Ken Page, retired Sears executive

Elgin man looks back on a life of travel and success
By Tara Garcia Mathewson

Ken Page

Ken Page’s career as an executive for Sears took him all over the world. As a retiree, Page has an apartment full of memories and souvenirs from his travels.

Ken Page’s apartment in The Greens of Elgin is like a museum of his life. The 85-year-old man spent decades traveling throughout the world in his work with Sears, collecting treasures from Peru, Brazil, Portugal, Spain and Puerto Rico.

A benign tremor started in his hands about four years ago, making it harder for him to do a lot of things, but if nothing else, Page will always be able to look around his apartment and remember.

He has hand-cut and hand-sewn molas — colorful upper panels of women’s blouses worn by the indigenous people of the San Blas islands — framed above the cabinets in his kitchen. A hand-carved wooden figurine from Portugal, The Balancing Man, stands vigil over his fridge. Wooden and clay statuettes from Peru and a hand sculpture shaped in the Brazilian sign of “OK” rest on top of the kitchen cabinets.

Original paintings from talented artists throughout the world decorate his walls, including a cubist portrait of himself one of his employees in Peru gave him as a gift. There are plaques and certificates and trophies marking highlights of his career and a guitar, Puerto Rican cuatro and dulcimer from the days when he could play the stringed instruments.

Page says he doesn’t do much of anything anymore but he likes his apartment in the senior-friendly Greens condominiums and he appreciates the full life he has been able to live.

“It keeps me awake thinking about yesterday,” Page said.

Read the full story here.

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