Harold Gordon Kanten, 97, Long Prairie
November 18, 1922 - June 11, 2020
Harold Gordon Kanten of Long Prairie, MN, formerly of Minneapolis, MN, passed away on June 11, 2020 at the age of 97. A memorial service will be at 1:00 PM Saturday, June 27, 2020 at First Baptist Church in Long Prairie. His son-in-law, Pastor Ron Hibbs will officiate and burial will be at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis at a later date. The family will receive visitors one hour prior to the service on Saturday. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Stein Chapel in Long Prairie.
Gordon was born in rural Milan, MN to Iver Andrew and Hilda Mathilda (Kjaglien) Kanten.
He attended country school for the first 8 years in a one room school house situated on the corner of the family farm. Later, while farming on that farm, he was able to purchase the school house when it was no longer in use. He finished his secondary education at Milan High School, graduating in 1940.
Gordon met his future wife, Genevieve, through his sister, Shirley, in 1946 while Genevieve and Shirley were working at the Montevideo Hospital. He and Genevieve were married on July 6, 1947. They farmed until Gordon’s health problems resulted in an end to farming, culminating in an auction in December 1959. Subsequently, Gordon enrolled in a 15-month laboratory technician course which led to a job offer from General Mills. He took the job, moved the family to Minneapolis, and had to adjust to a whole different lifestyle. At General Mills, his work involved developing new resins used in the production of paints, inks, and glues. Gordon retired from General Mills in September 1985.
Having an 8-4 job allowed more time for volunteer activities. He involved himself in church activities, including boys’ and girls’ clubs. He also helped at Camp Nathaniel, a boy’s camp near Hinckley, MN, helping to open it for the Summer camping season and closing it in the Fall. After retirement, he spent time at his children’s homes helping to remodel or build. Of course, Gen accompanied him. She helped with looking after the grandchildren, preparing meals, cooking, and baking. Gordon invested considerable time woodworking and making cupboards, cabinets, and other useful pieces. He spent 12 years volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and many years with the International Christian Literature Distribution center (ICLD) with Gen by his side helping as well. They worked together as a team during their retirement years in anything they did and especially enjoyed baking, cooking and lots of canning of fruits, pickles, and making jam that were then shared with family and friends. Their pantry and freezer were always well stocked for any of the kids to raid and enjoy.
After Gen’s death he moved to a Sr. Hi-rise apartment complex and continued with volunteer work, shop projects and any handy-man work that was needed by friends and family. With increasing mobility problems and declining health, he moved to an Assisted Living facility in Long Prairie in November of 2019 to be closer to family.
Gordon was preceded in death by Gen, his wife of 58 years, his parents, 2 sisters, and 2 brothers. He is survived by his children, David (Joyce) Kanten of Fulda, MN; Dennis (Diane) Kanten of Hubertus, WI; Neil (Lynn) Kanten of Centre Point, TX; Richard (Sheryl) Kanten of Hudsonville, MI; and Gretchen (Ron) Hibbs of Long Prairie, MN. He is also survived by 18 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild, and 1 great great grandchild on the way.