Kenneth Pankratz

Kenneth Pankratz

1950 - 2022

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Obituary of Kenneth Pankratz

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Kenneth Lee Pankratz, age 72, passed away on Monday, April 18, 2022, at Mayo Clinic Health Care System - St. James. Ken arrived on March 12th, 1950, the first born of Carl and Marian (Stoesz) Pankratz. He was an inquisitive child and loved to read. His Grandpa Stoesz encouraged this thirst for knowledge by subscribing annually to National Geographic magazine, and supplemented his learning with the joy of reading, by supporting his other passion; reading Westerns! Ken was also an active participant in plays while in high school and an avid high school wrestling fan, well into his adult years. Ken took an interest in plants and gardening (probably from his love of working on the farm with his Grandpa Pankratz) and eventually started his own business, Pankratz Greenhouse. He enjoyed his years of doing this, but when an opportunity to join UPS came up, he accepted their offer and worked there until his retirement. On September 29, 1989, Ken was united in marriage to Marlene Rempel at the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Iowa. They both kept busy with their work, gardening, and found a shared interest in upholstery. They started Ken-Mar Upholstery as a side business, and operated that for many years. Ken loved his hometown and that was apparent by his many years actively on the city council and even serving as mayor. He was a member of the Lions club, too. He also enjoyed his many years on the Thresherman’s Association, especially during the Threshing Bee when he worked in the campground. Likely every garden that exists in Butterfield was born of him and his Kubota! Ken had a mountain of critical health issues in his last 20 years that surpassed what any one person should ever have to deal with. He did so with all the dignity and grace he could muster each and every day. He slipped away peacefully at the St. James Mayo Hospital on Monday, April 18th, with his daughters by his side (he never once referred to his family as “step”) and an old black and white western on the tv. Ken is survived by his two daughters, Connie Glover of Butterfield, MN and Kelley (Brett) Freese of Sauk Centre, MN. His brother Alan (Marge) Pankratz of Butterfield, MN and their sons, Keith, Mark and Scott, as well as their respective families. Grandchildren Moriah Williams (in-law), Carrie (Ryan) Smoot, Cassie McBride and Zachary Glover. And great-grandchildren Jason, Megan, Brooklyn, Lincoln, Rayne, Vincent, Daiton and Zane. He was preceded in death by his parents, beloved wife Marlene, son-in-law Russell Glover and grandson Matthew Williams. Per his wishes, there will be no services.
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Sturm Funeral Home, St. James Chapel
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