Kenneth "Ken" Lloyd Onken

Born: Wed., Nov. 24, 1926
Died: Mon., Aug. 5, 2013


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Thu., Aug. 08, 2013
Location: Totzke Funeral Home

Funeral Service

10:30 AM Fri., Aug. 09, 2013
Location: Trinity Lutheran Church

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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.

Funeral Services

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.





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Condolence Booklet

Jeff, Trish & Allison Grieme
   Posted Tue August 06, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

John & Jane Giese
   Posted Tue August 06, 2013
Dear Ken Onken's Family,
I just want you all to know that John and I were so glad that we were part of your lives these almost 40 years. We have many good memories don't we?
God bless all of you.
Aren't we happy to have the strong Faith we have?
John & Jane

Amber Hvezda-Kirkwold
   Posted Tue August 06, 2013
"Death leaves a heartache no one else can heal, love leaves a memory no one else can steal." (Ireland)

Thinking of you and your family and holding you in my heart. Amber

Denise Buschena-Gehrke
   Posted Tue August 06, 2013
Betty and Family, was sad to see of Ken's passing. Saying prayers for you all.

Julie (Onken) Frovarp
   Posted Wed August 07, 2013
Betty and family,

So sorry to hear of Kens passing. May happy memories help you through this difficult time.

Jewel Marks-Boit
   Posted Wed August 07, 2013
Our deepest condolences to the family.

Linda Tobias
   Posted Wed August 07, 2013
Betty and family: Ken was a great advocate for seniors in Murray County and great advocate for the town and especially the Country Club. He will be missed by many I am sure. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers as you find a new normal without the solid rock of your family.

Kristin Hergert
   Posted Wed August 07, 2013
Betty and family,

I was so sad to hear of Ken's passing. I have many wonderful memories of your family - you and Ken sitting behind our family every Sunday at Trinity Lutheran. Ken's awesome work with Pre-K. And as I recall, I think Ken even approved a college loan for me!

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Maybe Ken is sitting behind my mom and dad in services as they worship the King!

Kristin Hergert

John & Kim DeLong and family
   Posted Wed August 07, 2013
Thoughts and prayers to the Onken family. We will miss seeing Ken out at the Slayton Country Club and around town. May you find comfort in all of your memories you have shared with family and friends.

David and Debbie (Zinnel) Biren
   Posted Wed August 07, 2013
We are so sorry to hear of Ken's untimely death. He was a kind and compassionate man who will be missed by all, but especially by Betty, the children, and the grandchildren who thought the world of him. May all the wonderful memories we a comfort to you at this very difficult time. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Pat and Gary Bluth
   Posted Thu August 08, 2013
Betty, We are so sorry to hear of this sad news about the death of Ken. We have truly enjoyed getting to know you during our winters at Gulf Shores, AL. We will pray for your peace and comfort in the days ahead. God's blessings to you. Hugs going your way.

Steve and Swantje Willers
   Posted Thu August 08, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I was very fortunate to play golf with Ken last Wednesday.. His hard work with couples league made it grow into a very popular and fun league. He will be missed.

Steve and Swantje Willers

Stan and Betty Stephenson
   Posted Fri August 09, 2013
Dear Betty, You and Ken are our special friends we met at the MN breakfast a few years ago in Gulf Shores , AL. We so looked forward to your coming down there . We will miss you.
God Bless you and your family .
Sending our LOVE and SYMPATHY,
Stan and Betty

Jackie & Ray Barrett
   Posted Sat August 10, 2013
Dear Betty & Family,
Our hearts go out to you in sincere sympathy at this sad time.

Rhonda Cousins
   Posted Sat August 10, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

John and Dulce Grieme
   Posted Sat August 10, 2013
Betty and family

We were saddened to learn of Ken's passing. I will always fondly remember the conversations I had with Ken - usually at the golf course. Ken was a class act who left a legacy of community that Slayton will always remember.

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