Kenneth Claussen

Kenneth G. Claussen was born June 4, 1928, in Hamil, S.D. He moved to Martin to attend Bennett County High School. Between his junior and senior years in high school Kenny hitchhiked to Los Angeles to work on building aircraft for Northrup to help in the war effort.

After returning to Martin, he was elected Big Chief for the 1945 BCHS Homecoming and graduated High School in 1946.

After high school Kenny enlisted in the Army, serving in the 11th Airborne and after training as a paratrooper, he served in Japan at the end of WWII.

Following his service he returned to Martin and married Leona Weimer. Kenny enrolled at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was employed by Continental Oil Company in Ponca City, Okla., until 1954, when he moved back to Martin to help farm following the death of his father-in-law, Fred Weimer. 

Leona passed away in 1972, and in 1979, Kenny married Gloria Vavra. Kenny loved farming and lived on the Elkhorn Farm headquarters from 1954 until the time of his death.

Kenny was an active community member and served on local school boards, SCS board, Church Council and was a member of American Legion Post 240.

Kenny is survived by his wife, Gloria; son, Stuart and his wife, Linda, and daughter, Melanie Peil; and grandchildren Cadey and her husband Jarrod Reisner, and their sons Grady and Grant, Courtney, Jamie and Charlotte; Alison and husband Isaac Conway and son, Zachary; Eric Peil and wife, Kasey and their children, Aubry and Kendall and Haley Peil; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Shirley Claussen and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his first wife, Leona Claussen, parents, Claus and Gladys Claussen, sister, Arlene Curtis, brothers, Lloyd, Ralph, and Gail, and son-in-law, Kirk Peil.

A memorial has been established.

Services were held Friday, September 21, with Father Bryan Sorensen officiating. Honor guard was American Legion Post #240 of Martin. The service was held at the Martin Community Cemetery with inurnment at the cemetery.

Bennett County Funeral Service of Martin was in charge of arrangements.

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502 Second Avenue, Martin, SD 57551 • 605-685-6866 •