Kenneth Raymond Hejna

Kenneth Raymond Hejna, age 83, of Tabor, South Dakota, died on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton, South Dakota after fighting a courageous battle with Parkinson’s.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM, on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Tabor with Reverend Mark Lichter officiating.  Burial will be in the St. Wenceslaus Cemetery in Tabor with military honors performed by the Kortan-Hatwan American Legion Post No. 183 and SD Army National Guard Funeral Honors.  Visitation is from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, on Monday, October 4 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church with a vigil service at 7:00 PM.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.

Pallbearers are John Slama, Ron Hejna, Paul Adam, Paul Hejna, Christopher Thoene, and Andy Hejna.  Honorary pallbearers are the Avera Sister James Caregivers.

Kenneth was born October 3, 1937 in Tabor, South Dakota to Emil and Helen (Kralicek) Hejna.  He grew up on a farm southeast of Tabor. He was a lifetime member of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Tabor.   He attended Peterka District No.46 School and then graduated 8th grade from St. Wenceslaus Catholic School. In 1955, Kenneth graduated from Tabor High School.  On June 18, 1960, he married Agnes Adam in Tabor and they were blessed with two children, Mark and Mary Jane. Kenneth joined the National Guard and was then called up to serve in the United States Army.  After his honorable discharge, he continued farming with his dad and two brothers until 1986 when he and his son Mark purchased Agnes’s family farm.  He farmed his whole life until his health forced him to retire in August of 2018 when he became a resident of Avera Sister James Care Center.  Kenneth loved working in his garden and sharing his produce with his family, friends and neighbors.  He could always grow the best tomatoes and watermelons.  Kenneth enjoyed hunting in his younger years.  Kenneth had a great love of the land and enjoyed being a Case IH man. He loved to attend auction sales.  In his later years, Kenneth enjoyed driving around the farm on his golf cart checking out his crops, usually with his beloved dog, Daisy, by his side.  He loved polka music and was proud of his Czech Heritage.  Kenneth had a unique sense of humor and always enjoyed teasing his grandsons.

Kenneth is survived by two children: Mark (Renee) Hejna of Tabor and Mary Jane (Danny) Schaefer of Fordyce, NE; four grandsons: Jeremy (Anna) Hejna of Tabor, Jordan “JJ” (Rachel) Hejna of Tabor, Matthew Schaefer of Brookings, SD and Mason Schaefer of Fordyce; sister, Elizabeth “Betty” Slama of Tabor; two brothers, Larry Hejna of Las Vegas, NV and Robert (Kathy) Hejna of Tabor, SD; four sisters-in-laws: Marilyn Hejna, Utica, SD, Ann (Darrell) Beran of Tabor, Mary (Ken) Thoene of Fordyce, NE, Martha (Steve) Nordby of Coleridge, NE; brother-in-law, George (Connie) Adam of Yankton; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Agnes on February 21, 2020; four brothers: Emil (Lila), Steve (Donna), Lloyd, and Clarence Hejna; and brother-in-law, Laddie Slama.



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3 response to "Kenneth Raymond Hejna"

  1. By: Rev.Michael Schmitz Posted: October 2, 2021

    I wish my deepest sympathy on the loss of Ken. He was a great person and I will remember him and family in my prayers.

  2. By: Renee E Hejna Posted: October 2, 2021

    Thank you Father!! You were a blessing to all of us through his illness.

  3. By: Kristi Kocer Posted: October 5, 2021

    I just heard of Ken’s passing today…my brother Ken and I have been traveling. I wish I had the right words…just know my heart goes out to all of you.

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