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Kenneth F. Claflin

Kenneth F. Claflin

Kenneth F. Claflin age 91 of Elmwood, died Friday, September 11, 2020 at Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Cedar in Menomonie. 

Ken was born October 2, 1928 in Hay River Township, Dunn County. He was the son of Fredrick and Amelia (Miklian) Claflin and grew up on the family farm in the Farm Hill area of rural Elmwood. Ken married Ardeth Reinier November 1, 1948 in Red Wing, MN. After marriage they made their home in the Township of Rock Elm, in rural Elmwood. They were blessed with 71 years of marriage.

Ken worked on the family farm until 1956, and then for the Elmwood School District as a bus driver and mechanic for 37 years. Ken was very proud of the fact that he never had an accident in all the years he drove school bus. After retirement, Ken drove for the Ambu-Van, Pierce County, and for the Heritage of Elmwood, driving residents to their various appointments. Ken also helped his son Doug on his farm. Ken and Ardeth enjoyed spending time at their cabin up north and spending time with their family and friends. He was always purchasing a new camper to be able to take his family around the country on numerous vacations. Later, a favorite past time was going to the casino with Ardeth and David, who was his lucky charm. Along with Ardeth, Ken cared for and protected David all of his life. He remained very involved in David's care during the past year while living together with him at Heritage of Elmwood. 

Ken is survived by a daughter, Diane (Leo) Marchand of San Diego, CA; two sons, Douglas (Anne) and David, both of Elmwood; one brother, Roger (Ilene) of Elmwood; three sisters, Janet (Nolan) DeMarce of Elmwood, Carol Lierman of Menomonie, Linda (Will) Jeffrey of St. George, UT; brother-in-law Eldon (Cleo) Reinier; brother-law Marty (Sue) Reinier; sister-in-law Lenore (Sonny) Dankers; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Ardeth, a son Daniel, and brothers-in-law Roy Lierman, Randy Reinier, Bill Reinier and Duane Solveson; and sisters-in-law Rosie Solveson and Lila Reinier. 

Honorary Pallbearers: Brad Claflin, Kyle Claflin, Mike DeMarce, Jeff DeMarce, Tim Lierman, and Steve Solveson. 

Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 PM Thursday September 17, 2020 at Rhiel Funeral Home in Elmwood with required facial masks and social distancing. 

Private burial services will be held on Friday September 18, 2020 at Poplar Hill Cemetery-Rock Elm, rural Elmwood.



  1. Judi and Gary Bauer

    Our sympathy to the Claflin family. Ken is with the love of his life. So enjoyed our visits with Ken and Ardith when we saw them.

  2. Kathy & Bob Geraets

    Our condolences to Ken's family & relatives.

  3. Linda Skroch

    I'll never forget the big smile of the kindest bus driver ever, from K-1st grade when my family lived on Farm Hill. Ken and Ardeth were a shining example of the goodness of growing up in Elmwood.
    - Linda (Lecheler) Skroch

  4. Nona Buchholz (Bauer)

    So sorry for the loss of your father. My father, Arnie Bauer sends his condolences also. Remember the memories to help you through this difficult time.

  5. Janet BethkeEde

    My sympathy to all of you. Kenny was a wonderful person who was a great asset to the school community as well as the Elmwood community. Lots of great memories of both Ardth and Kenny during my time on the staff at Elmwood High School.

  6. Bev Cook (Baier)

    Rest in peace Kenny and thanks for the family memories especially the stories as Marlene and Ardeith ventured into the the bus driving male dominating role. The stories of friends and wit are priceless! My sympathy to the family. Enjoy the beautiful memories with smiles and laughter as your parents reunite in heaven. Bev Cook (Baier)

  7. Jill Bennwitz

    Doug, Diane, David & entire Claflin Family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time of loss of your Dad, Ken, a kind and caring man. The Baier Family has many fond memories of your Dad as a neighbor, friend and bus driver, especially Mom, Marlene Sabelko. Mom had a great visit with Kenny last winter at the Nursing Home. RIP Kenny, whose reunited with Ardeth in Heaven. May God Bless. With Sincerest Sympathy,
    Jill & Tom Bennwitz and Marlene (Baier)Sabelko

  8. Don & Edith Dady

    Saddened to hear of another family loss! Heartaches continue as we love you all through this journey of loss through prayers.

  9. Terry Ottman

    Thinking of your family. Prayers

  10. Ann Nelson Siegel

    My condolences to all. Ken was a wonderful man who loved the school and everyone there.

  11. Jim Krause

    To Ken's Family I send my condolences. I will miss Him. I stopped outside his window last week and held up Bucky so he could see him. I sure didn't think it would be the last time. He was a good Man.

  12. Brian & Cheryl Larson

    Ken was one of the first persons we met when we first came to Elmwood 56 years ago. He and Ardith were always friendly. They introduced us to using French and Blue Cheese dressings together on salads, which we do to this day. Condolences to family--good memories and great people.

  13. John & Jodell Marson

    With Deepest Sympathy. Wishing you peace and comfort at this difficult time.

  14. Lenora(Ginsbach) &Jack Jenkins

    So sorry to hear of our former neighbor, Ken's, passing. And our sympathy and prayers to Doug, Anne and family at this very sad time.

  15. Jayne & Jerry Holt

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  16. JOYCE Ann Kendall

    I have felt bad that I couldn't go into the nursing home to visit Kenny and David. I will miss Kenny. He and Ardeth were good friends to Jerry and I for years.

  17. Suzi Crownhart

    My sympathy to Kenny’s family. He was a wonderful guy. Rest peacefully now with Ardeth.

  18. Diane Welsh(Traynor)

    Diane and family, You and your whole family are in our thoughts and prayers. Dad and Ken were great friends.

  19. Russ and Mandy Phillips

    Dear Claflin family,
    We are so sorry to hear about the passing of Kenny...
    He was such a great man and we were blessed to have known him for so many years...
    Sending our deepest condolences to the entire Claflin family.... ❤

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