• Most of the photos in this section are obtained from Jean Siirila and her helpers on the showbook committee. Thank you Jean and crew!

Kenneth Grothe


Mega Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
Photo Credit: Brian Nelson

Kenneth A. Grothe
1930 - 2020

Kenneth A. Grothe, 89 of Fargo, North Dakota, formerly of Fort Ransom, North Dakota died on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at Bethany Retirement Living with his family by his side.

Ken was born on July 26, 1930 to Theodore and Annie (Carlblom) Grothe in Fort Ransom, North Dakota. He was raised and educated in Fort Ransom, graduating from high school in 1948. Ken then attended Valley City State Teachers College, receiving a degree in teaching. He taught in a one room school in rural Fort Ransom for a short time. Ken was united in marriage to Charleen Anderson on June 8, 1952 in Fort Ransom. He was drafted in 1952, and served with the United States Army during the Korean Conflict. Upon his return to the states, he opened Ken’s Service in Fort Ransom and operated the station until the late 80’s. Ken then took a position with the Enderlin Public Schools as the transportation manager until retiring in the early 2000’s.

Ken served as the mayor of Fort Ransom and took an active role in the community of Fort Ransom for most of his life. He enjoyed antique vehicle restoration, farm history re-enactment and was a past leader of Sod Busters Days in Fort Ransom and the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag.

Ken is survived by his wife, Charleen; daughters, Carol (John) McCann of Lisbon, ND; Serine (John Calvin) Calvin-Grothe of Fargo, ND; son, Dale Grothe of Moorhead, MN; grandchildren, Megan (Byron) McCann Engberg, Kirsten Grothe and Matthew (Rachel) Grothe; brother, Alan (Sandy) Grothe of Pelican Rapids, MN, and three great grandchildren.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Linda Grothe, granddaughter Mary Jo McCann, and two brothers, Ardell and Stanford Grothe.

Jerry Christiansen

Mega Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
Thanks for sharing the news.

Ken was another good guy that we will miss.
Prayer are offered for Ken and family.

Some info can be found here.

Jerry Christiansen

Ray Wangler

Intermediate Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
Wow, just seen this today, bad deal for us. Ken was a very nice man, he seemed like a background guy. Got lots done for the show, was always present, but (like many of our hard working members) never touted his many accomplishements. He's the kind of person that you aren't sure exactly what he got done until he's not doing it anymore! I'll miss Ken's great attitude and always friendly greetings.