Services for Kenneth H. Lassen
Kenneth H. Lassen, age 81, departed this life on Friday, November 9, 2018, in Minneapolis, MN. He was a resident of Minneapolis and a long-time member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Tillie (Knutson) Lassen, and sister, Dorothy Henderson. He is survived by sister, Carol Larson (Paul) of Washington; uncle, Duane Knutson (Andrea) of Florida; and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Ken was born in Glencoe, MN, on September 30, 1937. He was baptized in Glencoe and later confirmed in Gonvick, MN. Ken spent his ‘growing-up years’ on farms with his family in Glencoe, Gully, LaPorte, and Gonvick. In 1954, the family moved to Malmo, MN, and he graduated from Isle High School in 1956. He worked for a time at Mille Lacs Lake resorts helping with launch services. Later employment included road construction, lumber transport, and manufacturing, but his passion in life was music. An accomplished musician and vocalist, he learned to play several instruments including guitar, banjo, and mandolin, following in his Dad’s footsteps, as well as accordion, inspired by his Mom, and his favorite, the saxophone.
He initially formed a local 4-piece rock and roll band, Kenny & the Rockin’ Rebels, with a first performance for an Isle Celebration Days street dance in 1964. He transitioned to old-time and country music in the late 1960s with groups Ken & the Lamplighters, and Ken & the Mille Lacs Band, playing for dances and events in the Mille Lacs Lake and Twin Cities areas. In later years, he played for senior functions and performed solo at senior citizen and care centers in the Twin Cities area. Ken enjoyed owning and driving Volkswagens and kept them running strong. His first VW was a Squareback, later a VW Bus, and lastly, a Vanagon. Each was perfect for hauling musical instruments to performances. Over four decades, he entertained countless people bringing joy to many who listened and danced to his music. Additionally, with a twinkle in his eye, his sharing of Ole and Lena jokes at events resulted in many hearty laughs by fellow Scandinavians!
A member of the Southview SDA Church in Minneapolis, MN, his faith was strong. He enjoyed reading his Bible and had an amazing memory in recalling a great many Bible verses in their entirety. He battled cancer in recent years and is now with the Lord. He was buried in Glencoe, MN. Classmates, friends, and co-workers will remember him as Ken or Kenny, and family, lovingly as Bud. A kind man, willing to lend an ear to family, friends, and others in time of need, he offered help where he could. Ken will be missed, but his wonderful tribute will be the memories for many when hearing the joyful, musical notes of the same polkas, schottisches, foxtrots, and waltzes that he happily and enthusiastically played and sang for his wonderful listeners. May he now rest in peace.