Kenneth L. Ranum, 79, died peacefully on Sept. 9, 2010, at his home in Thief River Falls, Minn., surrounded by his loving family.
Kenneth Leroy Ranum was born June 27, 1931, in Marshall County, Minn., to Carl and Ada (Jacobson) Ranum. He was baptized Aug. 2, 1931 and confirmed May 25, 1947, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls in 1948 and graduated from the Area Vocational School in 1951.
Kenneth served his country in the U.S. Navy from Aug. 1, 1951, to July 21, 1955. He served during the Korean War on the USS Brush (DD-745) and the USS Hancock (CVA 19). He received the China Survival Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.
Kenneth was married to Delores Heaton and to this union five children were born.
He was united in marriage to Mary Jane Rachels in 1974. The couple made their home in Fergus Falls. Ken worked as an electrician in the local Tri-state Area from 1955-1970. He also worked as a maintenance electrician at Fergus Falls State Hospital from 1970-1987. He served as the physical plant director from 1987-1994. In 1994 he retired to start a life of travel with his wife. In 1996 they moved to Thief River Falls.
Growing up in rural Thief River Falls, Ken had his hands full with farming and helping the family. After his years of military service, he enjoyed hunting and fishing with his family and friends. During this time he was a mentor to many, some may not have found his humor and “expertise” as enlightening as others. He had a love of gardening and yard care. Papa was loved and respected by all and has touched many lives.
Ken was a member of the VFW Post 2793, American Legion, Elks Club and Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls.
Survived by his wife Mary Jane Ranum, five children, Debra (Bill Weise) Ranum of Gallatin, Tenn., Janet Koskela of Hallock, Minn., Maureen (Rod) Ranum of Virginia, Charlotte (Al Chosa) Rolling of Virginia and Paula Ranum of Virginia; four stepchildren, Scott (Cindy) Rachels of Fergus Falls, Todd (Leah) Rachels of Fergus Falls, Andrea (Charles) Schreifels of Sauk Rapids and Michele (Darryl) Nicholls of Pelican Rapids; 16 grandchildren, two great -grandchildren, sister, Olive Rondorf of Thief River Falls; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Ken is preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, Clifford Jorde, Olaf Jorde, Leonard Jorde, Clarence Jorde, and Dale Ranum; sister, Clara Mae Swanson; son-in-law, Bob Koskela; and beloved friend, Wally Heaton.
Special thanks to Hospice and Al Chosa for allowing Ken to spend his last day at home.
Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 13, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, with Rev. John Volker, Ph.D. officiating. Burial will be in Rindal Cemetery, New Solum Township, Marshall County. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls with a prayer service at 7 p.m. and visitation continuing for one hour before the funeral at the church.