Kenneth M Mahan ’48, Humanitarian

Kenneth M Mahan graduated from West in 1948 where he was the class vice president. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1950 – 1952. He continued his education at The Ohio State University and was graduated with a Business degree in 1955.

He began his 33-year career with the State of Ohio in 1962. The Federal Government passed the Older Americans Act in 1965, this leading the way for the State of Ohio to establish its own Administration on Aging. This was realized in 1966 when Ken coordinated the removal of ‘aging’ from the Department of Mental Hygiene and Correction: thus creating the Ohio Administration on Aging.

In 1973, he helped write state legislation to establish the Commission on Aging. He continued to help expand multipurpose senior center into virtually every county of the state. Ken even supervised the construction of the Martin Janis Senior Center in Columbus.

In 1976, he helped launch the Golden Buckeye Card, which was the first and largest senior discount program in the United States. Ken also developed and lobbied for the creation of the present cabinet-level Department of Aging in 1984. Throughout the 1980s and mid-1990s, Ken was also instrumental in expanding various services for seniors. He served as the Acting Director for the Ohio Department on Aging at six different intervals under both Republican and Democratic Governors.

Ken has been an active member of the Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio, serving as Director of the Registrar Unit of the Aladdin Temple Shrine for 17 years and Chairman of the Aladdin Temple Speakers Bureau. Ken was inducted in to the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame in 1999.

He is married to the former Pat Wolfendale (Class of 1948), and they have two children and three grandchildren.