October 13, 1939 - March 24, 2021
Resident of Rocklin, CA
As he was being treated in hospice with lung cancer, Ken Kahn told his wife, Nancy, three things he wanted remembered. He felt he had lived a good life. He appreciated his family. And he was at peace. It was vintage Kenny Kahn - short, direct, considerate.
As a 29-year veteran of the Santa Clara County sheriff's department, Ken defined the good cop: Was a diplomat needed to coax a statement from a reluctant witness? Assign Ken. Did a detective have to be dispatched east with a trove of evidence for the FBI? Trust Ken. An officer to handle the pesky media? Ken did it for four years.
Ken was born in Hays, Kansas, the son of Arthur and Barbara (Dreiling) Kahn. At age 9, he moved with his family to Tracy, CA, where a fearsome set shot made him a star on the Tracy High School basketball team. Among his fellow students, a year younger, was his future wife, Nancy (Fiack).
Following a stint in the U.S. Air Force (1959-1962), Ken earned a criminal justice degree from San Jose State University and joined the sheriff's department in 1964, rotating through assignments in the jail, patrol, internal affairs, and detective divisions. For nearly half his career, he investigated homicides, becoming president of the California Homicide Investigators' Association in 1980. After he retired as a sergeant in 1993, he worked as a security officer with the U.S. Marshal Service at San Jose's federal courthouse.
In 2004, Ken and Nancy moved to Rocklin, where Ken volunteered with various community organizations. The couple traveled extensively, including trips to Belfast and Auckland, New Zealand with Habitat for Humanity's Global Village program.
Ken is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy; and four children: Kathy Colagrossi, Elise Malkowski (John); Michael (Patty), and Kevin (Lauren). He also leaves five grandchildren: Megan Colagrossi; Courtney (Vince) Flores; Adam Kahn, Christine Kahn and Katie Kahn; and one great-granddaughter, Thaleia Colagrossi. In lieu of flowers, the family asks mourners to donate to a charity of their choice
in Ken's memory. No services are planned. View the online memorial for Ken Kahn