Kenneth Everett Tonnessen
Aug. 3, 1931 – Jul. 10, 2018
Kenneth Everett Tonnessen, son of Oscar and Zena (Cornish) Tonnessen, was born on August 3, 1931 in Riga Township, McHenry County, North Dakota. He passed peacefully during his sleep on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 in rural Denbigh, North Dakota. Kenny was born in the same homestead house that he passed into eternity in, just as he wished to do.
Kenny was raised in Riga Township where he attended elementary school at White Rock. He attended high school in Granville and Towner. Kenny was taught the value of hard work and the joy of caring for animals from a young age. He also responded to his call of duty for the army at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and it was interrupted for his presence was needed back home due to his father’s health. On September 5, 1955, he was united in marriage to Mary Kay Lueck at First Lutheran Church of Granville. He worked for area farmers and ranchers, Verendrye Electric, and the Soil Conservation District. There was no greater pride than farming and ranching himself. He could often be found with his chickens, cows, or horses. Kenny found tremendous joy in feeling the power and unity of his Percheron team hitched to a wagon. He loved to take folks for a ride or be in a parade. His life was full of great stories retold of the wagon trains, horse shows that included his sons, Rodney and Terry, area ranch gatherings for the cattle work, and threshing crews. The stories go on with the corn feeds, lutefisk dinners, and the wedding dances he frequented. Kenny supported his children and grandchildren with their involvement in 4-H, FFA, and Little Buttons Rodeo. He also helped at the Towner Rodeo with the Denbigh men. He enjoyed and left great memories of sitting around the kitchen table and sharing coffee. His great grandchildren brought out his most genuine, effortless smile in his later years. His companion, Bev Lynch, always made him smile and was committed to caring for him. She has become a part of the family for the last ten years. He was a member of the North Dakota Stockman’s Association, Rugby Eagles, and Zion Lutheran Church of Towner.
Kenny is survived by his companion of ten years, Beverly Lynch; his children, Terry (Pamela) of Towner, Karen (Randy) Jensen of Soldotna, Alaska, and Scott (Jeanne) of Kerrville, Texas; ten grandchildren, Tasha (Levi) Johnson, Sara (Joe) Balsimo, Tanner (Jessica) Tonnessen, Colten (Megan) Jensen, Cooper Tonnessen, Jenna Jensen, Kristi Tonnessen, Dillon Jensen, Mariah Tonnessen, and Jax Tonnessen; six great grandchildren; siblings, Jerry (Margo) Tonnessen of Bainbridge Island, Washington and Annabelle Banta of Bremerton, Washington; sister-in-law, Bonnie Tonnessen of Poulsbo, Washington; daughter-in-law, Jacki Tonnessen of Towner; many nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Kay; son, Rodney; siblings, Harry, Dick, and Martin Tonnessen, Dorothy Richter, and Leona Burke; and his parents.
Please make memorials in memory of Kenny Tonnessen to Heart of America Hospice, Granville Cemetery, Granville FFA Chapter, Towner FFA Chapter, McHenry County Saddle Club, or the organization of your choice.
Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, July 16th at Zion Lutheran Church in Towner with burial at 5:30 p.m. in the Granville Cemetery and Mr. Wally Fretland, officiate.
Music by: Zion Contemporary Choir
Soloists: Tasha Johnson and Tanner Tonnessen
Honorary Bearers: Tanner Tonnessen, Colten Jensen, Cooper Tonnessen, and Dillon Jensen
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Towner. Online registry: www.funeralsbyanderson.com
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