Kenneth Parker


Kenneth Earl Parker, 89, of Woonsocket, passed away Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Prairie View Healthcare Community in Woonsocket.
Funeral services were Monday, Nov. 28, at 11 a.m., at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Woonsocket. Visitation was Sunday, Nov. 27, with family members present from 5–7 p.m. at the Basham Funeral Home in Woonsocket. Inurnment was at Eventide Cemetery.
Kenny was born April 7, 1927, to Walt and Carrie (Schlomer) Parker. He graduated as salutatorian from Woonsocket High School in 1945. Kenny worked for Parson’s Produce prior to serving two years in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. After the service, Kenny worked for Wenton Siedschaw selling and transporting trailer houses.
Kenny married Lois Druse in October of 1955, and to this union two children were born, Jim and Polly Parker. Kenny worked as a mechanic for Elmer Steichen Chevrolet before driving semi for Van Dyke’s. He then went on to work in the sales department at Van Dyke’s (Capital Building Systems).
In 1970, Kenny was united in marriage to Leone Jenssen in Pipestone, Minn. Kenny and Leone ran the Dairy Queen located at the three-mile corner near Woonsocket from 1973-1977. Following that, they operated Jena’s Flower Shop in Huron. After Capital Building Systems closed, Kenny established Parker Brokerage, which he owned and operated until his retirement at the age of 85.
In 2004, Kenny married Ole Strand-McLearen at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Woonsocket.
He was involved in many community organizations including: American Legion, Woonsocket Fire Department, Pony Hills Country Club, and was a longtime member of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church.
In January of 2016, Kenny entered Prairie View Healthcare Community, where he resided until his death.
Survivors include his son, Jim Parker of Kansas City, Kan.; his daughter, Polly Parker of Mitchell; step-sons, Jerry (Gloria) Jenssen of Woonsocket and Robert Jenssen of Sioux Falls; step-daughter-in-law, Shirley (Jim) Jenssen of Spearfish; sister, Deloris (George) Zilko of Carthage; sister-in-law, Ledoris (Bud) Parker of Sioux Falls; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; many step grandchildren and step great-grandchildren from the Jenssen family; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Kenny was preceded in death by his sisters and brother-in-laws, Margaret and Otto Gutzmer, Connie and Clint Haring, Genevieve and Chet Brown, Pat and Bill Baum and Ora and Merlyn Runestad; a brother, Charles (Bud) Parker; wives, Leone and Ole; stepsons, Jim and Tom Jenssen; and grandson, Dan Parker.

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