Kenneth Terhaar, age 84, of Brooten, MN, died unexpectedly on Friday, October 18, 2019, at Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, October 26th at St. Donatus Church in Brooten, with Father David Grundman officiating. Visitation will be Friday from 5:00 – 8:00 P.M. at St. Donatus and will resume on Saturday at the church, beginning at Noon and running until the time of the service. Interment will be in Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Sedan. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Brooten.
Kenny was born to Ben and Anna (Zenner) Terhaar on June 20, 1935 at home near Grove Lake, MN. As the tenth of eleven children and the youngest son, he shared an unbreakable bond with his siblings. His intellectual curiosity was stoked earlier than most children’s when his formal schooling began as the result of a forgotten lunch by one of his siblings. His mother sent him to the country school to deliver the lunch and the teacher invited him to join the class. This passion for learning continued throughout his life. He was an avid reader, especially of history and religion. He graduated from Brooten High School in 1952 and attended both St. John’s University and St. Cloud State University for additional schooling. He served in the Minnesota National Guard, being honorably discharged in 1962. He served several terms on the Brooten Area School Board and was instrumental in the consolidation of the Belgrade, Brooten and Elrosa schools.
As a young man, Kenny was introduced to a nursing student, Virginia (Ginny) Kotz, who was a classmate of his sister, Anna Marie, at the St. Frances School of Nursing in Breckenridge, MN. The two were united in marriage on August 25, 1962 at St. Francis de Sales in Belgrade, MN. The couple resided on the family farm near Sedan, MN where they raised their family of five and were dairy farmers for 30 years. In 1992, Kenny started a second career with Bayer Built where he found many new friends and fans of his stories. After retirement, Kenny’s love of the land never waned as he raised chickens and kept a large garden, sharing eggs, produce, and flowers with others. Kenny and Ginny were the best of travel companions exploring Europe, Asia, and Central America along with trekking across the U.S. to visit many family members and friends. Kenny also had a lifelong love of music and was a member of the Cold Spring Area Maennerchor for over 30 years. He enjoyed all kinds of sports, especially his local Jaguars, the Minnesota Twins, Golden Gophers, and St John’s football.
The Catholic faith was an essential element of his life as was a call to live the gospel. He was active in the St. Donatus parish, serving on the church board, lectoring at Mass, and participating in several mission trips to South America.
Nothing mattered more to Kenny than his family. He loved family reunions, both large and small, where he could converse for hours. He wanted others gathered around him – at the kitchen table playing cards, on the deck while he was grilling, or most especially during the annual deer hunting celebrations that epitomized Kenny’s love of his wife, siblings, children, grandchildren, and countless friends. Kenny’s passing brings an end to a remarkable life, one devoted fully to his faith, family, and neighbors.
In addition to his wife, Kenny is survived by five children, Nick Terhaar and wife Leanne, Brooten, MN; Andrea Dalluge, St. Paul, MN; Gretchen Pyle and husband John, St. Louis, MO; Gregory Terhaar, Marble Falls, TX; and Daman Terhaar and wife Kiyoko, Sandy, UT. He is survived by 13 grandchildren: Denny, Grace (Josh), and Kimberly Terhaar; Noah, Gabe, and Josh Dalluge; Willa Pyle; Sophia, Jonah, and Anna Terhaar; Kenshiro, Emma, and Leo Terhaar; and two great grandchildren, Carter and Jackson.
Kenny is also survived by his brother, Bernie (Shirley) Terhaar; three sisters, Bernice Kline, Barbara North, and Anna Marie (Paul) Rametta; two sisters-in-law, Gloria Terhaar and Shirley Terhaar; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Kenny was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Dustin Terhaar; four brothers, Gerald, Richard, Oscar, and Clifford; and two sisters, Ruth Stepan and Esther Popilek.
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