and aviators.
Rest In Peace Ken. Thank you for being part of my life's story.
You taught me more than you can imagine.
Your hat is now in the ring.

Posted by John Rennie - Daytona beach, FL - Friend   April 17, 2020

Ken was the most fun to fly with. I enjoyed sitting right seat to him at both KIWI and Spirit and learned so much from him. I know that Ken is using his angel wings and talking flying with all of his Eastern, KIWI, and Spirit friends who preceded him to Heaven. Janis,

Posted by Janis Keown-Blackburn - Belmar, NJ - Coworker   April 17, 2020

Former EAL BOS and MIA. So sorry for your loss.

Posted by Joan Bishop - Boston, MA - Coworker   April 17, 2020

I am a former EAL Flight Attendant of 18 yrs I sincerely offer my deepest sympathy to you & your family. May the angels surround you in your deepest moments of grief & sorrow. ✝

Posted by Yolanda Schmidt - Closter, NJ - Coworker   April 16, 2020

So sorry for your loss prayers for your family

Posted by Cathy Martis - Whiting, NJ - Family   April 16, 2020

Ken was a gentle soul and a perfect gentleman. I am proud to call him family.
Nothing you love is lost ~ not really. Things, people ~ they always go away sooner or later. You can not hold them anymore than you can hold moonlight. But if they have touched you, if they are inside you, then they are and always will be still yours. The only things you ever really have are the ones you hold inside your heart. But love in all its forms and all its glory lasts - so in your life make sure that you can say -"I love well.

Posted by Richie & Debbie Babeu - Whiting, NJ - Family   April 16, 2020

Kenny you will be missed my friend! The memories we have shared over the past 40 years will live on forever. Love ya Ken!

Posted by Ann Standard - Monroe, NJ - Friend   April 16, 2020

Family Album

Family Album

Family Album

Family Album

Community Photos

Before KIWI first began it's quest for flight, we got our first plane. Imagine a pilot rolling up his sleeves and scrubbing an airplane. Well that was Ken! There was nothing fake about this man. He never put himself first, or said no to a favor. So glad to have called you a friend
My last flight, Capt Ken