Kenneth Ernest Struss was born March 14, 1929, in Lewisville, Minnesota, to Albert and Elsie (Helmer) Struss. As a boy he moved with his family to Mankato and graduated Mankato High School in 1947. He enlisted in the US Army in September 1948 and served in Korea during the Korean Conflict. Following his honorable discharge in September 1951, he returned to Mankato and attended Mankato State Teachers College. In the Fall of 1952, he met his future wife, Marie Schultz, and on September 5, 1953, they were married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. After marriage they lived in various communities until settling in the Wayzata area. In 1968, Ken received his Elementary Education Degree and worked as a teacher until retiring.
Following retirement Ken pursued many wonderful interests and hobbies. He enjoyed travel, camping, RVing, hunting, sports, woodcarving and fishing – especially his time on Lake Vermilion. He loved to feed, watch and study birds, and to learn as much as he could about local wildlife as they traveled. Their return to the family farm near Northfield made it all more enjoyable. He was a gifted and creative woodcarver – carving beautiful decoys, figurines, nutcrackers and gnomes. Always warm, fun loving and devoted to his family, he will be remembered for his kindness and generosity. Ken was always willing to help anyone in need.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Marie; 2 children: Steven Struss (Karen Anderson) of Plymouth, Kristi Lawton (Bruce Olsen) of Coolgardie, Australia; one grand-daughter and her husband, Jana and Bill Kraich of Fort Collins, Colorado; one great-granddaughter, Anya; 2 brothers: Lyle of San Jose, California, Gordon of Mankato; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Ken passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday afternoon, January 23, 2013, at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis at the age of 83.
Funeral services will be 1:00 P.M. Saturday, January 26, 2013, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield with Rev. Orlin Mandsager officiating. Music will be provided by Cathy Rodland and Michelle Knutson. Interment with Military Honors will be in Red Rose Cemetery, Waterford Township. Casket bearers will be David Laursen, Tim Missal, Steven Messner, Wayne Pedersen, Willard Sjoblom and Gregg Struss. Visitation will be 4-7PM Friday, January 25, 2013, at the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home in Northfield. Visitation will continue at the church on Saturday one hour prior to the funeral.
Memorials are preferred to the Minnesota Veterans Homes.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com