Benjamin Kerndt

Benjamin J. Kerndt, 26, of rural Lansing died Thursday, July 15, 2021 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI. Memorial services will be held Tuesday, July 27 at 11 a.m. at Zalmona Presbyterian Church in rural Waukon with Pastor Tom Buresh officiating. Burial of ashes will be at Lansing Ridge Cemetery, rural Lansing.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Monday, July 26 at Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon. In lieu of flowers and gifts, memorials may be made to the Waukon Fire Department, Zalmona Cemetery or Lansing Ridge Cemetery.

Benjamin John Kerndt, also known as “Benny,” was born November 18, 1994 in Decorah. He was baptized at First Presbyterian and confirmed at Zalmona Presbyterian Church, both in Waukon. Ben attended Waukon schools through his sophomore year, then transferred and graduated from Kee High School in Lansing in 2013. He received a degree in HVAC Installation from Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids in 2014. Ben was actively involved in 4-H, FFA and most recently, Ducks Unlimited.

As many know, Ben found his love for the farm and the outdoors at a young age. He enjoyed helping with calf chores, playing with the cats and dogs, and chasing sparrows around the farm. As he got older, he began milking cows. His love for Holsteins led him to showing cattle at county, district and state shows with many of his dairy friends. Aside from the farm, Ben could be found hunting deer and coon in the woods, and reeling fish out of the river.

Once he got a taste of the night life, he went on to find his most famous passion of bow fishing. Ben traveled the Midwest with “His Buddies” chasing water fowl, catching river monsters and Stackin’ Gillz on his air boat. With his kindness and caring heart, he introduced many new people to bow fishing, and with his fancy white hat, he became known as “Captain Ben Kerndt.”

When not enjoying the outdoors, Ben could be found spending time with his family and friends, working at Kurth Plumbing and Heating in Waukon or bartending and making late night rounds at The Red Barn Resort & Campground in Lansing. In the winter, he looked forward to playing badminton in Waterville.

He loved nothing more than helping others, telling stories and cracking jokes. These traits, along with his infectious smile and heart of gold, made him so memorable and loved by those he was around. In his last selfless act on earth, Ben chose to be an organ donor; giving the gift of life to others.

Ben was preceded in death by his grandpa, Donald Kerndt. He is survived by his parents, Brad and Mary (Sivesind) Kerndt; his sister, Katie (Brendon) Kacher; his grandparents, Patsy Kerndt and Frank and Carol Sivesind; his aunts and uncles: Dan and Jane Sivesind, Terry and Lori (Sivesind) Anderson, Peggy (Perry Fahey) Sivesind and Dave and Julie (Kerndt) Hawes; and many loving cousins and extended family.

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