Obituaries: Kenneth L. DeFoe Jr.


June 18, 2021

Kenneth L. DeFoe Jr., "Niizhoo Gwaanabe," 57, passed away with his family by his side June 14, 2021, at Miller Dwan Medical Center in Duluth. He was born Nov. 17, 1963, in Cloquet to Kenneth L. DeFoe Sr. and Geraldine L. DeFoe.

Ken was employed by the Fond du Lac Reservation since 1981, working up the ranks from laborer to head of FDL Housing and the head of FDL Construction company. He helped plan, develop and build homes, community buildings and roads, to name a few things, throughout the reservation. Ken started his own company building and remodeling homes for 10-plus years before going back to FDL, running remodeling crews and passing on his trade to young fellow band members. He was a proud member of Fond du Lac, serving in many different areas over the years. Ken enjoyed hunting, fishing, spearing, ricing and spending time with his family and helping his family, friends and community members in his spare time. He was passionate about watching his grandchildren play sports and grow into young adults. Ken will be greatly missed by family and the community he helped build.

Ken was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Sr .; his wife, Angela Benjamin; his granddaughter Myra; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Survivors include his mother, Geraldine L. DeFoe; his children, Deanna (Chris Hall) Benjamin, Kenneth L. DeFoe III, Joshua Staples and Randi Songetay; his brothers, Kevin L. DeFoe (Doreen) and Keith L. DeFoe (Shelly); his grandchildren Kenny IV, Kingston, Winnie, Whitney, Wraylin, CJ, Jasmine, Marlana, Cameron, Dreamah, Caleb, Isiah and Aaron; his uncle, Melvin DeFoe; his aunts, Elaine McFatridge, Nancy Seppala and Dorothy Cooley; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A traditional wake was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 17, continuing until the 10 a.m. traditional service Friday, June 18 at the Fond du Lac Head Start Gymnasium. Burial will be in Old Holy Family Cemetery.

Pine Knot News, June 18, 2021


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