Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Franklin Pavelka

Kenneth (Kenny) Franklin Pavelka, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, friend, and neighbor, went peacefully to his heavenly home to reunite with Jean, his wife, on Tuesday, Jan 10, 2023, after a brief illness.
 He was born in Wabasha, MN to Francis (Fritz) and Rachel Pavelka, on March 3, 1941. As a youngster, Kenny traveled with his family, following his father’s military postings around the world, including Panama, before moving in with his grandparents in rural Kellogg. Kenny graduated with the high school class of 1959, in Wabasha, Minnesota. After graduating, he lived and farmed with his grandparents, Frank and Myrtle Tentis, before being called up to serve in the military at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He married Jean Zabel, his wife of nearly 59 years, at St. Agnes Church in Kellogg, Minnesota, on September 1, 1962. Kenny and Jean farmed in rural Kellogg and raised their 9 children there. In February of 1986, Kenny started his long and storied career as a maintenance supervisor at Lakeside Foods, in Plainview, MN. They moved from the farm to Kellogg in 1996. Kenny’s greatest joys in life were his children, his grandchildren, his great grandchildren and his many, many friends. His passions over the years included hunting (both animals and ginseng), purchasing a menagerie of animals large and small to entertain his children, providing butchering and amateur veterinary services for friends and neighbors, gardening, building projects in his shop, reading and listening to books, good conversation with friends, family, and neighbors, engaging in his Catholic faith, learning to bake, community service in his local area and in Waveland, Mississippi, following Hurricane Katrina, and a proud and active membership with the Kellogg American Legion. Ken was instrumental in establishing the Kellogg Heroes Memorial.
Kenny was preceded in death by his much missed wife, his parents and his mother and father-in-law (Fayne and Rose), his siblings, Donald, Jimmie, and Judy. He is survived by his brother, John Pavelka (Peggy), his sister, Barb Deming (Bill), and his many children, Donnie Pavelka (Joan) of Plainview, MN, Lori Wolf (Ted) of Kellogg, MN, Dawn Rossman (Mike) of Byron, MN, Jacki Kennedy (Jim) of Austin, MN, Kevin Pavelka (Clare) of Lake City, MN, Darrell Pavelka (Bernard Harrison) of Minneapolis, MN, Jeri Edel (Scott) of Forest City, IA, Tony Pavelka (Anh-Thu) of Shakopee, MN, and Mark Pavelka (Deanna) of Wabasha, MN, and special friends, Bonnie, Susie, Carl and Sue, and Phil.
Kenny is also survived by the following grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Michael Pavelka & Suzie Lutz & daughters Madi & Lainie, Nicole & Eric Hart & daughters Lily and Mia, Stephanie Pavelka & Taylor Bublitz, Valerie Wolf & Anna Brady & children Emmett & Sawyer, Andrea & Derik Tradup & sons Wyatt & Blake, Ben Wolf, Bryon & Sarah Pavelka & son Peyton Wentz, Daniel Rossman, Kasandra Kennedy & children Lexi & Luke, Morgan & Milo Pavelka, Caleb, Ayla & Emily Pavelka, Josie & Jasa Edel, My-Linh, Hailey & Makenzie Pavelka, and Garret & Eve Pavelka.
He will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him. He is wished Godspeed on his journey and a joyous reunion with Jean.
Visitation will be 4 - 7 p.m. Monday, January 16, 2023, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the church. Funeral Mass will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, rural Kellogg, with Msgr. Tom Melvin officiating. Interment will be at St. Agnes Cemetery, Kellogg, MN.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the City of Kellogg, to be used for maintenance and upkeep of the Kellogg Heroes Memorial.
Services entrusted to Abbott Funeral Home & Crematory, Wabasha, MN. Words of sympathy or remembrance may be left at


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