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Kenneth Keesling Sr.

Kenneth Paul Keesling was born on June 5, 1932 in Wayzata Minnesota to Lloyd and Ella Keesling. He passed away at 88 years of age at home on August 21, 2020 after a brief battle with cancer.
He was married to Betty (Kust) Keesling on November 14, 1952. he served in the U.S. Navy from 1949 to 1953 in Rhode Island.
He worked all of his life in movie theatres, starting at a young age as an usher at the Wayzata Theatre and eventually managing. In 1962 he and his family moved to Albert Lea where he became manager of The Broadway Theatre, The Rivoli Theatre, and the Starlite Drive in. He gave thousands of young people their first experience in employment and mentored all. He instilled a sense of responsibility in them but always encouraged work to be more than work, and to have fun along the way. He eventually retired from the business and owned and operated the Fire and Safety business. He and wife Betty also owned and operated a small gas station in Albert Lea before fully retiring.
He had a love for horses his whole life and instilled that love in his children. He loved hunting, fishing, camping, shooting black powder guns,and gardening. After retirement he developed an interest in grilling and smoking food and meats to share with friends and family. He was frequently trying new and better recipes, rubs, and methods to improve.
His marriage to Betty produced five children, ten Grandchildren, and nineteen Great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by parents Lloyd and Ella Keesling, Wife Betty Keesling, brother Lloyd Keesling Jr., Niece Linda (Bazant) Kellene, Nephews Dale Kellene, and Roger Kellene.
Ken is survived by Brother Marvin (Zoe Ann) Keesling, Elk River and Sister Gladys West of Elk River and five children Kenneth Paul Keesling Jr. (Brenda) Albert Lea, Karmen Blackhawk Albert Lea, Kevin Keesling Albert Lea, Kim (Keith) Porter Albert Lea, and Kurt (Marcia) Keesling Apopka, Florida.
He valued family and friends over everything his whole life and thought nothing of several road trips daily to spend time with lifelong friends. He was an amazingly free spirit and will be missed by many.
A memorial service will be held at 2 PM on Saturday, September 12 at Bayview Freeborn Funeral Home in Albert Lea. Visitation will be held 1 hour prior to services at the funeral home.

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Dear Keesling Kids,

Hope things are coming together for you, making your lives a bit easier...or at least less stressful. Your dad was lucky to have all of you with him, helping him through this final stage of his long and productive life. I'm sure you all miss him terribly, but I hope there is some comfort knowing he is now at rest and free of pain.
I want to make sure you know that Paul and I have decided that it would be unwise for us to attend the funeral. With Paul's leukemia and old age...and my old age and blood pressure problems we are, at increased risk, as you no doubt know, of contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Do you plan to have the service streamed? I do hope so, because I for one would love to feel that I am a part of the audience (at least virtually). If there is a charge for this, perhaps I could contribute something to defray the cost.

Please let me know...

Much love to all of you...

Pat Solstad Sep 5 2020 12:00 AM


Sorry to hear the passing of Ken. I remember all the fun times I had working for him as an usher at the Broadway Twin Theater in 1978 and 1979. It was the best job I had in high school.

Mark C. Carlson
Mesa, Arizona.

Mark C. Carlson Aug 25 2020 12:00 AM