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Mike Kokesch, 63, of Brownton

Mike Kokesch
Mike Kokesch, 63, of Brownton, died Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at his home.
 
Memorial services will be held Saturday, April 23, at 2 p.m., at Dobratz-Hantge Funeral Chapel in Hutchinson. The Rev. Jerry Meidl will officiate. Soloists will be Bobbi Ludewig and Patti Cogley. Musical selections will be “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” “Angels Among Us” and “Fly Like a Bird.”
 
Military honors will be by the Hutchinson Memorial Rifle Squad.
 
Michael John Kokesch was born Oct. 29, 1952, in New Ulm, the son of Vernus and Eileen (Doering) Kokesch. He was baptized as an infant on Nov. 9, 1952, at St. George Catholic Church in St. George, Minnesota, and was confirmed in his faith as a youth at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Stewart. He was educated at St. Boniface Parochial School in Stewart until the seventh grade, then continued his education in Stewart and was a graduate of the Stewart High School class of 1970.
 
Mr. Kokesch was in the Army National Guard. He received his training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and served six years as a heavy equipment operator with the Winthrop-based Army Reserve Support Battalion. He was honorably discharged on July 27, 1978.
 
On Jan. 2, 1971, he was united in marriage to Cathy Jacobson. Their marriage was blessed with three boys, Christopher, Chad and Jess.
Mr. Kokesch was a lifelong farmer and loved it. He owned and operated Kokesch Farm and Trucking, which is located near Stewart. Through the years, he tried many aspects of farming and was very proud of being chosen as a Prime Choice Beef Producer.
 
On Oct. 25, 2015, he was united in marriage to Barb Smiley after being companions for over 28 years. In 2007, the couple moved into their “retirement home” on Lake Marion, and he continued to do what he loved — working on the farm.
 
When he wasn’t farming, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and traveling. He took pride in helping his granddaughters find the best beef stock to show at the fair in 4-H. He always had a smile on his face and cherished the time spent with his family and friends.
 
He passed away peacefully  on Tuesday, April 12, in his home, surrounded by his family and friends.
 
He is survived by his wife, Barb Smiley of Brownton; children, Chris Kokesch of Winthrop, Chad Kokesch of Stewart and Jess Kokesch and his fiancée, Karin Elhard, of Stewart; father, Vernus Kokesch of Hutchinson; mother, Eileen Kokesch of New Ulm; mother-in-law, Janice Smiley of Hastings; grandchildren, Mikaela Kokesch, Dakota Kokesch and Milayna Kokesch; stepgrandson, Trevor Elhard; great-grandchild, Aubrey Kokesch; twin sister, Marg (Wendell) Brugman of Hutchinson; sister, Nancy Kokesch of New Ulm; brother, Randy (Sandy) Kokesch of Winthrop; brothers-in-law, Tom Smiley (Deb), Tim Smiley (Kathy), Mike Smiley (Karen) and John Smiley (Keri); extra special friend, Valentin (Rosie) Garcia and family of Carrizo Springs, Texas, and Stewart; Kokesch Family Farm Trucking gang; many other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
 
He was preceded in death by his grandparents; father-in-law, Jerry Smiley; brother, Greg Kokesch; and brother-in-law, Al Garding.
 
Arrangements were with the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson. Online obituaries and guest book are available at www.hantge.com.