Cover photo for Kenneth Randel, 87, of Greenfield's Obituary
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Kenneth Randel, 87, of Greenfield

November 7, 1936 — March 6, 2024

Kenneth Randel, 87, of Greenfield

Funeral Services: Will be held on Monday, March 11, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Fontanelle with a luncheon immediately following the service.  Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Winterset Cemetery in Winterset.  Pastor Steven Broers will officiate the service.   The Lamb Funeral Home in Greenfield is in charge of the professional arrangements.   Online condolences may be left to the family at


Family Visitation:  The family will greet friends on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Lamb Funeral Home in Greenfield from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Memorials:  To the Kenneth Randel Memorial Fund to be established by the family at a later date.


Kenneth Earl Randel was born on November 7, 1936, at home in rural Stuart, Iowa to Ellis and Estella (Shoesmith) Randel joining siblings Juanita and Dwaine. Younger siblings, Ramonia and Larry were born to complete their family. Kenneth attended school at Casey and graduated in 1956. In high school, he played football and was always proud of his team’s 21 game undefeated record. 

After graduation, he worked for Bill and Shirley Haines Ready Mix in Greenfield, Iowa. He also worked for Kirlin Auto and several area farmers as a farm laborer. On August 10, 1957, he married Corma Kephart (his high school sweetheart) and they were blessed with 3 children: Gary, Jeanne, and Greg.

 After renting several farms in Menlo, Casey, and Greenfield, the family moved to Winterset in 1967 and went into partnership with Virginia VanWerden on a dairy farm. They milked 70 cows twice a day, raised pigs, grew corn and beans, and baled lots of hay. Ken was always a very hard worker and proud of his work ethic. He was able to work with his dad (aka “Gramps”) and Gary and Corma on this farm and it was a special time for him. Ken was proud of his Holstein #019 who was recognized in the DHIA milk production records. He had a great hired man, Mark Toyne, and his wife, Jane and children Michelle, Lynne, and Jeff. They were like family and developed a strong friendship. Ken always loved his Holstein cows, Case tractors, and dogs, especially Lady, Snuggs, and Angel.

In 1976, deciding to get out of dairy farming, he purchased a farm East of Greenfield and moved the family. They raised pigs and farmed the land, raising corn and beans. There were lots of great family memories, along with lots of hard work.  

On February 8, 1979, Ken was involved in an automobile accident, breaking his neck, leaving him paralyzed after being moved incorrectly by hospital staff. He spent 10 months in Younker’s Rehab in Des Moines doing therapy. The doctors told him he wouldn’t walk again, BUT Ken was determined. Against odds, with God’s will and a miracle of healing, strength, hard work, and determination, he walked again. He was able to walk his daughter, Jeanne, down the aisle at her wedding. When he was discharged from the Rehab Center, he moved to a trailer house on Gary’s farm. He had lost his ability to work as he had previously done, but he always showed a positive attitude and determination. They built a shop for him, and he did woodworking projects of which he was proud.

On October 4, 1986, he married Vivian (Swanie) Swanson (his favorite nurse during rehab) at the Little Brown Church in NE Iowa and moved to an acreage at Winterset, Iowa and named it “Randel’s Ridge”. Kenneth was always proud of this acreage and maintained it immaculately. They loved their animals, including dogs, turkeys, geese, ducks, sheep, goats, miniature ponies, and peacocks. He and Swanie took many trips and vacations, including camping and cruises, along with spending several winters in Arizona. You could see the love between them in the life they had together. They lived on Randel’s Ridge for 10 years and then moved to town for another 7 years in Winterset. They loved coming to his grandchildren’s sporting events and spending time with family. After a beautiful life together, Swanie passed away May 22, 2003.  

Kenneth moved to Lakeside Village Independent Living in Panora in 2008. He always enjoyed visiting with people who lived there and participating in the activities. While living there, he celebrated his 80th birthday with a special party with family and friends coming to celebrate him. 

When his health declined, he moved to the Greenfield Manor in December 2016, to be closer to his son, Gary. He remained active with his family, riding 4 wheelers, taking long afternoon drives, and sharing all his stories of growing up. He continued to live there until his death.

There were some great Christmas traditions with his family, including oyster soup and fried oysters on crackers. Some of his favorite things were Nutter Butter cookies, lemon drops, cinnamon apple tea, stale and rock-hard donuts dunked in milk (you couldn’t waste them) and pies–he loved the pies! 

People sharing attributes to tell you just how wonderful he was: A true gentleman...great man...wonderful Grandpa...very special man...amazing Dad...historian of the family...very sweet man...kind heart...amazing Uncle...great story teller...always kind...never gave up...could always find something to smile about...determined...positive attitude…always worked hard…greatly loved by all...amazing, caring, loving family man...always smiling.

Ken was a wonderful dad and grandpa, a man of strength and character. He taught us to be strong, to love, to work hard, to always have a positive attitude, to tell a story with lots and lots of details, and to laugh! We are proud of all the lessons he taught us and are grateful for having shared his life. 

He is survived by his children: Gary (Trish) Randel of Greenfield, Iowa; Jeanne Jensen (Matt Onnen) of Brandon, South Dakota; Greg (Renae) Randel of Panora, Iowa; his grandchildren: Randy (Tori) Randel; Merissa Kringen, Lindsey Kringen, Rachel Randel, Cameron Randel, Kaleb Randel, Ryan Randel; his step grandchildren: Hannah Hutcheson, Claire Woodworth, Meredith Woodworth; his great grandchildren: Veronica “Roni” Randel, Ruger Randel; his siblings: Dwaine (Lena) Randel of Nebraska, Ramonia Barr of Earlham, and Larry (Cherryl) Randel of Montana. There are many nieces and nephews who were very special to him and who he had wonderful relationships with, along with a host of special friends who will miss him.

Ken was proceeded in death by his parents, Ellis and Estella Randel, his wife, Swanie, his first wife, Corma Allen, and his sisters, Frances and Juanita.

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Past Services

Family Greeting Friends

Sunday, March 10, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Lamb Funeral Home - Greenfield

101 S.E. 4th Street, Greenfield, IA 50849

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, March 11, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

A luncheon will immediately follow the service at the church with burial at 2:00 p.m. at the Winterset Cemetery.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Monday, March 11, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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