In Loving Memory Of
Kenneth Lloyd Onken
Ken Onken was born on November 24, 1926 in Slayton, Minnesota to Herman and Irene Staples Onken. He grew up in Slayton and graduated from Slayton High School in 1943. He then attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA. Ken enlisted in the United States Air Force on January 28, 1944 and served in the Philippines. Following his honorable discharge on December 17, 1946 he returned to Slayton for a short time. On July 18, 1948 he and Betty Johnson were married at the Slayton Presbyterian Church. Following their marriage they made their home in St. Cloud, MN where Ken worked at Guarranty State Bank. In 1953 they moved to Thief River Falls, MN where Ken was Vice President of the Union State Bank. In 1975 they returned to Slayton where Ken was the first President of Peoples State Bank in Slayton. Ken retired in 1992 but remained on the Board of Directors until 2006. He and Betty enjoyed spending time during the winter months in Gulf Shore, AL. Ken passed away on Monday, August 5, 2013 at the Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 86. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Slayton where he served as Elder, Treasurer, Stewardship Chairman and Trinity Pre-School Treasurer. He served as President of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Rotary Club and was named outstanding “Young Man of the Year” all in Thief River Falls. Ken was active in the Slayton Kiwanis Club and served as treasurer and secretary. Ken was a member of the Lake Wilson American Legion Post, the Slayton VFW Post and the Slayton Country Club. He also was a member of the Murray County Fair Board. In 1996 Ken received the Minnesota Bankers Award for 50 years in banking, and that same year received the Erlandson Community Award. Ken enjoyed spending time with family, golfing, bowling, gardening, coin collecting, family genealogy and volunteering.
Survivors include his wife, Betty of 65 years and his five children and their spouses, Steve and Shirley Onken of Fargo, ND, Laurie Marks of Glenwood, MN, Bradley Onken of Morgantown, WV, Julie and Brad Billison of Albuquerque, NM and David and Deb Onken of Hadley, MN, 10 grandchildren, Matt and Jen Onken, Ashley and Ryan Harris, John and Maren Marks, Chris and Deena Marks, Scott Onken, Stephanie Markey, Katlin and James Verlautz, Rebecca Billison, Danielle Onken and Joshua Onken, three great-grandchildren, three step great-grandchildren, one brother, Les ”Birdie” Onken of Chicago, IL and five step siblings, Ruth Onken of Carlyle, IL, John and Dolores Onken of Elgin, IL, Mark and Lynn Onken of Paupa New Guinea, Lois and Jeff Pigg of Shattuck, IL and Luke Onken of San Antonio, TX. He is preceded in death by his parents, stepparents, Edison and Bernice Onken, one brother, Gerald Onken and one sister, Doris Green.
Trinity Lutheran Church in Slayton, MN on Friday, August 9, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. Doug Minton officiating. The organist is Kathy Schwartz. The pallbearers are his grandchildren. Interment is at Slayton Memorial Gardens, Slayton, MN. Military honors accorded by the Lake Wilson American Legion Post and the Slayton VFW Post.
Visitation will be Thursday, August 8, 2013 at the Totzke Funeral Home in Slayton from 4-7 p.m. and also one hour prior to the services at the church on Friday. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Pre-School in Slayton or Our House Hospice Home in Slayton, MN.