Kenton Howard Evenstad
MONONA- Kenton Howard Evenstad, age 81, of Monona, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in The Villages, Fla.
Kent was born Jan. 25, 1936, in LaCrosse to Earl and Helen (Leum) Evenstad. He had one brother, Ronald Eugene. Kent grew up in Westby and graduated from Westby High School in 1953. He received his BA in mathematics from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1957, and continued on to receive his MS in mathematics education from UW Madison in 1964.
Kent married Carolyn Cowanon Aug. 18, 1957, and together they had three children; Bruce, Ellen, and John.
Kent was one of the first bone marrow transplant donors, after determining he was a match for Ellen. He later married Clione “Mitzi” Cox on May 19, 1998, and happily spent much time traveling together with her and enjoying retirement in multiple places, especially winters in The Villages. He and Mitzi also enjoyed extensive time spent at The Farm in Dell, Wis., which is cited on the Wisconsin State Historical Registry, due to his conservation of the round barn on the property.
Kent had an impressive career as both a teacher and a coach. He began his career teaching math at Fennimore High School from 1957 to 1960, where he was also the head boys basketball coach, head baseball coach, and assistant football coach. He then moved on to teach math and computer science at Monona Grove High School from 1960 to 1994. He accepted a National Science Foundation Scholarship to study computer science at the University of Southern California during the summer of 1965, which allowed him to help develop one of the first High School Computer Science curriculums in the U.S. at Monona Grove. Kent also created the Personal Computer program at MG in the mid-1980s. He was the freshman football coach (87-14), and JV boys’ basketball coach (225-69) until 1977. Kent was then the men’s JV basketball coach at UW Madison (24-6) from 1979 until 1981, including Varsity program scouting duties. He began coaching the varsity girls’ basketball team at Monona Grove High School in 1983, winning seven conference championships in 11 years, and going to state in 1988, 1990, and 1994. He retired from Monona Grove High School in 1994, with a career basketball record of (464-168).
Kent was a proud member of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, serving as church council vice president. He also served on Monona Grove Education Association, Wisconsin Mathematics Council, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Education Association, Skilaufers, American Quarter Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association, National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches, and board member of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Assoc.
Kent was a volunteer interviewer at United Way from 1995-2002. He was co-chairman of the Summer Girls All-Star Games and was elected to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1997. Kent received the Distinguished Service Award from Luther College in 2002.
Kent is survived by his wife, Mitzi; sons, John of Minneapolis and Bruce of Monona; step-children, Jim (Donna) Cox, Julie (Doug) Gerke and Gina (Tad) Hartlaub; 12 step-grandchildren; nine great-step-grandchildren; and his sister-in-law, Coryl of Westby. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Ellen; and brother, Ron.
Funeral Services for Kent will be held at ST. STEPHENS LUTHERAN CHURCH, 5700 Pheasant Hill Road, Monona, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, with the Rev. Elisa Brandt presiding. Visitation will take place at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Drive, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, and at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday. Kent will be laid to rest at Roselawn Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Stephens Lutheran Church, or Hope Lutheran Church, 250 Avenida Los Angelos, The Villages, FL 32162 or Monona Grove School District Athletics.
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