Kenneth Kautzman

kenneth kautzman

Kenneth E. Kautzman (Kenny) 77, passed away in his home after a courageous battle with cancer on April 15, 2014.

Kenny was loved by all who knew him. Those who knew Kenny have been forever changed by his kindness, compassion and generous nature.

Kenny was born on November 14, 1936 in Yakima, Wash to the parents of Eugene and Elizabeth Kautzman. In 1945, the family moved to Mandan, ND where Kenny attended elementary through high school. After graduating from High School, Kenny entered into the Navy where he was stationed in Pensicola, Florida serving 2 years and then was stationed over seas. Kenny finished his Military Service retiring from the Army National Guard in Fargo. Kenny was a member of the West Fargo VFW.

On July 10, 1957 Kenny Kautzman married Shirley Magelki in Mandan, ND. Together they had four children. Kenny and his family re-located to Fargo, ND in 1989 where he continued his employment with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad retiring after more than 20 years. In 1990, Kenny's wife Shirley Kautzman passed away.

Kenny married Ruth (Vollen) Fealy on April 13, 1991 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Fargo, they resided in South Fargo. 

Kenny enjoyed bird watching, gardening with Ruth, taking several trips to Fleet Farm, get togethers with his friends and family, playing piano, playing with the children in Ruth's in home day care, tending to the flowers at home, at church and participating in several activites at the church such as singing in the choir (20 yrs) and helping with serving meals and Sunday coffee. Kenny loved listening to and taking care of the Martins in his back yard. He also looked forward to weekly get togethers with his dear friends from the Guard, the Railroad and Adesa, where he drove cars, greeted people and served popcorn. 

Kenny is preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley (1990), his parents, two brothers, a sister and Aunts/Uncles. 

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Kautzman and by his three sons: Robert of Phil, PA, Kent (Jill) of Bismarck and Kevin (Julie) of Mandan and one daughter JoAnne (Teresa) of Phoenix, AZ. 

Also surviving are Ruth's four children: Grant (Raylene) Fealy of Colorado Springs, CO, Deb Schultz, Greg Fealy, Dee Fealy all of Fargo. Twelve grand children and 2 great grand children. 

Kenny is also survived by his brothers Eugene (Cindi) Kautzman of Mandan, Dennis (Carol) of Washington and his four sisters: Marge (Ray) of Mandan, Sharyn (John) of Fargo, Bette Gene (Steve) AZ and Mary Jane (Ken) of Bismarck, also  by numerous wonderful nieces and nephews. 

Kenny will be laid to rest at Mandan Union Cemetery.

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Memories Timeline


  1. mandan ndKevin and Julie and family,

    Belated condolences on the death of your father Kevin. We are out of state and recently heard the news. May he rest in peace and may the lord’s love gently surround all of you with comfort.

  2. Butte MTKenny was a kind and generous soul who always made you feel welcomed and appreciated. My love and prayers for Joanne, Bobby, Kevin and Kent.

  3. Msndan ND
    My condolences to Bob, Kent, Kevin & JoAnne on the passing of your dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you.rq

  4. Mandan ND
    Ken will be missed by us who were graced with the laugh and humor he would so quickly share with all he met. We who share the Easter Season faith, wish Kenny God-speed on his journey to the next step in life.

  5. Lorton VA Thank you for being my “Godfather.” You will forever hold a place in my heart and you will always be in my prayers.

  6. Philadelphia PAI had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ken 3 years ago during his son, Bob’s graduation from a doctoral program. Ken was a charmer from the first hello. His big smile, warm hug, and unabashed sharing of family stories won me over, and made me feel that I was now “family,” too. He expressed such pride in his children, it was impossible to not feel elevated by knowing them. I am grateful for this meeting, and grateful, too, that Ken is now resting peacefully. Those he leaves behind– may they find comfort in sharing the legacy of his nurturing and love.

  7. Moorhead MN
    Ruthie– I’m so sorry for your loss. you are in my thoughts and prayers. I enjoyed the times Mike brought me over to see you and Kenny

    Renee Lentz

  8. Topeka KsRuth, we are all saddened by this news. Ken was such a great neighbor to us when we lived in Fargo and an overall great person. You will be in our thoughts & prayers.

  9. Gainesville FLMy sincere sympathy to the family & friends of Kenny during this most difficult time. Thinking back as a youngster, I remember his great smile & how he could whip up a tune on the piano & had so much fun doing it! Thoughts & prayers for all of you.

    Cousin Rodine

  10. Washburn ND
    To Ruth & family,
    Kenny was liked by all at work (BNSF) and I always enjoyed talking with Kenny when Sharon & I would stop to visit. He always mentioned his kids and his hometown Mandan. He was proud of them.
    May God bless you all with an abundance of comfort and healing.

  11. Fargo ND
    Kenny was one of my best friends and will be greatly missed. He always had a smile on his face . I would often visit him early in the afternoon and he would be watching Gunsmoke and Bonanza on tv and would always offer me whatever soft drink or beverage I wanted. We both were former BNSF railroad employees and would talk over old times on the railroad. Life without Kenny will be very tough but I know he is in a good place and no longer suffering from the pain of cancer. God bless the memory of Kenny Kautzman.

  12. Fargo ND
    Ruth, Rick & I were saddened by the news that Kenny passed away. Know you are in our thoughts & prayers. Kenny was always pleasant & nice to us. Though we do not know either of you well, you both touched our hearts as you battled side by side the good fight. Know we are thinking of you & praying for you to find comfort in your difficult days.

    Rick & Lolita Fischer

  13. Glin Ullin North Dakota
    Kenny is Gone……What a wonderful person….I have known him for almost 50 years. Always so kind and considerate…..never saying anything bad about anyone, and always a gentleman. There is not doubt that his parents and his brother were a the Gates when he arrived. God bless his family and everyone who was so blessed to know this good and decent man….. Bert and Rose Gerhart

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