Kenneth “Ken” Smidt

October 20, 1940
August 19, 2022

Kenneth L. Smidt, 81, of Green Bay entered into eternal rest in the early morning hours of Friday, August 19th with his daughters by his side after a courageous battle with dementia.

He was born October 20th, 1940 in Rochester, MN to Halvor and Pearl Smidt.  He attended Rochester High School, Rochester Junior College and the University of Eau Claire, graduating with his bachelor degree in Business Administration.  During his college years, he was President of the Beta Upsilon Sigma Business Fraternity.  He was also the President of the Flying Clutchmen Car Club which was established in 1958.  His many years in the automotive business as a traveling salesman included Uniroyal, Champion Spark Plugs, Tilot Oil and Halron Oil.

He met the love of his life, his “Honey”, Ellen Johnson at Schwens Ice Cream Parlor over a chocolate chip ice cream cone.  Their relationship began as a friendship, but soon blossomed into a beautiful love story.  They were joined together in marriage on November 18, 1961 at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.

They began their life together in Eau Claire, WI, then moving on to Rochester, MN. They welcomed their first born daughter Lori who was born in St. Louis Park MN, and later settled in Green Bay and welcomed their second daughter, Jami.

Ken was an avid fisherman, bowler and golf enthusiast.  He was definitely the morning person in the family and truly enjoyed being the first to rise each morning and welcome us all to a brand new day. In addition to sports, Ken had a passion for landscaping and took great pride in his rock garden and lawn.   He could always be found working outside at home and at their cottage. His love of art led him to create beautiful Danish mobiles referred to as Scherenschnitte, the art of paper cutting as well as creating beautiful Bonsai trees.

The greatest joy in Ken’s life was spending time with his wife, daughters, grandchildren and many special friends and family.

Ken will be deeply missed by Ellen, his loving wife of 61 years, his daughters Lori (Al) Smith, Howard, and their daughters Sydney Smith and Olivia Smith and Jami (Matt) Drake, Howard, and their children Noah (Autumn) Drake, Madison Drake and Morgan Drake as well as his future great grandson due this fall.

He is further survived by his sisters Marlene Aldrich, Arizona, Diane Braatz, Minnesota, and Sherry (Fred) Henslin, Montana and many nieces and nephews.  He was welcomed into Heaven by his parents Halvor and Pearl Smidt, brother-in-law Donn Bratz, brother-in-law James Aldrich, his parent’s in law Ernest and Ethel Johnson, brother-in-law Robert Johnson and sister-in-law Betty Johnson.

Ken was such a bright light in this world and will continue to shine on through all of us who loved him.  He undoubtedly left a lasting impression on everyone he met.  We will all continue to carry him in our hearts forever!

Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 25, 2022, at Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., from 2:00 p.m. until the time of Funeral Service at 6:00 p.m. with Pastor Roald Harswick officiating. The Funeral Service for Ken will be livestreamed. Please visit or go directly to the Proko-Wall Facebook page. In lieu of flowers and other expressions of sympathy a memorial fund will be established in Ken’s name.

The family would like to thank the loving staff at Tender Hearts for their care, as well as Moments Hospice for the care they provided to Dad in his final days.

August 25, 2022
2:00 p.m. -6:00 p.m.
Proko-Wall Funeral Home [map]
Funeral Service
August 25, 2022
6:00 p.m.
Proko-Wall Funeral Home [map]