Obituary: Kenneth Louis Beaugrand, 1938 - 2024

Nantucket Current •

Kenneth Louis Beaugrand passed away on May 31, 2024, at the age of 85 on the island of Nantucket, his home for the past 30 years. Though a failing heart took him away from this world, it was his warm heart and quick smile that drew people to him during his life.

Ken was born to Louis and Gertrude Beaugrand on October 19, 1938, in Manhattan, New York City. The family moved full-time to their weekend country house in Stamford, Connecticut when Ken was 7 years old.

Ken took education seriously. He attended St. Basil Preparatory School in Stamford, Connecticut, followed by Brown University in Rhode Island, where he received a BA in 1960. He went on to receive his Law Degree from Columbia Law School in New York in 1963 and then a Master of International Law from the University of London in the UK in 1965.

He had a fulfilling career in law, starting when he was of counsel at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, an international law firm headquartered in New York City. There he was involved in a wide variety of corporate work and litigation.

He was recruited by Investment Overseas Services (IOS) and worked and lived in England, France, Switzerland, Holland, the Bahamas, Japan, and Canada, becoming a senior officer of the company.

Ken met the love of his life on a blind date in London in early 1969. The first date did not go well at all, but he was persistent and managed to get a second date later that summer. He and Augusta W. Barnard were married in Geneva on November 22, 1969.

Ken and Augusta (Gussie) moved to Toronto, Canada in 1973 and Ken continued his legal career at Aird, Zimmerman & Berlis before shifting back to finance. He was notably Executive Vice President at Eaton Bay Financial Services, Senior Vice President of investments at the Imperial Life Assurance Company of Canada, and President and CEO of US Operations at Manulife Financial.

For many years, starting in the 1980s, Ken and family vacationed in the summers on Cape Cod and later on Nantucket. With all three children off to college, Ken and Gussie became year-round residents of Nantucket in 1994. He bought the Nantucket Real Estate company in 1996, which he ran very successfully for many years. He eventually sold the business and started transitioning into retirement.

But retirement didn’t suit him, and he took a strategic position with the Town of Nantucket that combined his knowledge of Nantucket, his experience in real estate, and both his legal and investment backgrounds.

Ken found ways to give back to his community throughout his adult life, but this was especially important to him on Nantucket. Ken served as warden of St. Paul’s Church from 2008 to 2016 and was on the vestry for nearly two decades. He was also chair of the long-term planning campaign and chair of the capital campaign at the Church. He was vice president of the Nantucket Historical Association, the Chair of the Nantucket Preservation Trust, the Chair of the Community Preservation Committee, and an eight-term President of the Nantucket Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB). He was a director and President of the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, a committee member of the school housing project, a director of the Nantucket Housing Office, and a director of the Nantucket Rotary Club.

Ken loved to read, especially thrillers. He would always have a couple of the latest hardcover novels on his bedside table and any time spent on the beach in the summer was spent reading.

Travel was very important to Ken. Not only did he and Gussie travel extensively in Europe and Asia, he visited Russia, Egypt, South Africa, and Australia. He also ensured that his children had opportunities to travel, whether it was a school trip to the UK, living in France for a semester, or traveling internationally with a sports club – he fully supported it all. He also traveled extensively within the US and drove across the country multiple times.

Ken loved music. His musical tastes ranged from early rock and roll to the British Invasion of the 60’s, to classical music, especially German and Austrian composers. Some of his absolute favorites included Neil Diamond and the Broadway musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Many long car rides in the ’80s were accompanied by the soundtracks to Evita, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera. If you were lucky enough to be around him at Christmastime, you would have undoubtedly learned that he was an accomplished, self-taught pianist who could play (and sing!) almost any Christmas carol you could think of – from memory.

While Ken could absolutely not cook anything in the kitchen, he was excellent at grilling. He would grill all year round, braving the pouring rain, shoveling through 2 feet of snow, whatever it took. He was happy to prepare your burgers any way you like, as long as you like them medium rare.

Sports is a topic that Ken could talk about for hours. While he played lacrosse at Brown, his love of ice hockey led him to coach many of the teams that his sons played on. As a spectator, he embraced all three of Toronto’s pro sports teams and attended many Maple Leafs, Argonauts, and Blue Jays games over the years. After moving to Nantucket, he adopted the Patriots and Bruins, but still kept a special place in his heart for the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs. He could talk about nearly any sport for an indefinite length of time and had a knack for truly bringing to life the special moments of a particular game, series, or even season. It was not unusual for him to be watching three or four games at the same time on busy sports weekends and texting with Samantha or Jason whenever something dramatic happened.

Ken is survived by his wife, Augusta (Gussie), his three children Christopher [Napa], Samantha [Boston] , and Jason [Sacramento], and his brother Raymond [Cape Coral].

A memorial service will take place at St. Paul’s Church in Nantucket at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, 2024, followed by a reception in the garden.

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