Dean Lee Koenecke was born on January 31, 1939, to Frank and Elizabeth (Chworowsky) Koenecke. He was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran church in Jackson, Minnesota and attended school in Dunnell and Sherburn, Minnesota, and then at the Minnesota School of Business. After taking Basic Training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he served in the National Guard and worked for Fareway Foods in Iowa. In 1962, he moved to Minneapolis, MN where he was a meat merchandiser for Red Owl Stores, Inc. On August 15, 1965, he was united in marriage to Vivian Bergeson in Estherville, Iowa, and they made their home in Apple Valley, Minnesota for twelve years. While living in Apple Valley, Vivian taught at Westview Elementary School and Dean worked for Red Owl. In 1977, Dean and his brother-in-law purchased a grocery store in Alexandria, Minnesota.
Dean enjoyed being on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, was a member of Rotary Club, and the Downtown Merchant’s Association. In 1985, he purchased a store in Faribault, Minnesota and then returned to Alexandria where Dean worked for Festival Foods and Vivian taught at Washington School. Eventually, Dean drove a school bus for District 206 for several years, and he really enjoyed the time spent with the students! He was a longtime member of Zion Lutheran Church and served as an elder and lay minister there, just as he had at Christ Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota while the couple lived in Apple Valley. For as long as he was able to do so, Dean enjoyed ordering and slicing the meat for the Gemutlichkeit dinner that was held at Zion Lutheran Church in the fall.
Dean enjoyed bowling, playing golf, driving the pontoon, feeding the birds, and watching the loons and swans on the lake. For many years, he read the Portals of Prayer devotion book regularly. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends and all those who appreciated his friendly smile, sense of humor, and kind heart.
Dean Lee Koenecke went home with his Lord on Monday, July 4, 2022, at Bethany on the Lake at the age of 83. Dean is survived by his wife, Vivian of 56 years; sisters, Jean Anderson and Helen (Roger) Lueck; and many special nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Elizabeth Koenecke; sisters, Vivian, Norma, Maxine, Ruth, Joan, and Kay; brothers, John, Frank, and Richard.
Interment will be at Lake Freemont Cemetery in Dunnell, Minnesota at a later date.
Memorials are preferred to Zion Lutheran's Tuition Fund.