Kenneth F. Hennen, 76, Hallock, Minn., passed away March 9, 2017, at Kittson Memorial Healthcare Center, Hallock.
Kenny was born October 12, 1940, to Arnold and Florence Hennen, in Morris, Minn. He married Ruth Ann Nierenhausen, in Morris, February 27, 1965.
After graduating from Alberta High School, Kenny enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard, farmed near Morris, and worked at Honeywell in the Twin Cities before attending highway patrol school. For his entire patrol career, he was stationed in Hallock because, according to him, no one else would voluntarily move there.
Over the years, he also worked part time for area farmers Jack Danforth, Neil Johnson, and the Boychuk brothers. And he served the community as a member of the Hallock Eagles Club, the Hallock Fire Department, and the Board of Directors at Hallock Homes.
Kenny was a good athlete and an enthusiastic sportsman. During his younger days, he was a formidable “leftie” first baseman on the Hancock town baseball team. Later, he participated in softball, bowling, and golf leagues. He liked to cross-country ski by himself and fish with friends, particularly in Canada. At the lake, he golfed with his siblings, then routinely joined them for a beer and a debate about such “weighty matters” as the positioning of the Big Dipper or (insert any other pointless subject).
Some of Kenny’s best times were spent on his hunting land, east of Lancaster, where his kids and grandkids regularly joined him. And when he wasn’t out there, you could find him and Ruth following their sporting events and other school activities, often traveling hundreds of miles just to catch a hockey game.
Kenny adored his children and grandchildren. He appreciated each one’s uniqueness. He was patient with them, generous with his time, and more than willing to lend a hand. He was quick to listen but slow to judge. And it all made him a wonderful dad and grandpa.
Mostly, though, Kenny loved being with Ruth, even if not readily apparent when they were partners on the losing side of a whist game. For more than fifty years, they teased each other, joked, and laughed a lot. They especially liked traveling together, having just returned from Arizona the week before Kenny died.
While many people around Hallock first met Kenny when he stopped them for speeding or busted their underage beer parties, they still became friends. His goofy sense of humor, soft-spoken manner, and genuine kindness made him easy to like, despite having caused their car insurance to skyrocket. As a result, the list of those who will miss him is long.
In addition to Ruth, Kenny is survived by his son, Rod (Shawna), Hallock; daughters Karen (Tim) Soliah and Jodee (Mike) Sugden, Hallock and Shannon (Chris) Kronlund, East Grand Forks, Minn.; nine brothers, including Harold, Glendale, Ariz.; Don (Jeanne), Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Dave (Geraldine), Clearwater, Minn.; Larry (Yvonne), Sebring, Fla.; Howard (Darlene), Farwell, Minn.; Ron (Linda), Blaine, Minn.; Leroy (Helen), Elbow Lake, Minn.; Russ, Akeley, Minn.; and Myron (Jeanne), Kennedy, Minn.; four sisters, including Deloris Westra, Waite Park, Minn.; Helen Kolden, Morris, Minn.; Mary Ann Smith, Rapid City, S.D.; and Alice Smith, Nisswa, Minn.; brother-in-law Glenn Taylor, Middle River, Minn.; sisters-in-law LaVerne Hennen, Barrett, Minn.; Virginia Augustine, Scandia, Minn.; and Betty Budde, Eagan, Minn.; twelve grandchildren, including Madyson, Hayden, Tyler, and Brynn Hennen; Jackson, Kasey, and Korey Soliah; Riley, Ben, and Landon Sugden; and Grace and Lauren Kronlund; along with close to 75 nieces and nephews. (No, that’s not a typo.)
Kenny was preceded in death by his daughter, Michelle; his parents; his in-laws, Kathryn and Leander Nierenhausen; brothers Arnie and Bob; sister Ann; brothers-in-law Gerald Westra, Duane Kolden, Brad Smith, Glen (Pat) Smith, Al Augustine, and Don Budde; sisters-in-law Joan Willhite, Pat Hennen, and Margie Taylor; as well as several nieces and nephews.
A wake will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Hallock, from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, March 20. A funeral mass will take place at St. Patrick’s, at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 21. Honorary pallbearers are Kenny’s grandchildren.
Austin’s Funeral Chapel of Hallock is in charge of the arrangements.