Kenneth E. Numedahl, 89, of Owatonna died Saturday, October 26, 2013, at Reflections Care Suite, in Northfield, Minnesota. Ken was born August 6, 1924, in Decorah, Iowa, to Elmer and Mabel Numedahl.
Ken grew up in Decorah with his mom and sister, Esther. Ken graduated from Decorah High school class of 1942, and then attended Luther College for two years before being called in 1945 to serve his country during World War II. He was a member of the U.S. Army stationed in Germany. Ken was a company clerk with the 7746th Staging Area where he processed soldiers both into and out of Germany at the end of the war through 1947. He so enjoyed singing while serving in Germany. He was a member of a male quartet who sang for church services in Bremerhaven, Germany.
Upon his return to Decorah, Ken received the Distinguished Service Award from Mayor Floyd Hexam naming him the ‘Most Outstanding Young Man’ of 1950.
He met his wife to be, Bertha (Simonson) NUMEDAHL ‘48, while singing in the church choir at Decorah Lutheran Church. He loved choral music, especially sacred church hymns, and passed his love of music to his children and grandchildren. On June 21, 1953, he married the love of his life at Decorah Lutheran Church. Ken always said it was the hottest day of the year in his wool suit, not a breeze to be found or air conditioning. Ken and Bertha celebrated their 60th anniversary this year surrounded by their family.
Ken's job with Lincoln Suppliers transferred him and Bertha to St. Paul, Minn., then Sioux Falls, S.D., and finally to Owatonna in 1972 until his retirement in 1989. Owatonna became home after retirement until the past four months when Ken lived at The Villages of Lonsdale, an assisted living community. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he was also in the Senior Choir, a lifetime member of VFW and the Golden “K” Kiwanis Club. Ken enjoyed visits to Decorah to spend time with his dear cousin, Roger Wheatman ’45, and Mickey Wheatman. Recently, he and Bertha returned to Decorah for his 70th high school class reunion.
Ken was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He treasured his family, which grew to include a daughter-in-law, Kristen, and son-in-law, Paul. He was blessed with four wonderful grandchildren, Joshua, Taylor Numedahl ‘14, Lindsay and Lauren. As they grew, he attended the grandchildren's plays, band, orchestra, and choir concerts, and numerous sporting events. In May, the family grew again when he attended Joshua and Alyssa's wedding in New Prague. Grandpa Ken loved woodworking and making things for the grandkids including tractors, doll cribs, bookshelves and so much more. He loved his grandchildren and spoke of them fondly and frequently. He was an avid Twins and Vikings fan, and rarely missed a game either on the radio or television.
Ken is survived by his wife of 60 years, Bertha, son Gary (and Kristen) Numedahl of Owatonna, and daughter Laurie (and Paul) Meuwissen of Lonsdale, Minn. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Joshua (and Alyssa) and Lindsay Meuwissen, Taylor and Lauren Numedahl. He was preceded in death by his, father, mother and sister.
Visitation was held Tuesday, October 29, 2013, at Michaelson Funeral Home. Services were held Wednesday, October 30, 2013, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Owatonna, with The Reverend Julie Malone officiating. Interment was in the Calmar Lutheran Church Cemetery in Calmar, Iowa, with full military honors. Memorials are preferred to Reflections Care Suite, Northfield, Minnesota, Trinity Lutheran Church Building Fund or hospice program of the donor's choice.