Kenneth Harvey Beenken, 83, died Jan. 8, 2016, with his family by his side following complications from cancer treatment. Born Oct. 6, 1932, Ken was the sixth of nine children born to Hans Beenken and Anna (Bruns) Beenken on their farm near Lakota, Iowa. He graduated from Waldorf and Morningside Colleges, and served in the U.S. Army in Alaska between earning his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.
Ken married Margaret (Hanson) Beenken on Sept. 12, 1959 in Lanesboro, Minn. Their marriage was blessed with two sons, Mark and Eric. He worked as an accountant for Fingerhut Corporation for 39 years. Ken was known for being a quiet and reserved man, but nevertheless had numerous friends who recognized his sense of humor, kindness, and gentle spirit. A great lover of the outdoors, he took yearly canoe trips to the BWCA with his family and friends and enjoyed camping, biking, and cross-country skiing. Ken loved gardening, and his quiet compassion showed in his concern for the birds that lived near his home, for whom he kept birdfeeders and fresh water available year-round.
Ken was active in both his church and his community, and volunteered for many years at Fairview Southdale Hospital. In their retirement, Ken and Margaret travelled extensively both internationally and within the United States, especially to visit their family outside Minnesota. Ken continued to attend weekly bible study with a steadfast community of church friends until all but the last months of his life. For his children and grandchildren, Ken was a patient teacher of many things—most of all, of how to be a gracious person and a man of God.
Ken is preceded in death by his parents Hans and Anna, his brother Irvin, and his sister Helen Schmidt. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Beenken, his sons and daughters-in-law Mark and Beth, Eric and Karen, his grandchildren Mary, Rachel, Luke, Lauren, and by his siblings Orville (Jean), Clarence (Janan), Arthur (Marlene), Leroy, Harriet (Merlyn Thompson), and Duane Beenken.
Memorials may be sent to Bethlehem Lutheran Foundation, Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry, and Community Emergency Services.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday January 14, at 11 AM at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4100 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis. Visitation will be for one hour prior to service at the church.