Kenneth Erwin Klammer, age 80, of Howard Lake, was called to his eternal rest Friday, March 1, 2013, at the Howard Lake Good Samaritan Care Center.
He was born March 16, 1932, on the family farm just west of Howard Lake, the son of Erwin and Milla (Stoppelman) Klammer.
A lifelong member of St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, Ken was baptized April 10, 1932, by the Rev. C. G. Seltz; and confirmed in his faith March 25, 1945, by the Rev. Theo. Melinat. His confirmation verse was Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
Ken began school at the Merriman one-room schoolhouse, on a site that is still part of the family farm. Upon its closing after he had completed the fifth grade, Ken continued his elementary education at St. James Lutheran School in Howard Lake. He graduated from Howard Lake High School June 1, 1949.
One of Ken’s childhood memories was Nov. 11, 1940, when the infamous Armistice Day blizzard roared into the state of Minnesota. He and his dad, Erwin, sister Marcella, and a hired hand headed into town for farm supplies. The storm stranded them one mile from home, at the Montgomery farm. Ken and Marcella stayed at the Montgomerys while Erwin and the hired hand walked the rest of the way to the farm using feed sacks for face masks.
After high school, while working on the farm, Ken was drafted into the United States Army in November 1953, where he served as a correspondence clerk for the 230th Infantry. Upon the unexpected death of his father, Ken was honorably discharged to come home to work the family farm. At this time, he and his mother, Milla made the decision to expand the farm and build a new barn.
Ken was united in marriage to Shirley Ann Stock, his high school sweetheart, Nov. 9, 1956, at St. James Lutheran Church. One week after the wedding, his younger brother, Wayne, was killed in a farm accident.
Ken and Shirley were blessed with three children; Joni, Lori, and Steve. In the late ‘60s, the old farm house was replace with a brand new house. During construction, the entire family lived on the Zander Farm, one mile south.
Ken was a family man and enjoyed vacations with Shirley and the kids. Some of his favorite memories were trips to California, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Colorado Rockies, Canadians Rockies, and a great adventure to the Black Hills in the “Silver Streak.” Many summer vacations were spent at Grand View Lodge on Roy Lake, relaxing and fishing.
Family adventures in and around Howard Lake, were enjoyed with the Gutzke family whether it was boating, water skiing, fishing, ice fishing, times at the PGL, or a scary night visiting abandoned farm houses.
Ken always enjoyed Monday Night Bowling league for the Howard Lake Shipping Association, and summertime golf with Shirley. They had many friends they spent time with in Minnesota, and winters in Texas.
Ken’s life was a true example of selfless service to others. He served on various co-op boards, along with hours of service to St. James Lutheran Church, including serving as church president and vice-president, and on the building and finance committee. He also spent many years in the church choir and ushering for worship services.
Ken was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, but most of all, he loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In addition to his brother, Wayne, Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Erwin and Milla Klammer.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Shirley; daughter Joni (Curt) Hedtke, granddaughter Amanda (Adam) Hastings, great-grandchildren Max and Jack, and grandson Christopher (Kirsten) Hedtke; daughter Lori (Jim) Manecke, and grandchildren Katie and Benjamin; son Steve (Kathy), and grandsons Wayne, Mitch, Kyle, and Wes; two sisters, Marcella Yager and Arlene (Dale) Lemmerman; a sister-in-law, Sandra Jensen; nieces; nephews; relatives; and friends.
A celebration of Ken’s life took place Thursday, March 7 at 11 a.m. at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, with the Rev. Michael Nirva officiating. Luke Dahl served as the organist. Soloist Marge Stueven, St. James School grades one and two, and members of the St. James Worship Choir providing special music. Interment was at the Howard Lake Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Ken’s grandchildren, Amanda Hastings, Christopher Hedtke, Wayne Klammer, Mitch Klammer, Kyle Klammer, Wes Klammer, Katie Manecke, and Benjamin Manecke.
Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake.