The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 15, 2012

Kenneth S. Hiniker

— Kenneth S. Hiniker, age 97, of rural Mankato, died Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Mankato. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 17, 2012, at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato with

Rev. Robert Schneider officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Mankato. Visitation will be held from 4 - 7 p.m., Friday at NORTHVIEW - North Mankato Mortuary in North Mankato and continues one hour before the service at the church on Saturday. In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials to School Sisters of Notre Dame, VINE, or Andreas Cancer Center of Mayo Clinic Health Systems.

 Ken, the youngest of nine children, was born to George and Frances (Wagner) Hiniker on a Blue Earth county farm on January 8th, 1915. In 1925, he and his two older brothers Henry and Robert, took over the family farming operation when their father died. As a consequence, Ken was unable to attend school beyond the 10th grade.

 In 1942, Ken was drafted into the U.S. Army, and served over three years in the Chemical Corp in the European theater during World War II. After the war he resumed farming, and on May 8th 1947, he married his sweetheart Florence Guentzel, who had faithfully awaited his return.

 In the 1950s, Ken and his brothers owned Tri-County Farm Supply and Suburban Skelgas, all while farming full-time. Ken's tinkering in the farm shop eventually led him to start the Hiniker Company in 1967. His creative mind, attention to detail and practical approach to problem solving, enabled the company to successfully design and manufacture agricultural attachment products, tractor cabs and tillage tools that sold throughout the world. Ken's contribution to the community resulted in him being inducted into the Mankato Business Hall of Fame in 1990.

 On a personal side, Ken's down-to-earth attitude and interest in his employees earned him the "Boss of the Year" award in 1977 from the Mankato Jaycees.

 Ken retired in 1983 after selling Hiniker Company. But his passion for new challenges led him to purchase the Superior Block company in 1990, which he managed until its sale in 1998.

 Ken enjoyed family time, playing cards, golfing, traveling, and flying his personal plane.

  Kenneth is survived by his wife, Florence of Mankato; eight children, Thomas (Julie) Hiniker of Mankato, Gloria McVay of Winona, MN, Gary (Kim) Hiniker of Mankato, Ronald (Sherl) Hiniker of Mankato, Duane (Michelle) Hiniker of Mankato, Fredric Hiniker of Mankato, Dale (Joan) Hiniker of North Mankato, Sandra (Matt) Ammentorp of Faribault, MN; 20 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Marilyn Decker of Mankato; many nieces and nephews.

  Ken was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and six sisters.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Mae Stubbs.JPG Mae Cecilia Stubbs

    Mae Cecilia Stubbs, age 86 of Franklin, MN formerly of Mankato, died Sunday, July 27, 2014 at the St. Cloud Hospital.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • marlynn vanlandingham.JPG Marlynn D. Vanlandingham

    Marlynn D. Vanlandingham, age 70, of Fairchild, WI, died Friday, July 18, 2014, at Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN. Private services will be held.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ron Brubaker.JPG Ronald Eugene Brubaker Sr

    Ronald Eugene Brubaker Sr., age 66, of Mankato, died Sunday, July 27, 2014, at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Hennessey Graif

    John Hennessey Graif, age 88, of Mankato, died peacefully Monday, February 24, 2014 at Laurel's Peak with family by his side.

    July 29, 2014

  • Orris Sletta.jpg Orris Sletta

    Orris Sletta, 82, of Hanska, died Friday, July 25, 2014, at the Luther Memorial Home in Madelia.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronald Brubaker

     Ronald Brubaker, 66 of Mankato died July 27, 2014 at VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.

    July 28, 2014

  • Rita LaBelle - O.JPG Rita S. LaBelle

      Rita S. LaBelle, age 80 of Le Sueur, died Sunday, July 27, 2014 at the Minnesota Valley Health Center in Le Sueur.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brian Rykhus - O.JPG Brian James Rykhus

    Brian James Rykhus, 48, of Houston, MN formerly of Mankato, died Friday, July 25, 2014 at his home.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gerald Gordon Donelan

    Gerald Gordon Donelan,  85 of Waseca, died on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

    July 28, 2014

  • Eloise Keltgen - O.JPG Eloise "Lois" Keltge

      Eloise "Lois" Keltgen 92, of New Ulm died Friday, July 25, 2014 at the Sleepy Eye Care Center in Sleepy Eye.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo