Ivan Kotten

Time stopped for just a moment on October 8th, 2023, at 3:25p.m. as Ivan Kotten went with God to heaven. Ivan lived 101 years touching so many lives along the way.

Visitation will be on Friday, October 13th, from 4 to 7 pm at Sturm Funeral Home, Sleepy Eye Chapel and will continue on Saturday from 9:30 am until 10:30 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church-North Entrance in Sleepy Eye. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye on Saturday, October 14th, at 10:30 am and will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/stmarysleepyeye. The clergy will be Fr. Mark Steffl. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Sleepy Eye. Military Honors will be provided by Sleepy Eye Honor Guard. Arrangements are with Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.

Ivan Victor Kotten, the son of John & Theckla (Ruffing) Kotten, was born on December 27, 1921, in Buckman, MN, and passed away Sunday, October 8, 2023, at Divine Providence Nursing Home surrounded by family. Ivan’s family moved to Sleepy Eye, MN shortly after he was born and grew up with three sisters and a brother. His family was always important to him growing up and remained so for all of his life.

After finishing eighth grade at St. Mary’s School in Sleepy Eye, Ivan continued to help his father and neighbors with farming until he was drafted into the Army in 1942. He served with the 91st Infantry and was honorably discharged in 1943. After serving in the military, he continued farming and also grew sweetcorn and peas for Del Monte, Ivan was actively farming until the time of his passing. On April 24, 1946, Ivan married Florence Schweiss. They lived on a farm west of Sleepy Eye in Prairieville Township until 1977 and then moved to a farm north of Sleepy Eye. Together they raised six children.

Besides full-time farming, Ivan found time to indulge in many personal pleasures. Some of these included attending Farm Fest, Albany Pioneer Days, playing sheep head, listening to old time music, watching wrestling on TV (a real favorite), going to old time dances, playing accordion as a young child, and listening to concertina music. A highlight for him was meeting Molly B at Larry’s Music Fest in Lake Benton.

Ivan was a faithful member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church where he served as an usher, lecturer, and commentator for many years. For 25 years he served on the Board for St. Mary’s Parish Credit Union as well as the Farmers Home Administration, Catholic United Association, the Stearns County Pioneer Club and a long time member of the Sleepy Eye Concertina Club. He will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his children, Victor (Betty) Kotten of Albany, MN, Arla Dannheim Suhr of Laporte, MN, Charlene (Dan) Saari, of New Ulm, MN, Steven (Brenda) Kotten of Morgan, MN, Charles (Shelly) Kotten of Sleepy Eye, MN and Larry (Kathy) Kotten of Wentworth, SD; 21 grandchildren; 41 great grandchildren; and 11 great-great grandchildren. He also leaves behind many good friends and special friend, Jerry Nachreiner.

Ivan was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Florence; siblings, Viola Watkins, Bernice Wittrock, Sylvester Kotten, Marie Jones and toddler sister Iona; and sons-in-law, Ben Dannheim and Gerald Suhr.