Kenneth W. Smith, age 92, formerly of LaValle and Ogdensburg, WI, passed away on Saturday, September 24, 2022 in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Ken was born to William and Gertrude (Keskimaki) Smith on March 24, 1930 in Clark County and graduated from Owen High School. He served in Korea, north of the 38th parallel at times, as part of the U.S. Army Signal Corp., where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. When he returned to the United States, he married his high school sweetheart Betty S. Gautsche at the First Congregational Church in New London, Wisconsin. They were married for 59 years.
After Ken left the family farm, he began his career in Green Bay, Wisconsin as a meat inspector. When meat inspections were standardized at the federal level, he attended Ohio State University. As a USDA Meat Inspector, he worked in the industry for over 40 years and finished his longest assignment at Hillshire Farms in New London.
Ken and Betty raised their family in Ogdensburg, Wisconsin where they were active members of First Lutheran Church. After Ken’s retirement, they moved to Dutch Hollow Lake in La Valle, Wisconsin where they spent their free time visiting the grandchildren. No one knew Ken unless they knew how much he loved to teach kids to fish, hunt, trap, play cribbage, or tie flies. Ken was an avid outdoorsman, having been a life-time member of the Wisconsin Trappers Association. He was a long-time member of Trout Unlimited, the WI Bear Hunters Association, and supported several outdoor and conservation groups. The daily field report was often shared with many longtime hunting buddies over early morning phone calls or on the back porch over coffee and donuts with lots of laughs.
Ken is survived by his three children Cody, Peggy (Randy), and Pam (Tim); his grandchildren Joe, Silvana, Kedzie, and Abbey; his sister Virginia Schulz; sister-in-law Lois Vance; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife Betty; parents William and Gertrude; sister Jean; and brother Lloyd.
A visitation will be held at First Lutheran Church in Ogdensburg, Wisconsin at 11:00 AM followed by Ken’s funeral service at 12:00 Noon on Friday, September 30, 2022. Burial will be at Park Cemetery, Town of St. Lawrence, Waupaca Co., Wisconsin. Memorials can be directed to First Lutheran Church, 700 Main Street, Ogdensburg, WI 54962. The Holly Funeral Home of Waupaca is assisting the family with arrangements.