Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, November 9, 2018 at Westaker Free Lutheran Church in Newfolden, MN with Pastor Phil Rokke officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be held at Westaker Cemetery, rural Newfolden, MN.
Kenneth Hjelle was born November 12, 1929 to Hjalmer and Hannah (Hanson) Hjelle. He was baptized by Reverend Ronholm of Westaker Lutheran Church. He attended 8 years of Country School at Sunnyside School in Marshall County, Grove Township, attended 4 years at Grove Township and High School in Newfolden, MN, graduating in 1947.
He served with the United States Army during the Korean Conflict, 1951-1953. He was a heavy tank driver in Germany in the 29th Heavy Tank Battalion with the occupational forces in the 2nd Armored Division. At the Memorial Day and other parades you would see him marching to honor his country.
On November 7, 1959, Kenneth was united in marriage to Gwendolyn Moen. They were two days short of celebrating 59 years together. The couple was blessed with 4 wonderful daughters, Kim, Gaylene, Lisa and Wanda. A beautiful home life is what he created for his wife and daughters. Others often described him as gentle, peacemaker, honest, kind and meticulous. Hobbies he enjoyed included gardening, reading, bird watching, celebrating birthdays and playing games with family and friends.
For 39 years he worked at area grain elevators most recently serving as manager at Karlstad for 21 years. He retired in 1992 and began a hobby of wood-working. Kennie often had to finish projects started by his wife and daughters, straightening out any chaos they created!
His daily coffee was enjoyed in his favorite mug which quotes, “You can tell a Norwegian, but you can’t tell him much!”
Survivors include his wife Gwennie of Newfolden; daughters Kim Fanfulik (Glenn Watson) of Thief River Falls, MN, Gaylene (Rory) Anderson of Karlstad, MN, Lisa (Nathan) Johnson of Kennedy, MN and Wanda Hjelle of Newfolden; 10 grandchildren Alissa, Abby, Tracey, Ryan (Ashley), Garrett, Ross, Kelsey, Lauren (Jake), Kiersti and Brittany (Joe); 9 great-grandchildren Blake, Rylie, Reed, Ryder, Kale, Carter, Coen, Audra, Adalynn and one on the way; 5 siblings Hilton (Ruby), Clayton (Joan), James (Betty), Linda (Dennis) and Grace; as well as many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; and sister Clarice (Carl) Hjelle.
His favorite bible verse: John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The family wishes to thank Pastor Rokke and each one of you for your prayers, encouragement, food, visits, calls, cards and gifts. Donations to Trumpet of Truth and Trails To Treatment will be given in lieu of sending thank you cards.