Kurt Kenas went to be with Jesus at the age of 47 on December 13, 2021.
Kurt fought hard, yet lost his battle with COVID-19, but not without leaving his mark on this world.
Kurt is survived by his wife Mary (Wachowiak) Kenas, daughter Lexi, son Andrew, parents, Bob and Donna Kenas, sister Kim (Dean) Buchholz, nieces Kayla and Breanna, nephew Matthew Buchholz, father and mother-in-law David (Lavonne) Wachowiak, three sisters-in-law, Sheree (Scott) Thomas, Vicki (Wachowiak) Shirek, Molly (Doug) Johnson, brothers-in-law, Matt (Lynda) Wachowiak, and Randy Shirek, and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Kurt was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on February 7, 1974. His family spent Kurt’s preschool years in Liberia doing missionary work. They returned to Wisconsin where he grew up. He was an athlete and an exceptional distance runner. In high school, he earned Division 2 state championships in cross country and track. This led to a Division 1 scholarship at Montana State. Kurt earned a degree in art education and later added a master’s degree.
As a high school art teacher, he specialized in ceramics while coaching cross country and soccer. His impact on students carried over with some students pursuing their own careers in the fine arts, obtaining national recognition, and keeping in touch with him to share how he had influenced their own artistic journey. The profound impact he had by sharing this passion with his own children is something that will live on.
Kurt was a gifted artist who touched others with his craftsmanship. He created pieces that were distinctive and functional. His pottery graces many homes with striking mugs, gorgeous service ware, and stunning vases. Ceramics was not his only gift. His woodworking took many forms.
Whether he designed a cabinet or shelving unit to fix a need around the house or carved a breathtaking wood sculpture, Kurt displayed ingenuity in coming to a practical, yet beautiful solution. His children will forever be blessed with the bedroom furniture he crafted for them.
Kurt used his God-given talents to bless others. Some of Kurt’s ministries included: Bible study leader, men’s group, children’s ministry, camp counselor, and coaching his children’s soccer teams. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and dropped what he was doing to meet others’ needs and spend time with them.
He has left a special place in the hearts of those he knew because of how he welcomed and valued them. He developed his culinary skills and created scrumptious dishes for everyone to enjoy. Kurt’s deep compassion for people will never be forgotten.
In addition to his artistic pursuits, Kurt was an avid outdoorsman. Not only did he enjoy the time in God’s creation, but the special bonding times it provided with his dad, other family members, and friends. Canoeing and fishing, hunting turkey or deer, hiking, camping, and harvesting morel mushrooms – Kurt loved it all. He loved being outdoors with those who were closest to him, making memories to last a lifetime. He took annual trips to the Boundary Waters with his dad and others dear to him. The special times of talking and curiously observing nature with Lexi and Andrew will always be cherished.
Of all the wonderful ways that Kurt has touched our lives, the most important was the man of God that he was and how that blessed his family and those around him. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior in grade school and was water baptized in high school. After each praying and waiting a long time for the one God had for them, Kurt and Mary met while counseling at a Christian youth camp. They were married on March 15, 2008, and blessed with their daughter, Lexi, in 2009 and their son, Andrew, in 2012. Kurt looked to God to guide him as the husband and father he was meant to be.
A COVID-conscious memorial will be held for Kurt at Woodlands Church, 190 Hoover Ave., Plover, on Saturday, December 18, 2021. Masks are requested. His “See you Later Service” (penned by his daughter, Lexi) will be held at 2 p.m. Visitation is from 1-2 and sharing can continue with an open-mic after the service. Since Kurt loved the outdoors, attire is casual.
The family would like to give a special thanks to all the family and friends that supported them in so many ways as well as the doctors and staff at Aspirus Riverview Hospital for the loving care and compassion given to Kurt.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Woodlands Church Camp Scholarship or Kurt’s children’s scholarship fund.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.shudafuneral.com.