Kenneth Richard Blaalid was born on June 22, 1952 in Scotland, SD to Ed and Esther (Evenson) Blaalid. He spent his first five years on the family farm south of Menno, SD, after which the family moved to Yankton. Ken graduated from Yankton High School in 1970, thanks to the help from his sister-in-law, Marlys. The day after graduation, Ken was at Fort Ord, CA, for basic training. Ken had enlisted in the National Guard and served for six years in the Salem, SD Unit. After basic training, Ken started working at Yankton Auto Parts, and then worked at L&L Auto. This gave Ken his start in the auto-parts business. In 1974, he opened a CarQuest store in Bloomfield, NE. It was during this time that he met Jeanne Hiller. They were married on May 22, 1976 in Bellwood, NE. In 1977 Ken and Jeanne moved to Mitchell and opened a CarQuest Auto Parts with Ken’s eldest brother, Art. In 1991 they purchased Leader Hardware and Sporting Goods. This began Ken’s transition from the auto industry into the outdoor, hunting and fishing industry. After 25 years Ken sold CarQuest and began to run Leader full time. Ken never passed up an opportunity to brag about his sons, daughters, their spouses and grandchildren. Ken’s pride in his grandkids was obvious to anyone who met him, because he was quick to show them pictures and tell them how his grandkids “warmed his heart”.
Ken is survived by his wife, Jeanne, Mitchell, two sons; Rich (Angie), Roseville, MN. Mike (Libby Olson) Blaalid, Mitchell, two daughters; Anne (Ryan) Cross, Des Moines, IA. Liz Blaalid, Mitchell, five grandchildren; Benjamin, Oliver Blaalid, Maggie, Ellie, John Cross, two brothers; Norm (Joann), Yankton, Dennis (Sandy) Blaalid, Yankton, one sister, Elsie Metz, Brandon, one sister-in-law, Marlys Blaalid, Yankton, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and lifelong friends and hunting buddies.
He is preceded in death by his daughter, Barbra Ann Blaalid, parents, Ed and Esther Blaalid, brother, Art Blaalid, brother-in-law, Mick Metz and nephews, Jeff Blaalid and Douglas Blaalid.