Kenneth M. Kittilson, 88, Minot, formerly of Rugby, died in his home on Friday, May 21, 2010. He was born July 12, 1921, to Kittil and Mena (Sveum) Kittilson, in his grandmother’s home in Rugby. He was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church, Rugby, and walked 5 miles every Sunday to attend worship and Sunday School.He attended a rural school until the 6th grade, when he was needed to help on the family farm.On November 25, 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was part of the 510th Ordinance Company and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. He was honorably discharged on December 31, 1945.
Following his discharge, he returned to Rugby and began farming.On November 23, 1947, he was united in marriage to Eunice Westgard in Berwick, North Dakota, and spent those early years farming and raising their two children, Carlotta and Cloyd.In 1959, he moved his family to Minot where he worked as a carpenter, building some of the first houses at the Minot Air Force Base and then homes locally in Minot.For several years he did cabinet installation for Sears.When St. Joseph’s Hospital opened a Chemical Dependency Unit, he began a career as an addiction counselor. At that time he received his GED, something he was very proud of accomplishing.He dedicated himself to helping others and to reach the goals that he had achieved himself.Following his years at CDU, he started Kittilson’s Cabinet Shop where he enjoyed a number of years of carpentry.He also spent more time back on his farm north of Rugby, where he spent summers enjoying where he had first put down roots, the peaceful quiet serenity, planting trees, and the abundant wildlife.One of the highlights of his life was his trip to Norway to visit the birthplace of his ancestors and to reconnect with cousins and other relatives.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing, but his passion in life was his music, which began at the age of 8 when his mother gave him his first banjo.He played at farm shows, the Prairie Village and Hawk Museums, nursing homes, the Norsk Hostfest and to “anyone who would listen.”Kenny also played with the bands, The Good Old Guys and Daryl and the Pioneers, which brought him great pleasure.He was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church of Minot, a charter member of the 700 Group, the Last Man’s Club in Rugby, the NW Polkateers and the ND Chapter of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.He formerly enjoyed membership in the Sons of Norway Thor Lodge of Minot, the Bethany Lutheran Church of Rugby, the Minot Eagles Aerie and the Moose Lodge.
Survivors include his wife, Eunice; daughter, Carlotta (Norris) Olson of Voltaire; son, Cloyd (Mary) Kittilson of Minot; 4 grandchildren, Corey Johnson, Melissa Rohrbeck, Lisa Morman, and Andrea Abel; 9 great-grandchildren, Kate, Tommi, Xander, John, Andrew, Ann, Samuel, David, and Matthew; a sister-in-law, Elinor Kittilson of Denver, CO; and many nieces and nephews, other relatives, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; 2 brothers, Harry and Clifford; 2 sisters, Lenora Opstedal and Mayme Luther.
Funeral Services were held Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at Bethany Lutheran Church, Rugby. Burial was in Persilla Watts Cemetery. Full military honors were accorded by the Clarence Larson American Legion Post #23 Honor & Color Guard of Rugby, and the ND Military Honors Detail of Minot.
Pastor Phil Leer officiated. Music was provided by Melissa Rohrbeck and Rita Langer, soloists, and Andrea Abel, pianist.
Honorary Bearers were Daryl Opstedal, Archie Sveum, Gordon Wallace, Norman Kalvick, Jerry Clott, & Rosalie Malnaa.
Casketbearers wereRussell Jacobson, Rodney Halvorson, Richard Langer, Verle Anderson, Kari Lou Burkhartsmeier, & Randy Brossart.
Arrangements by Anderson Funeral Home, Rugby.
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