Kenneth B. Kittleson passed away on September 30, 2022, his 94th birthday, at Faith Lutheran Home in Osage, IA with family by his side.
Ken was born on September 30, 1928, on a farm in St. Ansgar, IA to Ben and Hazel (Lewis) Kittleson. Ken attended grade school at Country School Rock No. 2 and graduated from St. Ansgar High School in 1946. In high school he participated in baseball, basketball and football and earned the nickname “Soupbone”. One week after graduating high school, Ken enlisted in the US Army and served from 1946 to 1948. After returning from the Army, Ken moved to Austin, MN and on September 24, 1950, he married the love of his life, Marie Aagesen. This union produced five children, Ronelle, Dayle, Brent, Kristin, and Kevin.
Ken worked various jobs over the course of his lifetime working construction for Ulland Bros. and Hodgman during the summer months and during the winter worked with his youngest brother Jerry at Oliver Corp. He was an over the road semi driver and a mechanic for International Harvester in Austin, MN. It was there he met salesman Bill Westerman and that friendship would lead to Ken and his family relocating in 1969 to Beaver Dam, WI to work for Westerman International as shop foreman. It was at this time that Ken purchased an 80-acre farm in the Township of Trenton where he and Marie would raise their family. He was a hard worker and instilled that work ethic to his kids and grandkids. He was always willing to help others. Ken said, “the best investment I ever made was buying the farm, it was the best place to raise a family”. After Westerman International closed, Ken went to work for Shopko in the maintenance department. In 1984 he transferred to Shopko in Austin, MN and he and Marie would move back to St. Ansgar, IA to Marie’s childhood home to care for her parents.
In retirement Ken stayed active doing odd jobs and helping others. Ken and Marie enjoyed traveling to different states either through their timeshare or with their fifth wheel. They especially enjoyed their trip with the fifth wheel to Alaska. They enjoyed their trips back to Wisconsin to see family and friends, and Ken was always eager to get back to the farm. Even at the age of 88, Ken was eager to climb up in the hay mow to help stack hay with his grandson Collin. “Grandpa Hurky” loved to play cards, especially UNO, with the grandkids, and enjoyed a good game of Aggravation with family and with his best friend Stanley Ask and wife Darlene. He was an avid Green Bay Packer and Milwaukee Brewer fan.
His faith was very important to him, and he was a faithful member of First Lutheran Church, also serving as an usher, trustee, and was very active in bible study. Ken was a member of the American Legion and Color Guard. In earlier years when the boys were young, he was active in the Boy Scouts in Austin and Alamo Scouts in St. Ansgar.
Ken is survived by his: wife of 72 years, Marie; children, Ronelle, Dayle, and Brent (Kelly) of Beaver Dam, WI, Kristin (Carey) Copeland of Fox Lake, WI, and Kevin (Patti) of Horicon, WI; brother, Jerry of Rochester, MN; grandchildren, Ben (Rachel), McClain (Amanda), Dale, Rochelle (Scot) Spielvogel, Chad (Autumn), Keith, Katie, Kayla (Dillon), Collin (Brooke), Deja (Keri) Montgomery, Adam Copeland, Kyle (McKenzie), Annika (Jaden); 21 great grandchildren plus 1 great-grandson coming Oct. 5th; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Ken is proceeded in death by his: parents; in-laws Arthur and Albina Aagesen; brother, Lester; sister and brother in-law Maxine (Roy) Carter, and sister-in-law Marjeane Kittleson.
Special thanks to Pastor Staley for the visits, song, and scripture during Ken’s journey; Nikki Belz of Faith Home Assisted Living; the exceptional staff both at Faith Home Assisted Living and Faith Lutheran Home, and St. Croix Hospice staff for the wonderful care and compassion shown to Ken and Marie. Thank you to everyone who came to see Ken over the past year at Faith Home. And finally, a special thank you to Uncle Jerry for everything you have done for Ken and being with him on his final journey. Ken always said, “he couldn’t have asked for a better brother”.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 22 at First Lutheran Church, St. Ansgar, with Rev. Christopher Staley officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior at the church. Burial will take place at First Lutheran Cemetery.