Kenneth “Kenny” Odin Sonsteng, 86, died at the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow on Thursday, August 15, 2013.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Aug. 31, at 11 a.m. at the First Lutheran Church in Glasgow, followed by interment in the Highland Cemetery in Glasgow.
He was born on Nov. 29, 1926, the 10th child of 15 children of homesteader parents, Arnold Odin Sonsteng and Laura Saubak Sonsteng. He was raised north of Frazer, in the Lustre community.
The first eight years of his education were in a one-room country school – Center Bell. He began high school in Frazer, but he was inducted into military service on March 23, 1945. He would be the first to admit that “me and school never did get along.” Though he did not complete his formal education, he could figure things out for himself and he handled his business affairs well. His dream occupation was “scientist.”
He was stationed in Incheon, Korea, for 13 months with the 592nd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment, 2nd Engineer Special Brigade. As a trained longshoreman, he supervised Koreans unloading transport cargo, which was then sent to various depots. He separated from the service on Christmas Day in 1946. For the rest of his life, he was an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3107 in Glasgow.
After his military service, he went to Great Falls seeking work, and that’s where he met the love of his life, Carole Krause. They were married on Oct. 24, 1951. He and his wife raised four children, and he was very proud of his children and his eight grandchildren.
He became a Civil Service worker at the Glasgow Air Base, where he worked in supply for a 10-year period. When the base closed in 1968, his Civil Service work took him north to Opheim where he was employed at the Radar Site heat plant for another 10 years. After retiring from the Civil Service, he and his wife bid on a U.S. Postal Service county mail delivery route, which they operated together for many years. He claimed that his occupation was “holding down a job and supplying the wife with money.”
While fully employed, he also operated a 160-acre farm 8 miles north of Glasgow, one that he purchased in 1956. Apparently farming was in his blood from the early days when he worked with his dad on the homestead farm.
“The one and only” Kenneth Sonsteng loved to play cards, especially whist and cribbage. He had a tender heart for animals. He was also quite a storyteller. He was an active member of the First Lutheran Church in Glasgow, and the Sons of Norway. He loved his Norwegian heritage.
He was preceded in death by seven brothers and three sisters.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Carole; four children, Michael of Billings, Eric and his wife, Tamra, of Helena, Renee Lovelace and her husband, William, of Billings, and David and his wife, Janet, of Portland, Ore.; two sisters, Helen Hagen, of Moorhead, Minn., and Arlene Decker and her husband, George, of Santa Fe, N.M.; brothers, Stanley of Glasgow and Douglas and his wife, Patricia, of Four Buttes; eight grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
We treasure the memories. When departing, Kenny often said, “May the good Lord take a likin’ to you like I do.”
“The eternal God is our dwelling place, and underneath are His everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27
Bell Mortuary of Glasgow is in charge of arrangements.