Wednesday, March 10, 2021, Kenneth Rye, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away at age 88 at Bethany Retirement Living-Memory Care. Ken was born on November 21, 1932 in Grafton, ND to Gladys (Storey) and F. Kenneth (F.K.) Rye. He went to high school in Park River and met his beloved, Esther Herman. They married on August 17, 1955 and had three children, Wayne, Dawn, and Barbara. Ken was a patriot. The Star-Spangled Banner would bring tears to his eyes. He was very proud to have served in the Navy from 1953 to 1957. After his honorable discharge he returned to ND and attended North Dakota Agricultural College (NDSU). He graduated in December of 1961. Ken was an avid Bison fan and watched every game he could throughout the rest of his life. Ken worked for the US Department of Agriculture as a Soil Conservationist in North Dakota from 1963–1979 and transferred to the US Department of Interior as a Mine Reclamation Inspector in Oklahoma from 1979 until his retirement in 1990. Ken took his young family traveling nearly every summer. Most often it was to a national park. Glacier was a favorite and they returned more than once. They enjoyed camping, hiking, and enjoying time exploring and being outside. The whole family was able to experience the 1974 World’s Fair in Spokane, WA. Ken instilled learning, appreciating nature, and enjoyed time with family. He loved the lakes, and at one time Ken had lake property in 3 different states. He relished being on the water. All you had to do was ask and he would drive the boat to pull you water skiing or tubing. He greatly valued time with family and days usually ended with a fire, a game of dominoes or playing cards. He especially enjoyed playing Pinochle. Ken was fascinated with woodworking and crafted many pieces of furniture. He built an entire wall entertainment center with precision to assure the exact fit on the wall. Ken and his beloved, Esther, discovered square dancing and they made many wonderful friends, and got some great exercise at the same time. When Esther began quilting, Ken was the inspector, making sure the fabrics matched, seams were straight, and the blocks were lined up perfectly. They also enjoyed traveling, taking trips to Alaska, Norway, Poland, and Greece. During retirement they made their summer home at Pickerel Lake in Minnesota and they wintered in South Texas from 93-99 and in Surprise, AZ from 99-15. In 2015 they moved back to Fargo. Ken and Esther shared their faith with their children. They raised them to love Jesus and to hold tight to God’s promises. Ken modeled devotion to his faith community, often serving as an usher, serving in the kitchen, and being in bible study groups. Ken was preceded in death by his father, F.K., and his mother, Gladys. He is survived by his wife Esther, his three children, Wayne (Geri) Mahtomedi, MN, Dawn (Leon) Fargo, ND and Barb (Jeff) Stillwater, OK. He has 8 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. A prayer service will be held on Friday, March 19, 2021 at 6:00pm – with a gathering from 5:00 – 7:00pm at Boulger Funeral Home and the funeral service will be held at Hope Lutheran Church, South Campus, on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 10:30am with a gathering one hour prior. Memorials in Kenneth’s name may go to Hope Lutheran Church Foundation, Fargo, ND, Zion Lutheran Church, Amor, MN or to Ethos Home Care and Hospice, Fargo, ND. Interment: March 20, 2021 @ 2:30 pm, at the Amor Cemetery, Amor MN

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  1. Love you Dad. I am glad you are at peace. Please know that we were never mad at you…the pandemic did not allow us to visit you. I look forward to the day we can see you again! Love you!

  2. Easter, be assured Ken is at peace. I can see my Ken and your Ken playing pinochle to their hearts content. Many hugs to you.

  3. I didn’t know your husband/dad but he sounded like an amazing man who raised an incredible family. May he rest in peace. My heart goes out to Esther and his children.

    Family of Pat Dvoracek
    Mike & Kim Suppa
    Mark & Judy Dvoracek

  4. Our sympathy to you all for the loss of Ken. Any time we were with the Streifel family they always spoke so highly of Dawn’s father. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. So sorry to hear about your loss. We heard so many fun stories from Boyd (Johnson) about his best friend, Kenny. We wish the Rye family all the comfort and blessings of faith, family, and friends at this difficult time. Sincerely, Mary Johnson and Janette

  6. Thank heavens the Easter promise assures us that death is not the final say. God bless you all while you grieve the loss of Kenny.

  7. I didn’t know Kenny all that well but he was always a kind, generous guy – he didn’t hesitant to take a spade and dig into his rhubarb plant to give me some. He was always willing to tell a story and impart some of his knowledge. He will be missed by all who knew him.

  8. Esther,
    Our sympathy to you and your family. We remember all the good times we had playing cards,eating, and being together with both of you. We enjoyed seeing the beautiful tribute to Ken. We know you had a wonderful, loving family.

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