Kenneth E. Lestrud \n \n Kenneth Elmore Lestrud of Menomonie, WI passed away on February 20, 2022 after a courageous seven month battle with cancer and heart failure. Kenneth was born on July 7, 1943 in Menomonie, WI, the son of Elmore K. Lestrud and Ruby S. (Galstad) Lestrud. Kenny grew up on the family dairy farm in Tainter Township. He was a 4-H member and was very proud to have had the champion hog at the Wisconsin State Fair in 1956. \n \n Kenny graduated from Colfax High School in 1961. He then attended Eau Claire State and later transferred to the University of Minnesota, Forestry School, St. Paul Campus. During this time, he also worked on the family farm. \n \n In April of 1968 Kenny enlisted in the Army receiving basic training at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and then on to further training in Ft. Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma. He was then assigned to HHB 8th Target Acquisition Battalion, 25th Artillery. In September1968 he was deployed to South Vietnam where he was stationed at several fire bases in the Delta. He was involved in many combat operations. Among the medals he received was the Silver Star. Kenny was honorably discharged April 17, 1971, and he returned home. His service in Vietnam resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder which impacted the rest of his life. In 1990 the Veteran’s Administration awarded him 100% Total and Permanent Disability. \n \n In the fall of 1971 Kenny returned to the University of Minnesota, St. Paul campus to finish his degree. In March of 1974 he received his degree from the school of Forestry. June 22,1974 Kenny married Mary Joy Peters whom he had met when she and his sister Karolynn were roommates at Augsburg College. They lived on Nicollet Island in Minneapolis for several years which Kenny always said were some of the best years of his life and where many lifelong friends were made. \n \n After graduating from the University of Minnesota, he worked for the city of Fridley, MN as a tree inspector and later as the building engineer for a twenty-story high rise apartment building in Dinkytown, Minneapolis. After moving to Menomonie, he worked for the Menomonie School District and retired on disability in 1990. \n \n Kenny moved back home to Menomonie in 1977 where he and Mary built a log home and had two children, Amanda and Andrew. His children made him very proud. \n \n Kenny became very active in and was one of the early members of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Mike Voth Memorial Chapter #5 in Eau Claire serving as their secretary for many years. He was also very active in the fight against sand mines in the area serving as treasurer for Save the Hills Alliance for a number of years. \n \n He became a friend of Bill in August of 2001. He was very proud of his hard fought twenty years of sobriety. Along the journey he was active in helping many others with their struggles. \n \n One of the highlights of his later years was the trip he and Mary took with sister Karolynn to the land of his ancestors, Norway and London. He thoroughly enjoyed this trip. \n \n The blessing of his later years was the birth of his granddaughter, Bria Joy Kassa. True to her name, she brought much joy to his life. Three years later he received another blessing with the birth of granddaughter McKenna Rae Kassa. He enjoyed being Grandpa to his girls very much. \n \n Kenny is survived by his wife of 47 years Mary, daughter and son-in-law Amanda and Shane Kassa, granddaughters Bria and McKenna Kassa, son Andrew Lestrud, sister Karolynn Lestrud, niece Sarah Steinberg, several dear cousins, and many friends. \n \n Kenny was preceded in death by his parents Elmore and Ruby (Galstad) Lestrud, Aunt Martha (Lestrud) Hendrickson and her husband Orville Hendrickson, Uncle Syrus Lestrud and his wife Helen, and cousins Ellwyn Hendrickson, and Orville Hendrickson, Jr. and his wife Virginia. \n \n A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 25, 2022, at Olson Funeral Home in Menomonie, WI with Pastor Heather Wigdahl officiating. There will be a visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in the spring with Military Honors by Menomonie Veterans Honor Guard.