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Kenneth Smith 05/29/2022

Kenneth Bertels Smith, age 76, of River Falls, WI, died peacefully on Sunday, May 29, 2022 surrounded by his family, and love, prayers and gratitude. Ken was born July 26, 1945 in Chattanooga, TN to Ruth and Hal Smith, Sr.
He proudly served in the United States Navy. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee. He worked for 3M for more than 3 decades, beginning in ceramics and ending with specialty window film for national and international applications. He received several patents and awards for his work.
His family was the light of his life. On May 25, 1985 he was united in marriage to Margaret Hefferan. He was very proud of his daughters, Jennifer and Emma, and taught them to be independent, caring and to have a sense of fun.
Ken had a wry and impish sense of humor, enjoying puns and word jokes of all kinds. He particularly enjoyed woodworking, music, traveling and playing games with his family, grilling on the weekends, and spending time with friends.
Ken was caring, thoughtful, generous, and sometimes stubborn. He never lost his sense of fun and quick smile.
He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Rebecca Ruth; parents, Ruth and Hal Smith Sr.; brother, Dennis; stepmother, Mary Frances Smith; and brother-in- law, Stephen Miller.
He is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Margaret; and daughters, Jennifer and Emma Smith. He is survived by his brother, Hal Smith Jr. (Jennifer); stepsister, Joanne Bailey; and numerous nephews and nieces. He will be greatly missed.
A private memorial service was held Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at Bakken-Young Funeral and Cremation Services in River Falls. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.


  • Caroline Lyngstad Posted May 31, 2022 12:57 pm

    It’s a gift to read about someone so talented, accomplished, and celebrated. I’m sorry to have never met Kenneth in person, but I’ve heard from Jeni how very loved he is. My deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and all his loved ones.

  • Douglas A Huntley Posted June 1, 2022 3:04 pm

    I truly enjoyed working with Ken at 3M in the window film business. He always spoke quite fondly of his family. One memory that stood out for me that highlighted his creativity and sense of humor was his quest, with his daughters, to develop the most inexpensive pizza possible. Last I remember, they found a way to utilize a tortilla for the crust and perhaps some spiced ketchup packets for the sauce. He will be missed and remembered as a kind and caring man.

  • Mike Nelson Posted June 1, 2022 3:46 pm

    Ken and I got to be good friends working and traveling together for 4 years. We had some adventures for sure and I always knew Ken would have his unique perspectives to share on any topic. There are many stories but I’ll share one about Ken’s frugality and humor. One lunch, he went through a drive-thru and placed his order at the speaker as one does. When he got to the window to pay, the worker told him the price and Ken said, “WHAT?!?!? I’m not paying THAT!” and drove away. Me and my family routinely use those very words on a frequent basis, more so lately, and will always have Ken to thank. For that and many other reasons, I will miss my friend Ken Smith.

  • Becky (Nelson) Van Loon Posted June 2, 2022 8:38 pm

    I am so sorry to see this! I worked with Ken and Steve back in the ‘Energy Control Department’ at 3M more years ago than I care to think about! Always enjoyed my visits with them, as well as Ken’s great sense of humor with a smile and twinkle. You have my sympathy!

  • BJ Olsen Posted June 6, 2022 6:35 pm

    Jeni, I am so sorry for you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. It is hard to lose a parent. The obituary was a wonderful compliment on his life. It has been a privilege to hear about this wonderful man.

  • MARY CAMBER Posted June 11, 2022 7:08 pm

    My sympathy to Margaret, Jennifer, and Emma.
    A fitting obituary for such a good man.
    Peace to you all.

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