The funeral service for Kenneth Grothen, 92, of Hanley Falls, will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. at the Yellow Medicine Lutheran Church in Hanley Falls. A public walk-through visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church. Military honors will follow the service outside the church. Interment will take place at a later date. Mask and social distancing requirements will be observed at all services.
Kenneth Melvin Grothen was born on November 20, 1928, on the family farm in Douglas County, MN, to Otto and Clara (Brockop) Grothen. He grew up near Parker’s Prairie, and attended school there until leaving school to help on the farm. Kenneth eventually earned his GED later in life. In 1950, Kenneth was drafted to the Korean War, where he served in the Army as a combat engineer. After his honorable discharge in 1952, he returned home. Kenneth was united in marriage to Ardith Miller on October 17, 1953, at the parsonage of St. James Lutheran Church in Holland, MN. The couple raised their family in Hanley Falls. Kenneth worked many jobs throughout his life, including helping local farmers, driving trucks for Mission Orange soda company, working at the Hanley Falls Co-op, and working construction for Mooney’s and Minnesota Valley. It was while working construction that he earned his nickname, “Beep-Beep,” because he would often be seen running back to his truck to get parts and supplies. After retiring from road construction, Kenneth also worked for a time at Walmart. Kenneth enjoyed fishing with his son and grandsons, as well as feeding the birds that came to visit his yard. He was always puttering in the garage working on projects.
Kenneth died at his home in Hanley Falls on Sunday, April 11, 2021, under the care of Avera Hospice.
He is survived by his wife Ardith of Hanley Falls; daughters Lynette (Mike) Becker of Chetek, WI, Sandra (Dan) Mock of Hanley Falls, and Patricia (Mark) Buysse of Brandon, SD; daughter-in-law Linda Grothen of Alexandria; grandchildren Misty VanLerberghe, Naomi Gamm, Shawn VanLerberghe, Katie Tonda, Travis Buysse, Derek Grothen, Jay VanLerberghe, and Perry Grothen; 12 great-grandchildren; and sister Carol (Richard) White of Parker’s Prairie. He was preceded in death by his parents, son James Grothen, two brothers and four sisters.