Ken Westergard

Obituary of Ken Westergard

Due to the coronavirus threat there will be a private family burial at South Walnut Cemetery near Graettinger and a celebration of life at a future date. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church. Kenneth Dale Westergard passed away on March 16, 2020 at Accura Healthcare of Spirit Lake. Ken was born in Graettinger, Iowa on April 17, 1930 to Alfred and Ruth (Nelson) Westergard. He graduated from Graettinger High School in 1948. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1952 with a degree in civil engineering. Upon graduation he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served two years with the Army Corps of Engineers in Germany. Ken returned from service and was married to Dorene Larsen of Graettinger on August 26, 1953. To this marriage three children were born: Mark, Kirk and Melode. Ken was both a registered professional engineer and a registered land surveyor. He served a term as President of the State of Iowa Society of Land Surveyors. Ken was initially employed as the City Engineer for the City of Estherville from 1956 to 1962. He and his family moved to Spirit Lake in 1962 where he was employed as the Dickinson County Engineer. While he continued to serve as the County Engineer, Ken partnered with Dale Jacobson and formed Jacobson-Westergard & Associates in Estherville in 1970, a consulting engineering firm still operating today. In 1972 Ken was asked to become the City Administrator of Spirit Lake, a position he held until 1977 when he assumed full time leadership at Jacobson-Westergard. In 1981 Ken was asked to return to the Dickinson County Engineer’s position and he retired from that position in 1993. Ken left an indelible mark on the infrastructure of Spirit Lake, Dickinson County and all of northwest Iowa through his 42 years of engineering contributions. Ken was a long-time member of Grace Lutheran Church serving on the Council and also the Chairman of the Building Committee for a large addition and remodeling project. In more recent years Ken and Dorene were active members at First Presbyterian Church. He was also very active in Boy Scouts and earned the Silver Beaver Award in 1983 for his service to scouting. Kenneth was a member of Spirit Lake Kiwanis for over 60 years and in 2016 he was recognized as the chapter’s Kiwanis Citizen of the Years, an honor he was very proud to receive. Ken and Dorene were happily married for over 66 years. They were inseparable and true friends and life partners. They enjoyed frequent travel; in the early years camping with the family and after retirement spending their winter months in Pharr, Texas. Ken was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather who thoroughly enjoyed family gatherings. He also loved to make people laugh and was masterful at remembering and telling jokes. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Betty Williamson, his brother-in-law Luverne Williamson and his brother-in-law Dale Larsen. Left to cherish Ken’s memory are his wife, Dorene, who resides at Keelson Harbour in Spirit Lake, son Mark (Jan) of Omaha, son Kirk (Sue) of Sioux Falls, daughter Melode O’Neill (Marshall) of Spirit Lake, eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
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