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KENNETH GORDON ROOD was born on September 19, 1951 to Lloyd and Jeannette (Henjum) Rood in Benson, Minnesota. He was raised on Norway Lake between Sunburg and New London, Minnesota. At a young age, his mother struggled with mental health. While she sought treatment, Ken was raised by his brothers while his dad tended to the farm work and milking cows. At age twelve, the family left the farm and moved into New London. Ken attended school in the New London – Spicer School District and graduated from high school in 1968. He then attended Ridgewater Community College in Willmar, Minnesota for the next 2 ½ years. He would often work after school to make some extra money for keeping his cars running. In 1972, Ken enlisted into the United States Army and began his basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was then stationed in various countries throughout Indonesia and the South China Sea. During his service, he worked on nuclear warhead weaponry and met a lot of really good people. Ken was honorably discharged from the military in 1972 and returned to the states. As he was single and had no responsibilities, Ken took some time to travel the states with his brother, Jerry, who drove semi-truck at the time. He learned a lot about trucking during that time and within the year, Ken bought his own truck. He began hauling a lot of race horse oats and traveled a route that frequently took him through Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas for the next ten years. On July 2, 1977 Ken was united in marriage to Karen Rood at First Lutheran Church in Pipestone. The couple purchased a home Pipestone and raised their son, Chad. In 1986, Ken quit driving truck and went to work at Bayliner Manufacturing in Pipestone where he worked for the next 16 years. In 1999 he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was forced to retire shortly thereafter. As his M.S. became manageable, Ken found that he needed a job to give him something to do. He was offered a job as a farm-hand for Alvin and Gerald Ellefson and began helping as he was able with their farming operation. Karen preceded him in death on March 26, 2018. Ken continued to reside in their home in Pipestone. In April 2021, he discovered he had tumors throughout his body and began treatment for his illness. On March 2, 2022, while under hospice care, Ken passed away peacefully in his home.
Ken was a member of First Lutheran Church in Pipestone. He lived a simple life and enjoyed working and going fishing with Karen and his friends.
Ken is lovingly remembered by their son, Chad (Latrica) Schnepf of Grain Valley, Missouri; three grandchildren, Shade (Amy) Whitner, Hunter Whitner and Karena Schnepf; one great-grandchild, Shaelyn Whitner; two siblings, Eugene Rood of Ruthton, Minnesota, and Jerome (Dianne) Rood of Pipestone; and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Karen; and his parents, Lloyd and Jeanette Rood.