Kenneth George Preston, Jr, age 88, passed away peacefully in hospice care in Akron, OH on Friday, February 19, 2021. He was born on February 16, 1933 in Ashland, OH to Kenneth G. Preston and Velda (Lutz) Preston.
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Mr. Preston graduated from Ashland High School in 1951 and attended Princeton University until he was drafted and served in the Army from 1953-55, returning to graduate from Ohio State University with a degree in engineering. While working for the US Patent Office and Department of the Navy in Washington DC, he graduated from George Washington University Law School (JD). He moved to Lake County in 1964 and worked in the law offices of Hupp Corp and Eaton Corp and then served as VP, Senior Counsel and Chief Patent Counsel for TRW Inc. in Cleveland, OH. In 1990 Mr. Preston joined the University of South Florida in Tampa as Director of Technology Transfer. In 2001 he moved back to Ohio to join the University of Akron as the Associate Vice President for Research and Director of Technology Transfer for The University of Akron, as well as the Vice President & Executive Director of the University of Akron Research Foundation where he remained until he entered hospice February 2021.
Mr. Preston enjoyed a 32 year partnership with Nita Milbourn. He was previously married to Betty Hites.
Mr. Preston lived most of his life in proximity to nature, spending his free time birdwatching, nurturing and marveling at plants and wildlife. He was an avid music lover, attending seasons of performances by the Cleveland Orchestra for over 40 years. He was highly respected for his thoughtful and practical solutions to just about any problem, was beloved for his warmth and humor and well-liked by all who knew him.
He is survived by his partner, Nita Milbourn, and children K.G Preston III (Roberta Norris), Katherine Preston (Alex Watson) and grandchildren Kenny IV, Sam and Isabelle Watson, and his sister Velda Sue (Preston) Brown and Nita’s children Frank “Bo” Milbourn (Suzanne), Mark Milbourn (Peggy), Bryan Milbourn (Kelly) and grandchildren Madison, Corbett, Ali, Lucy, Frankie, and Thomas.
Mr. Preston will be interred at the Ashland Cemetery, Ashland OH.
Donations may be made in Mr. Preston’s honor to the University Of Akron Research Foundation, 411 Wolf Ledges Parkway #208, Akron, OH 44311.
Online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at denbowfh.com
Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory is handling the arrangements.