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Horvath Remembrance Center - Marshall
Thursday March 31st, 2022
4:00pm - 7:00pm

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Horvath Remembrance Center - Marshall
Friday April 1st, 2022
9:30am - 10:30am

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Funeral Service

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church
Friday April 1st, 2022

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Kenneth Mukomela

Mass of Christian Burial for Kenneth “Ken” Mukomela, 86, of Marshall, will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 1, 2022, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall.  Visitation will be Thursday, March 31, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. at the Horvath Remembrance Center.  Visitation will continue on Friday, April 1, from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at the Remembrance Center.  Interment will take place at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN, at a later date.  A livestream and recording of the service will be available at www.holy-redeemer.com.  Military Rites provided by U.S. American Legion Post 113 of Marshall.

Kenneth Duane Mukomela was born Jan 15, 1936 in Langdon, North Dakota to Ukrainian immigrant Anthon Krystoforovich Mukomela and Ella Mae (Storie) Mukomela.  He died peacefully on March 12, 2022 in Marshall, MN after a courageous and hard fought battle with cancer.  He attended Langdon public schools, graduating high school in 1953.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Mayville State University and went on to receive both master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of North Dakota.  A proud American, he entered the US Army in 1954 and served his country with honor throughout his 40-year military career, retiring in 1996 with the rank of Colonel.  He earned 14 military awards including the Legion of Merit Medal, the Department of the Army’s highest peace-time honor.    Ken was a long-time member, an officer and served in the Honor Guard of American Legion Post 113.

After meeting at Mayville State University, Ken married Gwendolyn Jean Nixon on July 6, 1957 in Crary, ND.  Together they had five children: Kristi, Richard, Mark, Kari and Karla.  Ken began his career in education by teaching at various high schools throughout ND as well as directing music and band.  In 1968, the family moved to Marshall, MN where Ken began his long career as a professor of Business and Office Education at Southwest Minnesota State University, in the University’s second year of existence.  The success of his students and getting to know them personally was always important to Ken.  He retired in 1997 and remained an avid Mustang booster, member of the University Foundation board and advocate for all things SMSU.  Ken received many accolades and awards for his service to SMSU including being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Honor, the Honorary Alumni Lifetime Membership award, the NSIC Noel Olson Volunteer of the Year award, and most recently the John & Kathy Paxton Alumni award for outstanding service to SMSU.  For years, Ken was the top seller of Gold Rush Raffle tickets!

Most important to Ken was his wife of nearly 65 years and his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  He put great effort into making sure his family remained close and gathered often. Ken and Gwen were very generous with their time and treasures when it came to family get togethers.  They made countless trips to the Twin Cities and to the state of Virginia, not missing many events.  One of Ken’s favorite stops on their trips was at a Dairy Queen!  He loved sports of all kinds, serving others, volunteering, traveling, pheasant hunting, construction projects, fishing and staying busy.  Very busy.

Ken is survived by his wife, Gwen, of Marshall, children Kristi (Mark Everson) of Woodbury, MN, Richard (Elizabeth) of Chaska, MN, Mark (Nancy) of Lakeville, MN, Kari (Greg) Lee of Apple Valley, MN and Karla  (Marty) Baird of Disputanta, VA, grandchildren Heather Conneran (Matt), Adam Mukomela (Tami), Katie Morrell (Mike), Jennifer Key (Dave), Jeffrey Baird (Kristin), Matthew Mukomela (Margo), Jackson Baird, 11 great-grandchildren, sister Shirley Lazarz of Sun City, AZ, brother Robert (Kay) of Algonquin, IL, sister Lois (Eldon) Nolte of Des Moines, IA, as well as many nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Arthur and William, sisters Marge and Cheryl, and great-granddaughter Isabella. 

Ken touched the lives of many throughout his lifetime.  His gentle spirit, quick wit, and kindness will be missed by all who knew him.  The family wishes to thank all the friends and community members who have shown an outpouring of love and support through this journey and the wonderful, caring staff at Prairie Home Hospice.  In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial to the SMSU Foundation (Ken & Gwen Mukomela Scholarship), the American Legion Post 113, or Prairie Home Hospices.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth Mukomela, please visit our flower store.


Ken was a good man and always took time to say hello.Surely he made lots of young men and women better soldiers to protect our country.

Addy and Larry Van Moer Mar 24 2022 8:07 AM

Uncle Kenny, you have been a family igniter. You always brought your entire self to every occasion, and I really admire how much light you shown to this Mukomela family. Though our moments seemed few you leave a legacy of fun, listening and full engagement to those of us blessed to have experienced life with you. May you rest easy and may the smiles and laughter you provoked live on forever. Thank you for being you! With much love and life, Chris and the Jonesclan5.

Chris Jones Mar 20 2022 7:14 PM

Quen and family we send our sympathy to you all. The Mukomela Family was always so well thought of in our lives. It is know wonder that Ken touched a lot of lives in his time on earth. Can only hope he is rejoicing at reuniting with his earthly family now. Sending our condolences.

Joann and John Lawrence Mar 20 2022 3:25 PM

Gwen, you have my deepest sympathy upon the death of Ken, your best friend. Mary Hauschild

Mary Hauschild Mar 19 2022 5:05 PM

My deepest sympathy for your loss. Ken was such a warm, welcoming man. I have fond memories of serving on the athletic advisory committee with him. I always wanted to sit next to him during meeting, because he made them much more enjoyable. He had a knack for making people feel at ease; as if they were the most important person in the world. His love and support of SMSU was an inspiration.

Emily Deaver Mar 18 2022 9:31 AM

Missing you so much Grandpa! Sharing some favorite photos with everyone. Love you!

Heather Conneran Mar 18 2022 8:01 AM

Kari, Greg, and family. Our deepest sympathy for the loss of your father. He sounds amazing and he will be surely missed. May your memories hold and sustain you. Many hugs, we are thinking of you and holding you tight. Love, Joe and Candi

Candi McCarthy Mar 15 2022 11:38 AM

You will be missed, RIP

Dan & Arlene Markell Mar 15 2022 9:45 AM

I have many fond memories at the Mukomela kitchen table visiting with Ken and Gwen...and perhaps a few memories when they were away playing quarters with Mark and Kari at the same kitchen table. Our parents formed our lives. So sorry for the loss of such a wonderful soul. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Wish I could be there in person to celebrate an extraordinary life. Xoxo Lynn Sitzmann

Lynn Sitzmann Mar 15 2022 12:00 AM

Our condolences to Gwen and the entire family. Ken was the definition of a good man. What a loss to the would. But think about the legacy he and Gwen have left the world through their children, grand children and great grand children!! I've sure he's very proud of what he left. The world is a better place.

Dave Soenen Mar 14 2022 10:15 PM

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