ForeverMissed
Stories
Shared by Mark Griffin on June 26, 2020
My heart aches beyond words. I just can’t with 2020 Ken Monreal I just can’t wrap my head around you leaving this world. Our Disney entertainment days are still the highlight of my life. So many memories and almost every last one of them included you. We came of age together. You were my brother from another mother and my very first best friend as an adult. Although our lives took us down very different paths... I was always envious of you pursuing your passion for performing. You lived it! And no matter how much time would lapse, every time our paths would cross, we picked up right where we left off. I’ll miss that connection. You sparked joy in this world my friend.

This is just the first picture I came across. The night of my 21st surprise birthday party. Of course you were right there with me and reminding me how jealous you were that I was turning 21 first. Probably the last time you were jealous of somebody being older than you! What I wouldn’t give for one last day at Disney with all these faces and just being silly in the break area with you. Love you friend, RIP and keep on singing 
Shared by Ron Smith on June 19, 2020
My wife and I met Ken through our daughter Cathy Smith. Ken couldn't have been a more amiable host when we visited Vegas. He was so nice to us and happy to go out of his way to show us a fun and interesting time. The last time we saw Ken was at Cathy's wedding. We talked with him the night before and he, as always, was excited. We didn't know Ken as well as a lot of other people but we were always happy to see him and have him catch us up. That's what we remember, he was always excited.
Ron and Laura Smith

Onward

Shared by Cathy Saputo on June 22, 2020
Ken, you thanked me for wanting to fire you! 
As you know, we met when you started working for me at MTV Santa Monica in the late 90s. The MTV NYC office told me that you were wanting to move back to Long Beach to be near your family and that they would be making a position for you in the telecom department. Since I didn't know you, I was just happy to get the head count! It didn't take long having you in the department to realize that I gained an employee and lifelong friend. The MTV days were some of my best and it's largely due to the laughs I had each day with you and our team. Like the times we'd put a rubber snake into Aki's desk to watch him jump! Countless happy hours, office parties, inside jokes, etc. We had a ton of fun, because you could make anything fun. But, let's face it, we both know you HATED the telecom billing side of things. You probably disliked most of the actual work. In time, it showed and you weren't getting work done. I pulled you aside and said the dreaded words "We need to talk!" I said "I don't think you want to be here. Work is not getting done. I think you need to decide if this is really for you." You asked if I was firing you. I wasn't, but advised you that it was the next step if nothing changed. You met with me not long after and said "Thank you, Cathy. Thanks for wanting to fire me. You're right, I don't want to be in the telecom department. It's not my passion." You announced you were leaving MTV to pursue your dreams of entertaining. Soon, you were on your way to Las Vegas and on stage at the Rio. 
I love that you followed your heart. You lived life fully. When I see everyone's posts and pictures here and elsewhere as we're celebrating your life, I am in awe of the way that you leaned into life so positively. It was always with a smile, laughing, going for it. I know you had tough moments like all of us, but you seemed to have a way of going through them looking at the best in everyone and everything and really LIVING. I am at peace knowing your short life of nearly 52 years was much fuller than most who get more time. Love you, Ken. Love that you connected me to so many others, that you made me laugh, that you were part of many of my best memories. 
Shared by Jane Oshita on June 19, 2020
You always called me "the beautiful Jane Oshita," so much that my mom started calling you "the beautiful Ken."  We auditioned for Miss Saigon together.  We went to so many obscure clubs and performances.  I still talk about your antics on and around Olvera St. and I don't know if anyone quite understands what I'm saying because I'm laughing so hard.  After moving out of Cali, I was so excited to receive a letter from you from HoboKEN, NJ.  You sang at my wedding.  You sang beautifully.  That was the last time I physically saw you.  We reconnected on FB and never skipped a beat.  When I heard the news, I was heartbroKEN.  Rest in paradise, the beautiful Ken.  Your stories will live on and you will forever be beautiful.

Everyone's friend

Shared by Shani Farrell on June 18, 2020
Ken was the kind of person that was everyone's friend. He had such a magnetic personality.  Funny, kind, personable and lovable. That's why everyone I know that worked with him or got to know him in some way or another, they became his friend. He had such zest for life. I will always treasure the moments at Mcmullan's as you were the one who introduced me to the place and supporting you in the St. Baldricks event. Also, everyone remembers you from my wedding as the guy who led the dance floor. (I have so many pics)...I know he had his struggles, as we all have had, but his positivity kept him afloat and never a shortage of good friends always were there for him, as is evident now in his passing. We are still here for you, Ken because we love you and appreciate your friendship and your zest for adventure to bring joy in the friendships you have created.  We will miss you on this earth but look forward to seeing you again. 

Always Remembered

Shared by Peter Varvel on June 17, 2020
It's been a few years since I last saw Ken singing at the Rio. It was a special and memorable part of doing a road trip to Vegas with Disney friends, Shelly V., Doug M., and Ben G.
Ken pops in my thoughts regularly, such as the memory of when we drove from Orange County to Hollywood together for an audition. Les Miserables was playing in the car. I noticed that Ken was careful not to sing along with any of the female vocals. I still laugh fondly over that.
Certain songs bring up the image of him dancing. He always had a distinctive and cool style, when we all danced together at Videopolis and at AAPHASAB.
Thank you, Anna McCarthy and Kari Monreal, for sharing such wonderful photos and fun memories of Ken. I am very sad he is gone from this earthly life. I'll always be grateful to have known him.

Sad

Shared by Billy T on June 17, 2020
A great dude. A loyal friend. A terrible cook. Breakfast at his place in Vegas was the worst.( He woulda been ok that I said that and would have laughed and then came back at me about something) It is beyond surreal to me paying an online tribute to Ken about his death. I hadn't seen him in years but we texted in May about the guy at Jimmy's Corner, passing. This makes me very sad. I was walking on 3rd Ave yesterday, thought about him and had to sit down for a bit to collect myself. I hope that during his last hours, he wasn't afraid. He could have called or texted me and I would have helped. Thats all I can say about this. I am heart broken.--Billy

Share a story

 
Illustrate your story with a picture, music or video (optional):