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Alvin H. Kenner

Oct 1, 2010

Alvin H. Kenner, 90, of Leeds, ND, passed away on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at the Towner County Living Center in Cando, ND, with his three children at his side.

Alvin was born on December 4, 1919 on a farm near Brinsmade, ND to Harold and Clara Kenner. He attended school in Brinsmade and graduated from the eighth grade. Alvin married the love of his life, Elnore Stensby, on November 27, 1943 and they were married for 25 years. Elnore passed away in 1969 at the age of 47.

Alvin started farming in 1936 at the age of 16 in the Leeds and Brinsmade area and he continued to farm for 74 years. He also custom combined for 18 years from Texas to North Dakota.

In the 1960’s, he started purchasing farmland in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada. He enjoyed traveling to Canada and working with many fine Canadian families.

Alvin and Robert Keating started the first Cable TV Company in North Dakota called K&K Cable. He also loved to be involved with many value added agriculture companies such as Dakota Growers Pasta Company and Golden Plains Frozen Foods, where he was still serving on the Board of Directors.

Alvin was very active with many agricultural organizations as he helped organize the US Durum Growers Association and served as President from 1961 1966. He helped host various trade teams and traveled to many countries like Russia and China to promote Durum exports. He was appointed to serve on the Advisory Committee for the US Secretary of Agriculture in 1971.

Alvin was a director of GNDA and of AAA of North Dakota. He was presented with the “Durum Man of the Year Award” in 1977 and the GNDA Agribusiness Award in 1979. He served on the NDSU Foundation Board and was presented with the NDSU Agriculturist Award in 1973.

Alvin was also a community leader and supported and raised funds for many good projects. He belonged to the Leeds Lutheran Church and the Leeds Lions Club. In 2009, he established permanent endowment funds for historic cemeteries in the Leeds area through the ND Community Foundation.

Alvin’s hobbies included downhill skiing, flying, hunting, golfing, horses and fishing. He was fortunate to live at home until the last two weeks of his life. He enjoyed gardening and visiting with friends and neighbors. A phrase commonly heard from Alvin was, “Every day is a good day!” He lived by this philosophy and his strong faith in God through his entire life. He was a visionary and always told his family that he never had time to look back with regret but looked forward to the future.

He is survived by his son, Roger (Jeanette) of Leeds, his daughters – Betty Pikop of Stephen, MN and Bonnie (Garry) Hansen of West Yellowstone, MT; eight grandchildren – Erika Kenner and Brett Kenner of Leeds, Jessica (Derrek) Black of Devils Lake, David Pikop of Ft. Myers, FL, Laura Pikop of Stephen, MN, John (Vanessa) Pikop of Dalton, MN, Kevin Hansen of Tucson, AZ, and Travis (Giselle) Hansen of West Yellowstone, MT; two great-grandchildren – Osker Black and Addisyn Pikop; two brothers – Harris (Ardyth) Kenner of Minot, ND and Harold (Patty) Kenner of Bismarck, ND and one sister, Geraldine (John Sr.) Rice of Mesa, AZ.

He was preceded in death by his wife Elnore, his parents Harold and Clara, his sister and brother-in-law Marren and Walter Odegaard, Sr., an infant brother Clark, an infant sister Eleanor, and a nephew, Walter Odegaard, Jr.

Aservice of celebrating his life was held on Saturday, September 25, 2010, at Leeds Lutheran Church in Leeds.Burial was in the church cemetery.

Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Home, Leeds.

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