PEORIA - Kenneth A. "Ken" Hinrichs, age 90, of Peoria passed away at 11:50 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, at UnityPoint Health-Methodist in Peoria.
He was born March 14, 1923, in Peoria to Enno and Louise (Mauerman) Hinrichs. He married Dulcie Looft on March 10, 1946, in Peoria.
She survives, along with one niece, Connie (Roger) Cavanagh of Peoria; two nephews, Rex (Lillian) Walden of Dunlap and Michael Walden of Tampa, Fla.; two great-nephews, Dennis (Kelli) Burton of Canyon, Texas, and Alex Walden of Dunlap; and one great-niece, Erin Cavanagh of Peoria.
Ken was a World War II Army Air-Corps veteran, serving from 1942 through 1946.
He graduated from Franklin Grade School and Peoria Central High School. He attended Montana University and earned his B.S. from Bradley University. He then earned his master's from Bradley and his advanced studies from Western University.
He taught first at Lincoln Grade School, then from 1952 to 1969 at Manual High School. While at Manual, he taught mathematics and physical education. Following his retirement from Manual, Ken was the Peoria County regional superintendent of schools for 12 years.
Ken coached football at Manual for 17 years. His football teams at Manual won 75 percent of their games, compiling a 121-40-7 record. His teams of the late 1950s were regarded as some of the best ever to come out of Peoria. From 1958 until 1960, the Rams won 30 consecutive games and in that time, outscored their opponents by a margin of 866 to 161. His teams won four Mid-State Nine Conference titles, including the first three after the league was organized as the Mid-State Eight in 1958. Manual's Mid-State Eight Conference record in the 11 years under Ken was 58-21-1. As Manual's head football coach, Manual won five Peoria City Championships and one Big Twelve Co-Championship. He had only two losing seasons during his 17 year coaching career. He was named Illinois High School coach of the year in 1959 and is a member of the Illinois Football Coaches Hall of Fame. He received the Illinois High School Coaches Association Award and is in the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame, the Bradley University Hall of Fame and the Champaign News Gazette State Hall of Fame.
Ken went to Peoria High School, where he played football and also met his future wife, Dulcie. After graduation, they both went to Bradley, where Ken played four years of varsity football and was the first freshman to win a varsity letter after the NCAA rules were changed to allow freshman to play varsity ball.
Ken was a member of the ICC board of trustees, Neighborhood House (past president), Rotary Club of Peoria, Illinois Masonic Lodge 23 AF&AM, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Mohammed Temple Shrine, Independent Sport's Club, Peoria County Bicentennial Committee, the Public Building Commission, Peoria Civic Center Authority and South Side Manor (past President).
Funeral services will be Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the First English Lutheran Church in Peoria, where he was a member. Visitation will be Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Davison-Fulton Woolsey-Wilton Funeral Home in Peoria. An additional visitation will be Friday, one hour prior to the services at the church. Burial will be in Lutheran Cemetery in Peoria.
Memorials may be made to the First English Lutheran Church in Peoria or the Illinois Central College Foundation.
Please view Ken's obituary online at www.Woolsey-Wilton.com.