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Kenneth "Ken" Tenge

Kenneth "Ken" Tenge, age 66 of New Hampton, IA, died Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at his home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at Holy Family Catholic Church in New Hampton with Rev. Brian Dellaert celebrating the Mass. Burial will be held at St. Mary's Cemetery in New Hampton. Friends may greet the family from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2022, at Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home in New Hampton. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass at the church on Tuesday. Ken was welcomed into the world by his parents, Francis and Clara (Seelhammer) Tenge, on April 5, 1956, in New Hampton, IA, and the second oldest of the couple’s seven children to grow up on the family farm near North Washington, IA. Ken helped his parents milk cows and did a variety of farm chores as he attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in North Washington, St. William’s Catholic School in Alta Vista, and New Hampton High School, where he was a member of the Class of 1974. After graduating, Ken worked at Bob’s Farm Supply in North Washington, which was later purchased by Five Star Cooperative. He was a dedicated employee and filled many different job roles over the years. He worked in the feed mill, drove semi, delivered LP, and took on over-the-road work. He had many nicknames over the years, but his co-workers knew him as “Badger”. After 41 years, he retired from the Co-op in June of 2021. Ken and his wife, Chris, met while she was working at Midland Feeds where Ken would occasionally pick up feed. They began dating, fell in love, and were married on July 27, 1984, at the Little Brown Church in the Vale. Their family which included Ken’s son Brian and Chris’ children Chad and Jessica blended perfectly together. When they had their daughter, Autumn, the Tenge family was complete. Ken was a pleasant, fun, and kind father who always had a great attitude around the four children, and oftentimes, it’s the little things that make a dad stand out. He was a sentimental man and would easily get “sweaty eyes” when talking about the ones he loved so deeply. He had a way of making people smile. The kids have fond memories of being outside with their dad. The boys still laugh at Ken teaching them how to trap, or shall we say not to trap, when he got his hand caught in one. His youngest daughter will always remember the Sunday walks she and Ken took to the walnut tree. When they heard an owl hooting, Ken would look at her with a smile and tell her, “You know what he’s saying, right? ‘Who cooks your food.’” As good as he was at being a father, Ken was an even better “Papa” to his 15 grandchildren. If it’s true that parents “are supposed to raise their children right and grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandchildren” then Ken earned an A. There was no better day for him than one spent with his grandkids. In his younger days, he enjoyed playing fastpitch softball with a team out of North Washington and enjoyed taking part in demolition derbies. Throughout his life, he had a need for speed. He enjoyed years of boating in their Baja and going for drives in his Corvette. Ken spent much of his life in the great outdoors. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed fishing trips up north with his best buddies. He was a master of putzing in the garage for hours. When he wasn’t at home watching old Westerns, he and Chris spent their time at their trailer in Prairie du Chien, WI where they’ve made unforgettable memories with their closest friends and family members. His heart has always belonged to his family and friends. He was a great brother, wonderful husband, fantastic father, and phenomenal “Papa” who will be missed by all those whose lives he’s touched. Ken is survived by his wife, Christine Tenge of New Hampton; son, Brian (Janie) Tenge of New Hampton; daughter, Autumn (Brandon) Schrage of Cedar Falls; stepson, Chad (Pam) Rausch of Ionia; stepdaughter, Jessica McGraw of Cedar Falls; grandchildren, Kiersten, Ben, and Bailee Tenge, Liam and Emma Elliott, Vayda and Gavin Schrage, Devin (Brooke) and Bryce Rausch, Liv and Dylan McGraw, Courtney Reicherts, Lacey Overmyer and Joey Willitts; two brothers, Mike (Deb) Tenge of New Hampton, and Tom (Barb) Tenge of Roan Mountain, TN; and four sisters, Cathy Tenge of New Hampton, Cindy (Rodney) Lenehan of New Hampton, Jan Tenge of Reston, VA, and Karen (Gary) Busta of Hampton, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Clara Tenge; one brother, Patrick Tenge in infancy; brother-in-law, Steven Leadbeater; and sister-in-law, Jeannine Burgart.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Chris, we are so sorry to hear about Ken passing. We will keep you and all your family in our prayers. Let all the memories you two made, carry you through the next few days. Randy and Mary Jane Leach

  2. Chris and family, So sorry for your loss. Ken was a great friend, and awesome co worker. You have my deepest sympathy. Keeping Ken’s family in out thoughts and prayers.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear this! I will miss joking around with him at the river. Thinking of you all!

  4. Chris and family…my heart aches for you all. Ken enjoyed life to his fullest and will be deeply missed. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you!

  5. So very sorry to hear this..our deepest sympathy Chris and family.🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  6. So sorry to hear this Chris!! Ken and I have been friends since first grade!! Hugs to you and your family!! 💙

  7. Our deepest sympathies to Chris and family! Thinking of you during this difficult time!

  8. Sorry for your loss. Ken was always such a nice guy! Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family!

  9. Deepest condolences to the Tenge Family. Ken was just a super nice guy! Thoughts and prayers to all.

  10. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Tenge family. Ken was an original and will be missed by everyone. Godspeed Ken!

  11. Sorry for your loss. Ken was my classmate. He was such a great man. All our prayers to his family. Jeanne and David Roder

  12. To Chris and the entire family we send our deepest condolences. Ken was such a good guy and will be missed by so many. Take care.

  13. Chris and family, thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Praying for peace and comfort in the days ahead. Carrie Zweibohmer (Jacoby)

  14. Sorry to hear about Ken, he will be missed, awesome guy, You and all the family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  15. Our deepest sympathy to the family. Ken was a very nice guy, loved to visit with him. Dan and Sandy Clark

  16. Chris, SO sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. Sending our sympathy and love to you and your family at this difficult time. We remember so many fun times with you both. Cherish your memories and let them carry you through. Todd & Amy Stephenson

  17. Chris and family, our sympathy for this sad loss. He was a really great guy and will be missed by many.

  18. I enjoyed working with Ken over the years and his great smile. My sympathy to his family.

  19. Jess and family, Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  20. Ken was definitely one of my favorite people when I worked at Five Star! He always had a smile, and he liked giving me a little crap. And he liked getting a little back! So sorry to hear of his passing. Our thoughts are with his family.

  21. Ken was a classmate of mine, we had some great times. Condolences and prayers to his family and friends.

  22. Our hearts are broken to hear about Ken’s passing, but our memories are good ones! Our thoughts and prayers are with the family!

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