Kenneth E. Greenlee, 90

Published 5:25 pm Monday, February 27, 2023

Kenneth E. Greenlee, 90

Kenneth Eugene Greenlee, age 90, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 26, 2023, at Mayo Clinic Health System Austin.

Ken was born July 9, 1932, in Osage, Iowa to Elmer and Gertrude (Allas) Greenlee. He attended rural Mower County schools and graduated from Elkton High School in 1951, where he and his two brothers excelled in sports. Before being drafted into the Korean Conflict, he and seven other friends enlisted in the U.S. Army together. Ken was the last surviving member of that group. After his tour of duty, he returned to Austin and was married September 15, 1956, to Winifred Finley. The couple shared 66 years together. They moved to Minneapolis shortly thereafter to pursue his education under the GI Bill and raised their family.

His interests included all sports, fishing, camping and especially bowling and pitching horseshoes. Ken continued in these latter sports into his 70’s when diabetes and cancer caused neuropathy of his legs. His lifetime bowling average was 180 and he passed this passion onto his sons. He traveled extensively in state and out for horseshoe tournaments and was inducted into the Minnesota Horseshoe Hall of Fame in 2009. Ken was manager of his sons Little League baseball team for several years. After retirement, the couple spent many winters in Arizona enjoying the warm weather, playing cards and penny ante poker with friends in their community, and spending time with their youngest son. He and his wife raised three sons to become responsible adults. Ken took great pride in his lawn and had the “greenest” in the neighborhood. His sons liked to visit his refrigerator for his “lawn fertilizer” (beer).

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The couple moved back to Austin in 2001 and enjoyed the company of brothers and sisters and many nieces, nephews and cousins. In his younger years, he was an active member of the churches they attended, especially Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Austin and here at St. John’s where they made many new friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Al and Chuck; and an infant great grandson. Left to mourn his passing is his wife, Winnie; three sons, Mark (Darlene) and Greg of Minneapolis, Todd of Mesa, AZ; four grandchildren, Martin (Jill), Michelle (Jake), Leisha (Caleb), and Ryan; five great grandchildren, Nicholas, Mason, Ryder, Amalia, and Finley; sister, Judy (Charlie) Joel; and special friend of the family, Cathy and her son, Jorgie.

He was known for his quiet humor, caring nature and his generosity.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Austin. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Grandview Cemetery, Austin. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at