A CHRISTMAS-themed celebration of Santa Ken’s life is planned in Yanchep this weekend.
The popular Santa, whose career spanned 29 years, took time off last year to be with family following treatment for melanoma.
Ken Ekins died on July 6 and daughter Alana Davis said his family would remember him most for his “cheekiness”.
“He always had a joke or a cheeky comment for everyone,” she said.
“He did get himself in trouble on more than one occasion as some people didn’t quite know how to take his humour.”
Born in Eastbourne, England on April 4, 1942, Ken moved to Australia in 1970 and worked as a motor mechanic in Sydney until 1980.
He and wife Sandra bought a general store that year, then started a gift shop in 1984 and moved to Perth in 1986.
“Dad did odd jobs for a bit, then in 1987 Mum and Dad bought the Serpentine Tavern,” Alana said.
“They sold that and retired to Two Rocks in 1993.
“He worked for ‘home help’ right up until he got sick, doing odd jobs for the elderly.”
The Ekins have two daughters, Alana and her sister Elisa Trenorden, as well as five granddaughters – Miliani, Charlotte, Abbie and Kaylee Davis and Jamie-Lee Trenorden.
Alana said her parents spent almost every moment together and Ken always put his family first.
“He could fix anything – if anything breaks his granddaughters still immediately say ‘it’s ok Grandad can fix it’,” she said.
Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City centre manager Gemma Hannigan said Christmas would not be the same without the beloved Santa Ken.
“For 13 years, families from all over Perth came to Lakeside Joondalup to have their Christmas photos taken with Santa Ken,” she said.
“He brought happiness to so many people and our heartfelt sympathies go out to the Ekins family.”
The family will hold a celebration of Santa Ken’s life on Sunday, July 15 from 11am at lake view shelter in Yanchep National Park.
Alana said entry would be free for anyone wishing to attend and people could wear Christmas attire.