Kenneth J. Rafteseth, age 92, of Sauk Centre, died on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at the St Cloud Hospital in St Cloud, Minnesota; after suffering from a broken hip.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 27 at Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Sauk Centre with Rev. Becky Thomas officiating. Interment will follow at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls, Minnesota.
Visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home in Sauk Centre.
Kenneth Jerome Rafteseth was born May 16, 1928 in Thief River Falls, Minnesota to Hjalmer and Nellie (Wiseth) Rafteseth. His mother passed away when he was 8 ½ years old and he was brought up in various foster homes, attending several different elementary schools. Kenneth attended the last two years of school in Thief River Falls, Minnesota and graduated in 1948.
Kenneth was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls on July 8, 1928 and was confirmed at Holt Lutheran Church in Holt, Minnesota.
He served in the United States Army from 1951 to 1953 and then attended the Northwest Electronic School in Minneapolis. He installed and repaired mobile radios for Motorola, RCA and then moved on to General Electric, repairing small appliances.
Kenneth married Darlene Zarbok of Parkers Prairie on April 11, 1959 at Zion Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Minnesota. In 1973, they purchased a hardware store in Sauk Centre and it was known as ‘Ken’s Ok Hardware’. Kenneth, Darlene and family operated ‘Ken’s Ok Hardware’ until 1985. He also drove school bus for 30 years, charter bus for the St. Cloud Bus Company and Mayers Bus Company of Melrose. He enjoyed music, singing with the various choirs in Minneapolis, a barbershop group in Alexandria, and the choir at First Lutheran Church. Kenneth’s favorite was the ‘jam’ sessions with various friends playing his electric steel guitar.
Survivors include his son, Dale (Kelly) Rafteseth of Albany; daughter, Donna Rafteseth of Hendersonville, North Carolina; grandsons, Adam Rafteseth and Matthew Rafteseth both of Albany; brothers and sister; Merle (Ruth) Rafteseth of Crookston, Delores Harder of DeLand, Florida and Duane Rafteseth of Hawley.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents; and wife Darlene Rafteseth on September 29, 2017.
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