Minn./Fla. — Kenneth E. Redetzke, 71, of Burnsville and Longville, Minn. and Destin, Fla., died on May 26 at his home in Florida after a nine month battle with kidney cancer. Ken was born on May 2, 1941, in Claflin, the eldest son of Vernon Redetzke and Susanna Lang Redetzke. He received his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University in 1963 with a degree in Agricultural Economics, played varsity baseball and was president of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. He received his master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota in 1973. On Dec. 29, 1964, Ken married his college sweetheart, Susan Nelson Redetzke.
Following graduation from KSU, Ken pursued his love of aviation, joined the United States Navy and was based in Beeville, Texas. A Navy fighter pilot who flew the F-9 and F-11, Ken rose to the ranks of lieutenant before joining Northwest Orient Airlines as a pilot on Feb. 3, 1969. Ken enjoyed a distinguished 32-year career with Northwest as a pilot, flight instructor and an executive. Throughout his career, Ken held the positions of fleet captain for Northwest’s 727 fleet, the DC-10 fleet and the 757/747-400 fleets before dedicating the latter part of his career to the leadership of Northwest’s Flight Operations function, helping to standardize Northwest’s operations across all fleets. He retired from Northwest Airlines as managing director, Flight Operations, on May 2, 2001. He then joined Champion Air in August of 2005 as vice president, Operations, and again retired in 2007.
Ken had a lifelong love of sports — baseball, football, golf and a great love for the outdoors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and above all, he was a mentor. With love and patience, he taught his grandchildren to golf, swim, fish, water ski, drive a boat/golf cart/car, snowmobile and four-wheel and he taught the girls how to dance.
A man of strong faith and belief in the Lord, Ken was a member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Longville, Minn.
Ken is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sue; three children, Danielle Halstrom of Gwynedd Valley, Pa., Kristen Gulson of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Mark and Emily Redetzke of Deephaven, Minn.; six grandchildren, Kirsten, Annika and Lena Halstrom, Dylan Gulson, and Josie and Giselle Redetzke; and siblings, Darlene Buehler, Joe Redetzke and Marlyn Redetzke.
A viewing will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, with Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at The Church of St. Therese, 18323 Minnetonka Blvd in Deephaven, Minn. A private burial will be held on Tuesday morning at Fort Snelling National Cemetery where Ken will receive the honors due a U.S. Naval Officer, an American patriot and a gentleman. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Sacred Heart Cancer Center, 7720 US Hwy. 98 West, Suite 140, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 or Emerald Coast Hospice, 419 Racetrack Road NW, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.
Funeral arrangements provided by
David Lee Funeral Home**
1220 East Wayzata Blvd
Wayzata, MN 55391
Great Bend (Kan) Tribune, May 31, 2012