Denton “Red” Kohlhof

Denton “Red” Kohlhof, age 91, of Springfield, MN, died on May 24, 2023, at St. John Lutheran Home in Springfield, MN.

Visitation will be on Friday, June 2, 2023 from 9:00 am to 10:15 am at the St. Raphael Catholic Church in Springfield, MN. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the church on Friday, June 2, 2023 at 10:30 am. A luncheon will follow burial at the Springfield Community Center. The clergy will be Father Garrett Ahlers. Inurnment will be at the St. Raphael Catholic Cemetery in Springfield, MN.

Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Springfield, MN. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Denton “Red” Alden Kohlhof was a Leap Year Baby born on Feb 29, 1932, to Herbert and Irene (Heimer) Kohlhof in Vesta, MN. He weighed only a few pounds at birth and was not expected to survive. Luckily for his family, his Grandpa Heimer held him and kept him warm by the stove until he grew stronger. When he was young, they moved to a farm in North Redwood near the river where, according to him, he lived a “Huckleberry Finn-like” childhood. He graduated from Redwood Falls High School. He enlisted in the National Guard and was deployed to Korea during the War where he served in the US Army, 1st Cavalry, as a forward observer.

On July 12, 1954, Red was united in marriage to Patricia Buse. They moved to Springfield where they raised their 6 children. During that time, he was employed as a painter for Miesen’s. At the age of 48, he started his own painting business. During his long career, he painted hospitals, nursing homes, schools, churches and steeples. After Patricia’s death, he married Eileen Renner on November 19, 1991, during an epic snowstorm. Eileen and Red moved to Birch Lake in Hackensack where he fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a lake home “Up North”. They had many happy years at the cabin where they enjoyed fishing, daily cribbage games, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. They made the annual family Christmas a time to remember by creating a homemade skating rink on the lake. In 2014, they returned to Springfield to be closer to family.

Red turned every get together into a party with his quick wit and endless supply of one-liners. He loved bird watching, camping, cooking, grilling (especially steaks), fish fries, golfing, and hunting. He was an avid reader with an incredible memory for detail, and could talk current events with the best of them. Fishing was a life-long passion to the very end.

Red was always involved in his community. He was scout master, taught CCD, and was a lector and Eucharistic Minister for the Catholic Church. He volunteered on the ambulance crew and police reserve, as well as being a member of the American Legion. He served as president of the Lions in Hackensack, where he received the highest possible honor, the Melvin Jones Fellow Award.

Red passed away peacefully at the age of 91, at St. John’s Home with family by his side.

He is survived by his wife Eileen; children Rebecca (Ed) Pautzke of Springfield, Kathleen (Pete) Kjolhaug of Clearbrook, Greg (Mary) Kohlhof of North Port, FL, Brad (Dory) Kohlhof of Sioux Falls, SD, Jody (Tim) Curtin of Danvers, MA, Chris Kohlhof of Los Angeles, CA; stepsons Ben and Paul; 17 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren with 2 on the way; brother William (Roberta) Kohlhof; in-laws Marge Renner, Janelle (Mel) Hopp, Ethel Renner, Nancy Kohlhof, Jan Coyle , Richard Buse, and Judy (Jim) Perez. He was preceded in death by brothers Douglas and Gilbert; sister Elaine Miesen; and son-in-law Mike Kuelbs.

A special thank you to St. John’s Home and Allina Hospice for the wonderful, kind care and support they gave to Red and his family.