Thief River Falls – Kenneth Schmalz, 62, Thief River Falls, died Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 at his residence in Thief River Falls.
Funeral service to celebrate the life of Ken will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Thief River Falls.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Visitation will also be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the funeral home.
Kenneth Dale Schmalz was was born on February 27, 1953 in Clarkfield, along with his identical twin, Keith to Alois Rudolph and Hilda Dorothy (Schwartz) Schmalz. Shortly after their birth they moved to Grandin, N.D., where they resided until February 1957 when they moved to Cosmos. He was baptized at a church in Clarkfield, and confirmed at Peace Lutheran Church in Cosmos. Ken attended school in Cosmos, graduating in 1971.
Following graduation, Ken attended college to learn Architectural Drafting in Willmar. In 1973, he returned to the family farm near Cosmos. In 1979, the family purchased a farm in eastern Pennington County and they farmed until 1981. Their farm was eleven miles east of Thief River Falls, in Cloverleaf Township.
After farming, Ken attended the AVTI in Thief River Falls where he studied Computers and Business Administration. Ken then began to teach computers at the college for a short time.
In the late 1980s, Ken served as Deputy County Recorder and in July of 1994 appointed as Pennington County Recorder and was elected in his own right later that November – his current term would have expired in 2018.
Ken also served as vice mayor and alderman at large on the Thief River Falls City Council. Ken was first elected to city council in November 1993 – his current term would have expired this Dec. 31. Ken also served on the Clearwater County Sub-Watershed Committee for Pine Lake.
Ken spent many hours around the campfire at Pine Lake discussing politics, having a few cocktails and enjoying time spent with his brother, Keith and his many friends. Ken also enjoyed riding his four-wheeler, fishing, watching football, woodworking, gardening, making salsa and sauerkraut with Jim and Robbin, and watching FOX news.
Survivors include his brother, Curt (Barbara) Schmalz of Buffalo; brother-in-law, Harvey Zander of St. Louis Park; nephew, Chad (Jennifer) Schmalz and their children, Cody, Brittany, Alexis, and Wyatt; special friends, Breiland and Nelson families; "Papa Ken" to Brystal Breiland; and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his identical twin brother, Keith in 2011; sister, Karen Zander in 2015; and his parents.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.