Kenneth Edgar Besetzny, 56, of Red Wing, died Saturday, March 6, at his home after a struggle with cancer.
He was born Jan. 6, 1954, in Schulenburg, Texas, to Edgar and Lillian (Bludau) Besetzny. He graduated from Bishop Forest Catholic High School, Schulenburg, Texas. He attended the Pontifical North American College, Rome, completing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He attended the Oblate Seminary School of Theology in San Antonio. While working in Victoria, Texas, as Family Life Director of the Victoria Diocese, he attended St. Mary's University completing a master's in marriage and family therapy. In 1994, he moved to Ames, Iowa, working at St. Thomas Aquinas Church.
Kenneth married Corene Frideres-Schaller on April 28, 1995. Their marriage was blessed on July 25 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Rochester, Minn. They lived in Rochester for a short time before accepting a position at the Church of St. Joseph.
Working behind the scenes, Kenneth had insight and fortitude in developing the leadership structure for the parish of St. Joseph. He was instrumental in starting the Hispanic Catholic Ministry and brought Catholic Charities to Red Wing. He was liaison between the Friendship House and the parish and a member of the advisory board of the Community Care Fund. A proponent of ecumenical efforts, he facilitated the development of Red Wing Faith in Action. He was heavily involved in social justice and charity issues facing the local community.
He was an avid reader and enjoyed hiking, biking, and traveling. He refurbished homes and helped others with home improvements.
He is survived by his wife, Corene of Red Wing; his mother, Lillian, of Schulenburg, Texas; three step-children, Sean Bakken of St. Joseph, Mo., Sabrina (Aaron) Fleischer of Kansas City, Sara Bakken of Ames, Iowa; nine siblings, Harvey (Cathy) Besetzny, Andy (Tammy) Besetzny, Mark (Linda) Besetzny, Diane (Milton) Holub, Theresa (Byron) Eckhardt, Ralph (Bonnie) Besetzny, Mary (James) Akers, Joanie (Stuart) Krischke, all of Texas; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Edgar.
The Mass of the Resurrection is 11 a.m. Saturday, March 13, at the Church of St. Joseph to be concelebrated by Father Thomas M. Kommers and Fr. Larry Brixius. Visitation is 9-11 a.m. prior to the celebration. Memorials are preferred to Hispanic Ministry or Community Care Fund, c/o CSJ, 426 W. 8th St., Red Wing; Faith in Action or Fairview Red Wing Hospice at 1407 W. 4th St., Red Wing.
Arrangements handled by Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel, www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.