Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, January 11, 2018, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake for Kenneth J. Gratton, 73, of Devils Lake formerly of the Langdon, who passed away early Wednesday morning, January 3, 2018 at CHI, St. Alexius, Devils Lake Hospital.
Burial at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Devils Lake.
Kenneth Joseph, son of Arthur J. and Marie A. (Reidhammer) Gratton, was born on July 18, 1944 at Langdon. He grew up on the family farm at rural Langdon, helping his parents with the farming and attended Langdon Public School. He continued his education at the Hanson Auto, Diesel and Welding School in Fargo. On November 14, 1967, he entered the United States Army and proudly served his country in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged as a Specialist 4 on November 13, 1969. He was a part of the Army Reserve until November of 1973. After his discharge, he returned to North Dakota where his sweetheart was waiting for him. He was united in marriage to Margaret Hiltner on August 7, 1971 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Langdon. They established their home in Walhalla and he worked at the Bus Plant in Pembina. A few years later they moved to Cavalier, where he worked for the Gambles Store. In 1975, he bought the family farm and they had many happy years working on the farm, raising their three oldest sons, Troy, Todd and Tim, and living the life of a farmer which he loved so much. In 1988, the family moved to Devils Lake but he continued farming. The Gratton’s were also the owners and operators of Gratton Construction, building houses, out buildings, remodeling etc. He sold the farm in 1993 but his passion for farming never waned and he worked for many years on the Brad Larson farm until officially retiring in 2011 due to increasing health problems. He did work at Leever’s for a time also. Their years in Devils Lake included welcoming another son, Kyle to the family. He believed in hard work, doing your best at everything and he instilled this same work ethic in his children. His sons meant the world to him and deer hunting season was a cherished time for all of them. He was a very talented wood worker. He made cabinets, bookcases, entertainment centers, rocking horses and so many other projects. He was very innovative and many of his projects had very unique features. He so treasured time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great granddaughter and was a great “hockey Dad” to Kyle. He was a member of St. Alphonsus Church and later St. Joseph Catholic Church and also the Knights of Columbus.
Ken is survived by his loving family. His wife of 46 years, Margaret; sons Todd (Chanal) Gratton, Devils Lake, Tim (Jamie) Gratton, Fargo and Kyle Gratton, Devils Lake; grandchildren Chance Zacher and Arabella Gratton and great granddaughter Lillian Zacher; sisters Aldena Woolridge, Sedalia, Missouri, Claudette (Louie) Franchuk, Dickinson, Julie Gratton, Devils Lake; brother Vincent Gratton also Devils Lake; brothers-in-law Todd Olson, Jamestown and Michael (Laurie) Hiltner, Kiowa, Kansas; special family friends Kevin Hoffman and Jody Schumann; many nieces, nephews and cousins and his best friend, his dog Bandit.
He was preceded in death by his parents; oldest son Troy in 1990; sister Joan Olson and in-laws Dorothy and Michael Hiltner.
Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake was in charge of arrangements.