Longtime Prior Lake resident, Kenneth Storm, passed away surrounded by his family on May 4th, 2023, eleven days short of his 100th birthday. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 1 p.m., with a gathering one-hour prior, at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation, 4565 Pleasant Street SE, Prior Lake. Kenneth will be laid to rest at Hillside Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN.
Shortly after his birth, Kenneth’s father Adolf and mother Gertrude purchased lakeshore property on Prior Lake where Kenneth and his younger brother, Arnold, spent their youth exploring the lake. As a young boy, Kenneth traveled with his family to his mother’s homestead and ranch on the western Nebraska prairie and later, to the Badlands of South Dakota, dreaming of someday becoming a cowboy. His life of adventure began when he ran away from home at 16. Kenneth ended up on his uncle’s ranch in Nebraska, living out his youthful dream for several weeks before apologetically returning home.
Kenneth joined the Army in 1944 and fought in the 3rd Infantry Division across France and Germany. He ended WWII at Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest”, near Berchtesgaden, Germany. Soon after his discharge from the army in 1946 and return to the US, Kenneth and his friend, James Kortum, built a 36-foot sailboat on the flats along the Mississippi River below the Washington Avenue Bridge, planning a 5-year voyage “to see faraway places.” Minneapolis and St. Paul newspapers followed their progress as they laid out the keel, set the ribs and shaped the planks of the hull, and launched the boat on the river. Quoting Kenneth: “We’ll take it slow and easy,” Storm said. “We’ll have plenty of deep-sea fishing and big game hunting, and we’ll have enough time to see all the places we want to see.”
The around-the-world plans were put on hold with his marriage in 1951 to Lorraine Franz and the start of a young family. During the 1950s Kenneth designed and built several homes in suburban Richfield, opened a sporting goods store at 50th and France in Edina, and founded a new business, Aladdin Distributors, wholesaling hobbies, crafts and games throughout the Midwest and beyond. That business, begun in Minneapolis and later moved to Burnsville, would remain in the family for the next 60 years.
In the 1960s there would be more journeys – family camping trips to Glacier Park and Lake Superior; long backpacking trips in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area of Montana; duck hunting trips to the Dakotas and Canada; and two journeys with his 13-year-old son, Kenneth Jr, through the wilds of the Sierra Madre in northern Mexico. In 1965, the growing family of four girls and two boys moved from Richfield to a new home in Burnsville.
By the late 1960s the Storm family embarked on a shared adventure. They purchased an island on a remote lake on the edge of the Canadian wilderness. Over the next few years, often with overnight drives to the border and an 18-mile journey by boat, the entire family helped build a wilderness cabin on the island that has remained a retreat for family and friends each summer for 50 years.
As Kenneth neared retirement his thoughts returned to his love of boats and sailing. He sold his 36-foot sailboat “Tamar” in the 1950s. He purchased a new sailboat, “Tamar II”, and from a port on Lake Superior he cruised the Apostle Islands and the remote Canadian wilderness shore of the lake with family and friends.
In 1985 Kenneth and Lorraine built a new home replacing the family cottage on Prior Lake. Lorraine, his wife of 60 years, passed away in 2011. Kenneth’s remarkable 100-year journey ended at his home on the shores of Prior Lake where he played with his brother as a boy and dreamed of being a cowboy out west.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his father, Adolf (1935); his mother, Gertrude (1973); brother, Arnold (2006); and wife, Lorraine (2011). He is survived by children, Kenneth Storm Jr., Janet (James) Boucher, Nancy Storm, Cindy (Cindy Bijold) Storm, Kirsten (James) January, Erick (Teresa) Storm; grandchildren, Marie (Lee) Hoese, Sarah (Ryan) Brouilette, Julia Storm, Matthew Storm; great grandchildren, Nate Calhoun, Addison Calhoun; and other friends.
Kenneth’s spirit of adventure lives on in his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.Print Obituary & Condolences