Kenneth John Brands

April 18, 1924 - March 30, 2019

Kenneth J. Brands, age 94, of Dallas, Texas, passed away Saturday, March 30, 2019, eighteen days before his 95th birthday.  Ken was married to the love of his life for 55 years, Betty Jane Novak (BJ) & they had two sons, Kevin & Kelly Brands.

Ken was born April 18, 1924 in Fairview, Pennsylvania, to Dr. George W. & Hazel Brands.  He grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a degree in chemical engineering, class of 1948.  While he was in attendance at the University, in 1944 he joined the Navy & entered Officers Training School as an electronic technician.  Later in his career, Ken earned his Master’s Degree in Business from Stanford University in California.

Ken was President of Texas Solvents & Chemicals & grew the company throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas & Louisiana.  He opened new facilities in Austin, San Antonio, Midland, Houston, Kansas City, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, St. Louis & New Orleans.  Ken merged the region with Chem Central, which was headquartered in Chicago, & became Regional Vice President of the holding company, Chem Central.  He served on the company board & retired after 33 years.

Ken was an accomplished athlete starting at the young age of twelve when he won two new bikes in a paddleball contest.  He was captain of his Eastern High School Track team & held the State Record in the 440.  He greatly enjoyed playing tennis & was an avid golfer with three holes in one throughout his career.  He also bowled a high game of 289, an almost perfect game.  He was extremely competitive in all sports & never missed a home Cowboy game.  Ken & BJ went to every Cowboy game in 1993 beginning with a preseason game against Houston in Japan & ending with Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

After retirement in 1989, Ken & BJ greatly enjoyed traveling the world.  In his later years, he was an avid bridge player & reader of history & novels.  He read his Kindle constantly & relished watching University of Michigan football.

Ken & BJ were founding members of Bent Tree Country Club & he was a long time member of the Petroleum Club in downtown Dallas.  Ken was a member of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas.  After Ken was widowed, he moved from his home on the Bent Tree golf course to The Tradition Independent Living facility in North Dallas.

Ken is survived by his son, Kevin Brands & his wife, Beckie, of Dallas, Texas; his son, Rodrick Kelly Brands of Rockport, Texas; his grandchildren, Morgan Qualls & her husband, Marcus, Alyson Brands, Kenneth Beau Brands & Tami Hanley & her husband, Peter; along with seven great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Brands, brother, Clark Brands, and his parents, Dr. George W. & Hazel Brands.

A private family celebration to honor Ken’s life will be held on his 95th birthday, April 18th.

The family would like to thank his team of caregivers & doctors who provided him the best care & medical treatment possible.


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Sincere condolences and prayers for comfort and peace as you grieve. Rev. Mark Brainerd, Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church
Mark Brainerd, April 19, 2019 Condolences to the Brands Family and Friends. May your many wonderful memories be a source of comfort during this difficult time. May the “ God of comfort” be with you now and always. (2 Corinthians 1:3,4) Sincerely, DW Los Angeles, California D. W., April 7, 2019