Obituary Details

Menno Cornelius Kaan

(04/11/1889 - 11/10/1984)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 11/15/1984

Menno Cornelius Kaan

Menno Cornelius Kaan, 95, 1911 immigrant from Holland, long-time rancher and since 1945 an active resident of Lusk, died Sat., Nov. 10, at the Niobrara Nursing home in Lusk.

He was born April 11, 1889, in Anna Paulowna, Holland, the son of Jan and Jantine Kaan. He attended school in Holland and served one year in the Dutch Army, then came to the United States with his father and two brothers, the late Nick and Henry Kaan.

They bought a 160-acre farm near Harrison, SD where there was a settlement of Dutch people. After two dry years there, they became interested in land that they heard could be homesteaded southeast of Lusk. They moved there in the spring of 1914.

Menno married Mable Butler in November 1919. They were parents of six children who survive; Jantine Warnock, Riverton; Gordon, Lawrence and Cecil of Lusk; Shirley Wallace, Sunnymead, CA; Bonnie Thomas, Cheyenne.

Landholdings of the Kaan brothers increased through the years as they bought up neighboring homesteads. Menno's sons later joined him in the ranch operation. Though he moved to Lusk in 1945 he remained active at the ranch, gradually tapering off.

Menno's first wife died in 1950. In January 1952 he married Marjorie Ord Darrow.

Through the years Menno was deeply involved in service to his community. For 23 years he was a member of the former Node school district board. He was a member of the Odd Fellow Lodge since 1925, serving in its various offices and was grand patriarch of the Grand Encampment of Wyoming. He joined the Masonic Lodge in 1957.

He has been a member of the Congregational Church of Lusk for over 50 years, serving as trustee and deacon and in later years has been deacon emeritus. For 23 years he was treasurer of the Sunday School and many years he was the volunteer handyman of the church mowing the lawn, picking up the garbage, planting and trimming trees, shoveling snow.

Good neighbor that he was he served on the Lusk Town Council for eight years, was a member of the Lions Club for 30 years, always involved in its many community projects. The trees on the town's water tank hill are partly a monument to Menno's efforts in the club.

He was a member of the Federal Land Bank board of directors for 50 years, member of the Farm Bureau and the Niobrara County Farm Bureau, president for one year.

With a team and wagon he participated in the "Legend of the Rawhide" pageant which was presented at Lusk for twenty years from 1946 to 1965.

Even with such a busy life he may be best remembered for the many years when in Memorial Day services at the Lusk Cemetery he delivered Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address".

Funeral services were held Monday, Nov. 12, at the Lusk Congregational Church with the Rev. Roy Howell, pastor, and the Rev. Frank Blish, pastor emeritus, officiating. Burial was in the Lusk Cemetery.

Surviving besides his widow and his six children are two stepsons, Robert Darrow, Denver and George Darrow, Big Fork, Mt; 16 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren and many nephews and nieces.

Music was by Wanda Hansen, organist and Joy Kaltenheuser, who sang "Faith in Our Fathers" and "Abide With Me".

The active pallbearers were his grandsons, Gene Warnock, Terry Kaan, Keith Kaan, Richard Kaan, Dennis Kaan, Daryl Kaan, Dale Kaan, Scott Thomas, Brad Thomas, Kirby Thomas and Mark Thomas.

Memorials may be made to the Congregational Church Organ Fund.

Arrangements were by Peet Mortuary.

Images & Attachments

Menno C. Kaan...a loyal American
Brothers Menno and Nick Kaan
Menno in 1979
Kaan Clan in Holland, 1910 - Menno, his half brother Albert, father Jan and brothers Nick and Henry

Gravestone photos courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

Related/Linked Records

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