Services for Kenneth Berens age 96, of Gregory, SD was held on Saturday, Sept 7, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gregory, SD. Burial followed at St Joseph Catholic Cemetery. There was a prayer service Friday night at 7 p.m. at the church.
Kenneth Alfred Berens was born Dec. 25, 1922, at Dixon, SD, the youngest of 14 children in the family of John E. and Magdalena (Marx) Berens. Kenneth attended elementary school through 8th grade in the Dixon school and then went to Gregory High School and graduated in 1940.
Ken attended Sioux City Business College and graduated in 1942. In 1943, Ken enlisted in the Navy. During his time in the Navy, he served in numerous stateside locations to include Idaho, California, Louisiana, and Illinois. He also served overseas during WW II on an Oiler Vessel in numerous locations in the Pacific Theater and later served at the Pacific Ocean Joint Intelligence Center in Hawaii.
Ken shared with family that, while in Hawaii, he crossed paths with Admiral Nimitz while walking on the Naval Yard. After his service in the Navy, he returned to the family farm. For over 70 years, Ken acted as the business manager of the farm and also worked with his brother, Raymond, taking care of the cattle side of the farm operation.
Ken continued the farming tradition on the farm that was started by his father in 1908, over 110 years ago. Ken’s main “hobby” was farming and just checking out the farm operations, whether it was participating with his brothers or conversing with the many neighbors in the Dixon area. He liked to hunt deer and pheasants when he was younger. In later years, he enjoyed hosting a family pheasant hunt on the farm with his many nephews and nieces.
Ken was an avid reader and subscribed to numerous magazines about farming, western life, national history/geography, and religious subjects. When his health started to decline, he moved to Silver Threads and then to the Rosebud Community Care Center until his passing at the age of 96 years.
He was a member of the Gregory American Legion. Ken was also a life-long member of the Catholic Church both in Dixon and at St. Joseph’s in Gregory. He was extremely devoted to his Catholic faith and generous to many charities throughout his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents and 13 brothers and sisters: Vincent, Mary, Helen, William (Bill), Ann, Carl, Raymond, John, Margaret, Robert (Bob), Nicholas (Guy), Leo (Pete), and Armand. He was preceded by niece, Rita Berens, and nephews Tom Berens and Vincey Berens.
He is survived by nephews, Lawrence (Vince) Berens, Dick Berens, Dan Berens, Jack Berens, Bob Berens, Jr., and Jim Berens and nieces, Mary Stevicks, MaryAnn Berthelson, Barb Berens, Peggy Greene and Anne Marie Shackleford and many great, double-great and triple-great nieces and nephews.