Kenneth Fenske

Date of Death: Feb 05, 2021
Kenneth Fenske

1931 - 2021

Kenneth E. Fenske, age 89, of Waupun, WI (longtime resident of Germantown, WI) was welcomed into heaven on February 5, 2021 with his beloved wife and family at his side. Beloved husband for 57 years of Barbara Fenske, loving father of Laurie (the late Jan) Anderson and Diane (Roger) Knowlton, proud Papa of Emily (Mark) Poage, Derek Anderson, Josh Knowlton, Elisabeth Knowlton, and Annie Knowlton. Preceded in death by his cherished son Greg Fenske. Further survived by other relatives and friends.

On a summer day in Milwaukee, Ken was born to the late Ralph and Adeline Fenske as the third of four children. An excellent student and sports-oriented, he was awarded a club medal for excellence in academics and athletics as a high school senior, graduating from North Division High School, and then attending Ripon College, where he played football (Senior Co-Captain) and golf. Ken made the All-Midwest Conference first team as a defensive end in 1951 and 1952, served as Junior Class President, “R” Club vice president, and fraternity treasurer. Graduating cum laude as a German major from Ripon College in 1953, he then served his country for two years in the Army as a First Lieutenant stationed in Germany, continuing his love of football by playing for the Army.

His post-army career began in 1955 as manager of the Darlington exchange of the Wisconsin Telephone Company. Golf and helping others were always a big part of his life, and in 1959, as Lafayette County chairman for the March of Dimes he directed a winter golf tournament in Darlington, WI and through his leadership established a record for total contributions. He was employed as assistant sales manager for the Chicago Decal Company and advertising manager at 3M. He then began working as an insurance consultant, receiving his CLU degree, and continued to pursue this vocation for 40 years. Ken was awarded the President’s Plaque in 1967 by the Governor on the basis of production and persistency. In 1968 he was named an Agent of the Year by the Milwaukee General Agents and Managers association.

Ken met Barbara Gilsdorf in Milwaukee in 1962 when he came to the dental office for work on his teeth and the cute dental assistant caught his eye. They married in 1963 and became “Barbie and Ken.” Raising their three children together was a focus of his life, and he enjoyed flying kites, swimming, fishing, and sledding with his girls, New Year’s Day bowling, and going on roadtrips with his son. When grandchildren came along, he delighted in being their Papa. A devoted family man, he never missed the opportunity to support his children and grandchildren at their sporting, musical, and drama events.

Ken was an affable man, friendly to all he met and genuinely interested in others. He belonged to Toastmasters, Kiwanis, and Rotary clubs, relishing in the camaraderie of others. In addition to being social, Ken was extremely patient, kind, and loving. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, reading, attending Bible studies, playing cards, photography, refinishing antique furniture with his wife, traveling, and watching all kinds of sports on TV. Having traveled Europe in his younger days, he and his wife Barbara enjoyed several cruises in later years.

Ken enjoyed a close relationship with Jesus, having accepted him as his Lord and Savior and trusting in him for salvation. He rested in knowing that his eternal destiny was based not on his good works but on the completed work of Christ on the cross.

A big thank you to the dedicated and caring staff at the Christian Homestead for the wonderful care Ken received in the past year. Additionally, we appreciated the hospice care provided with such dignity by Hospice Hope.


Services will be held on Saturday, February 13th, 2021 at Edgewood Community Church, 201 Edgewood Drive, Waupun, WI. Visitation begins at 10:00 a.m. and will be followed by a celebration service at 11:00 a.m. Due to COVID restrictions, friends are asked to follow safety protocols and there will be no luncheon following.

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Activities Fund of The Christian Homestead, 1001 W. Brown Street, Waupun, WI 53963 or Hospice Hope, 239 Trowbridge Drive, Fond du Lac, WI 54937 are appreciated.



  1. Pam Streekstra Says: February 9, 2021 at 7:28 am

    Diane, Barb and family

    I am sorry to hear of the passing of your father/husband. I pray for God’s comfort at your time of loss and the joy of knowing you will be reunited again in God’s perfect world. It was a pleasure to help make Ken’s visit to the hospital a little more meaningful for the two of you and I pray that I touched your lives in a small way. Blessings of peace and comfort with love and prayers.

  2. Dave Dallstream Says: February 10, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Rog and Diane- In the past ten weeks we lost my dad and my stepmom. This is hard, isn’t it! A big hug for each of you?? Dave (and Carol Dallstream)

  3. John Martinez Says: February 11, 2021 at 10:43 am

    As I sit here so far away and wanting to be support you I begin to pray , teary eyed but can only sum up the words Thank You Jesus. Thank you for the life of this man and his family. Thank you Jesus.

  4. Jack H Hughes Says: February 11, 2021 at 11:26 am

    From our days in the early 1940’s as classmates at the 21st Street School in Milwaukee, to the recent reunions of our North Division High School Class of 1949, we made memories of those years together. Rest in peace, Ken. Your many classmates will miss you and will often recall our good times together.

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