Ortwin A. Kuenzel, 94

Ortwin Alexander Kuenzel, age 94, of Mayer, passed away Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, at Prysbyterian Homes on Lake Minnetonka.

He was born Aug. 30, 1922, in New Germany, Carver County, the son of Fred Kuenzel and Wilhemina (Fruetel) Kuenzel. Ortwin was brought to the Lord in Holy Baptism Oct. 8, 1922, at the Evangelical Church of Lester Prairie by the Rev. H. B. Witzke. He was confirmed April 5, 1936, at the same church by the Rev. F. Schnathorst. His confirmation memory verse was Acts 4: 12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Ortwin’s mother, Wilhemina (Minnie) died in 1931, when he was 9 years old. His father then married Hilma Borgardts and together, they raised Ortwin and his siblings.

Ortwin was married to Jeanette Jaekel Dec. 15, 1943, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waconia by the Rev. Robert Heyne. This marriage was blessed with three children – Angela, Orlin ,and Karol.

After their marriage, Ortwin and Jeanette started farming, and farmed together for 28 years. When they started farming, they used both horses and tractors to plant and harvest their crops on two farms. They always had a large dairy herd, and raised pigs, chickens, and Muscovy ducks.

In 1971, the farms were sold and they built a new home in Mayer, where Ortwin resided until January 2016. After that time, Ortwin resided in an assisted living facility.

After moving to Mayer, Ortwin worked with Martin Rolf in a furniture repair and refinishing business for many years, called K & R Furniture. People brought furniture from far and wide for repairs or refinishing.

After Martin retired, Ortwin continued the furniture business out of his home. He took pride in his repair and refinishing work, and was very meticulous with each piece of furniture. He also caned many chairs and rockers for his customers throughout the years.

Ortwin stayed busy with his furniture business even after his 90th birthday. During these years, Ortwin and Jeanette enjoyed old-time music and would find time, on many occasions, to go dancing.

A faithful member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Ortwin served as an usher and a stewardship contact person in his younger years. While living at his assisted living facility, he would participate in the church services provided by Trinity and so enjoyed the visits from the pastors at Trinity.

In addition to his mother, Wilhemina; and his wife, Jeanette, who passed away in 2008, Ortwin was preceded in death by his son, Orlin, who passed away in 2015; parents Friedrich and Minnie Kuenzel; stepmother Hilma Kuenzel; a sister, Evelyn Kuenzel; brothers and sisters-in-law John and Della and Ann Kuenzel, and Glen and Barbara Kuenzel; brother Melvin Kuenzel; sister and brother-in-law Lyla and Hilton Schwalbe; brothers-in-law Ruben Schumacher and Willis Jaekel; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Florence and Gilbert Kuhlmann; and father-in-law and mother-in law, Emil and Laura Jaekel.

Ortwin is survived by daughter and son-in-law Angela and Virgel Bentz of Minnetrista; daughter Karol Nielsen of Chanhassen; grandchildren Todd and (Terri) Bentz, Craig Kuenzel, Kristin and (Ty) Lehrke, Kellijean and (Dewey) Fisher; great-grandchildren Sydney and Cassie Lehrke, and Isaac Bentz; special friend Bernice Weishert; brother and sister-in-law Duane and Carolyn Kuenzel; sister Opal Schumacher; sster-in-law Ruth Kuenzel; nieces; nephews; and many dancing friends.

Funeral services took place Thursday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waconia with the Rev. Phil Wagner officiating; Interment followed in the church cemetery.

There was visitation from 11 a.m. until the time of the service at the church.

Casket bearers were Todd and Terri Bentz, Craig Kuenzel, Kristin and Ty Lehrke, and Kellijean and Dewey Fisher.

Arrangements with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia. www.johnsonfh.com.

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