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Kenneth W. Kortemeier, 92, Rockford

Kenneth W. Kortemeier, 92, Rockford, died Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

He was born Feb. 1, 1924, to Ida and William Kortemeier, on a farm in Lancaster Township northeast of Freeport.

On May 13, 1950, he married Ruth Hayes.

He graduated from North Central College, Naperville, in 1949 and from Evangelical Theological Seminary – now Garrett Seminary – in 1952. He and his wife served Evangelical United Brethren and United Methodist churches in Hooppole, Mt. Carmel, Dixon, Batavia, Palos Heights and Rockford, as well as participating in summer pastor exchanges in Weston-super-Mare and Withernsea, England. He retired in 1989, and he and Ruth lived in Rockford. They were members of Christ United Methodist Church, and he was active in Rockford Urban Ministries. 

He and Ruth also directed church summer camps for children and led youth bike trips in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, as well as youth cross-country bus trips. He enjoyed camping trips with his family and canoe rides on the Rock River or the Flambeau River in northwestern Wisconsin. 

A good conversation was worth a lot to him. He seldom missed a family reunion or holiday meal, and he always was ready to shake the hand of a newcomer. He and Ruth loved classical and choral music. He sang in choirs and chorales, as well as in duets with Ruth. 

He impacted many lives, bringing a sense of humor to those who spent time with him and a sense of grace to those he served. He was confident of the promises of his faith, joyous in his life and honored and loved by family and friends.

He is survived by a daughter, Debra (Ron) Bendis, Woodstock; a son, Douglas (Susan) Kortemeier, Eden Prairie, Minn.; and three grandchildren, Matthew (Allison) Bendis, Ann Bendis and Todd (Greta) Kortemeier.

Visitation and the funeral were May 21 at Christ United Methodist Church, Rockford. Interment was private. Memorials can be sent to Christ United Methodist Church, 4509 Highcrest Road, Rockford, IL 61107. 

Arrangements were made by Julian-Poorman-Welte Funeral Home, Rockford.


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