Kenny Hunsaker

Kenneth Dean Hunsaker was born Dec. 19, 1945 in Staples, Minn., to Ken and LaVerne Hunsaker Kenny was the oldest of 13 kids. 
He attended school in Minnesota, where he took to rodeo and working the ranch in Detriot Lakes, Minn. It was here he met and married the love of his life, Gloria Hunsaker.  
Although the marriage didn’t last forever, the love story did. Their union gifted Kenny the purest loves of his life, with the birth of his son, Shawn (Hoss) followed by the birth of his daughter, Karla (Jeanie-Poo).
A jack of all trades,  Kenny was best known for his ability to operate any piece of equipment and was a very skilled heavy equipment operator.  Although he had many jobs, Kenny’s true calling and his heart was always that of a cowboy.  
Later in life he took an appreciation for the simple things. He looked forward to calving season and loved a good branding. He enjoyed enriching all of the travels and guests of Battle Creek Lodge with his cowboy coffee, folklore and gentle spirit. Cowboy Kenny, as everyone called him, left a imprint on countless young and old who had never been in the presence of a “Real Cowboy.”
From an early age Kenny embraced the cowboy way of life, donning his favorite cowboy hat, worn-out boots and always having just enough money to pay his entry fees. Most of his dreams and memories were built on the road to a rodeo. His time as a bull and bronc rider were some of his best stories.
Starting to rodeo at the age of 14, he broke and trained all of his horses. An outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, horses, spending time with his brothers, sisters and family.  His grandchildren brought him endless joy and he loved watching his love and passion for horses being passed on through his grandkids. 
Kenny was known to his family and friends as the guy who was always up for the ride. Beneath his sometimes “rugged” exterior and demeanor he had a heart as big as the sky. He was a loyal older brother, a trusted friend, the best kind of uncle and a remarkable grandpa. 
Kenny rode off into the sunset Oct. 03, 2023 at his home in Keystone, S.D. He was 77.  
He was one of the last “real cowboys” with a spirit as wild as the untamed West. He lived his life with a passion for adventure, a love for the open range and an unwavering loyalty to his family and friends.
Kenny’s memory will forever be cherished by his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ken and LaVerne Hunsaker; his brother, Dave; sister; his nephew, Casey Hunsaker; and his favorite horses, Dakota Lady, Hombre, Blaze, Denver and Katy, who shared countless adventures and misadventures with him. 
Kenny leaves behind his son, Shawn (Crystal) Hunsaker of Fairburn, S.D., daughter, Karla (Dusty) Johnson of Rapid City, S.D., grandchildren, Charlie, Dakota, Kendra, and Tanner; great-grandchildren, Camden, Carter, Darius, Bryson, Jailey and Sophie; brothers and sisters, Mike (Evelyn), Rob, Gary (Connie), Kathy Dillon (Dave), Wally, Suzan Lock (Rick), Monte (Kim) Cine (Tammy), Marty and Bunny (Derek Alexander).
We are certain he is riding alongside the great cowboys of the past, forever roaming the endless prairies.  
Happy Trails, Pard.  Rest in Peace, Brother. May your spirit forever ride free under that vast western sky you so loved.
Please join The Hunsaker family Oct. 29 at 11 p.m. at Keystone Community Center for a lunch and celebration of the life of Kenny.  

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