In Loving Memory

Kenneth James Roozen

January 17, 1943 - March 21, 2023


Kenneth James Roozen passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, in the midst of his family. He was 80 years old. Ken was a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and later a resident of Birmingham and Fairhope, Alabama.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roger and Bernice Roozen, and his brother Mark Robert Roozen. He is survived by his wife and the love of his life, Sandra Giles Roozen; his brother David Alan Roozen (Suzanne); five children, Karla Roozen Thrasher (Jamie), Kevin Roger Roozen (Lisa), Kristin Roozen Whitehurst (Joey), Mindy Van Matre Kilby (Sally), and Kelly Van Matre Stark (David); nine grandchildren, Michael James Thrasher, Mary Allison Thrasher Brown (Alex), Monica Lucy Thrasher, Madigan Rose Roozen, Brent Kenneth Roozen, Logan Gabriel Stark, Lane Stark Ratliff (Jake), Kennon Tripp Whitehurst, and Caroline Merit Whitehurst; one great granddaughter, Madelyn Mason Brown; and many treasured friends through his love of tennis and travel. 

Ken was a continuous learner, earning his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences through which he used his gifts of teaching, research and administration throughout his career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Medical University of South Carolina. He is remembered by former colleagues as a leader that guided people rather than directing them, and one that played a significant role in the growth and development of UAB. He loved music, art, and good food, and taught his family to appreciate all of these. In his spare time you would find him on the tennis court, riding his bike along the bay, cheering his grandchildren on from the sidelines of their sports, or making treasures in his woodworking shop. He was always ready to give life advice, and would rather be in the background than the foreground. Those who were around Ken will recall him saying, “you gotta love the action,” and his family and colleagues will be forever grateful for his influence. 

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations be made in Ken’s memory to your favorite charitable organization.

Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.

1 Comment

  1. Roy Curtiss

    I am saddened to read this obituary. Ken was one of my stellar graduate students. It was a pleasure to mentor him and observe his career blossom with success after success. Our days at UAB together were a special treasure. I mourne his loss. Sincerely, Roy Curtiss


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