Kenneth Struss

Kenneth Struss

  • Funeral Date: 1/26/13
  • Funeral Time: 1:00 PM
  • Date of Birth: 3/14/29
  • Date of Death: 1/23/13
  • Funeral Location: St. John's Lutheran Church - Northfield

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.


  1. Barbara Struss Tansy

    So sorry to hear about uncle Ken, but I know he is safe and at peace in the next world. Dad wishes he could travel to see you all and pay his respects. He sends his love.
    Cousin Barbara

  2. Ingrid Johansen

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Struss. Fourth years after being my fifth grade teacher and my favorite teacher I have thought of him often. I would go back and visit many times for several years after I had him as a teacher. His genuine love of teaching and his students has carried with me and so many others all these years. I with several others did not want to leave to go home after school was done for the day because we were having so much fun. My mother would not get too upset with me since she to had come to know him and like him. Even my younger sister loved stopping by my class because he would make such a fuss over her and tease me about her. He would spend time playing games outdoors with us, take us skating, or encouraging us to be creative and work on many art projects on our own. Please know that he was loved by many of his students and a wonderful influence to many. My deepest sympathies on your loss.

  3. Scott Iserman


    Thank you for being like a grandfather to us. You were there for basketball camps, graduations, sporting events…every time we wanted or needed you, you were there. We miss you dearly, but will always love you. You are most cherished family. Watch over us from Heaven as you did on Earth.

    All our love,

    Scott Iserman Family

  4. Sam Simonson

    Marie and family,
    So sorry to hear of your loss.

    Sam Simonson
    Retired Counselor, Wayzata

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