Kelly Wagenman, age 73, of Dent, MN passed away peacefully at his home on November 8, 2023, after a very short battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family while under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Kelly Wagenman, the firstborn son to Adolph and Delores (Houge) Wagenman, was born on May 15, 1950, in Edgeley ND. The family moved to Dent, MN in 1952 and Kelly graduated from Perham High School in 1968. After graduation, he moved to the Twin Cities to work for Swifts, but soon found he was not a "city boy" and moved back to Dent. He worked for the Dent Creamery as a milk truck driver until he decided to purchase Winkels Trucking, two trucks and a tractor, from his future father-in-law. He married Deborah "Debby" Winkels on July 11, 1970, after rushing to unload three boxcars of lumber from the train to get to the church in time. Kelly and Debby purchased a small home and one acre of land on County Highway 44 from Cyril Grover (Pearl Ellis). They made this their home until after the birth of their children and a slide down the stairs, (slipping on Rhonda's coloring book) with the twins Robert and Russell in his arms. Kelly built their new home on the same acre plot in 1977. Kelly sold the trucks and then worked at Tuffy's, Dynamic Homes, and the Dent Liquor Store as well as raising beef cattle. In 1983, Kelly and Debby purchased the dairy farm west of Dent, where they milked between 60 and 70 Jersey cows at Rhobell Dairy. In 1991, they sold the cattle and Kelly drove Hough milk trucks picking up milk in Otter Tail County and drove it to Le Sueur, MN. He did this for about a year and then started working for Otter Tail County Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA). With the farm sheds empty, Kelly started a boat storage business that grew to include three new storage sheds. He enjoyed visiting with his storage customers each spring and fall for nearly 30 years. His son Robert will be taking over the boat storage. Kelly retired from DHIA in 2017. He was fond of his dairy farmers and their families that he befriended while visiting their dairy farms. Kelly loved woodworking, redoing the cupboards in the kitchen, and other projects to update their home. You will find several things that Kelly made with his hands: shelves, jewelry boxes, hope chests, picture frames, and the list goes on. If Debby or the kids found it, or had the idea, he would try to make it. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially his elk hunt and recounting the story of shooting "the big one", his 14-point buck in 1977. He enjoyed playing guitar and was a bass guitarist for Charlie Kirchenwitz and the Country Ramblers from 1976 to 1995. He also loved putting puzzles together out in the sunroom.
Kelly is survived by his wife of 53 years Deborah; children Rhonda (Regi) Ueke and their son Brayden; Robert (Karen) and their children Colette, Christopher, Caleb, Kelly, and Sarah; Russell (Laura) and their children Troy, Seth, Zachary, and Brent; his great-grandchildren Thomas, Leslie, and Liam; brothers Rodney (June), Gary (Vickie), and Terry (Kathy); brother-in-law Dan (Donna) Winkels; Godchildren Tressa (Jim) Leaders, Jennifer Taylor, and Anna (Danny) Kimball; along with several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Preceding Kelly in death were his parents; sister Connie Dewar; mother and father-in-law Leo and Elaine Winkels; and brother-in-law Robert Winkels.
Visitation will be 5:00-7:00 p.m. with Parish Prayers at 6:30 on Sunday, November 12 at Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service in Perham. Visitation will resume from 10:00-11:00 a.m. followed by Funeral Mass at 11:00 on Monday, November 13 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dent. Burial will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Dent.
Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service, Perham, MN (218) 346-5175 www.schoenebergerfh.com