Kenneth “Drake” Ray Nienstedt, 69, left for his heavenly home on April 4, 2023 while hospitalized at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, TX. Visitation will be Monday, April 10, 2023 at Memorial Oaks Chapel, with the family present from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The funeral service and burial will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Rehburg at 10:00 a.m. in Burton, TX with Pastor Alvin Luedke officiating.
Kenneth “Drake” Ray Nienstedt was born December 27, 1953 at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX to Robert Nienstedt, Jr. and Estella (Hueske) Nienstedt. Upon returning to the homestead in Burton, Kenneth was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Rehburg on February 7, 1954 by Reverend A.R. Wolber. His baptismal sponsors were Waldo Nienstedt, R.J. Hueske, and Raymond Steinbach. Kenneth was later confirmed at the same church on June 2, 1968 by Pastor John Kuecker.
Kenneth attended Burton schools and graduated from Burton High School in 1972.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Kenneth was an avid rodeo man. In his younger years, Kenneth participated in rodeos by competing in team roping and bronc riding. When he was unable to participate himself, he later devoted his time by allowing the youth of the area to practice at his arena and produced youth rodeos at his arena as well. He was known as Mr. Kenneth or Drake by the youth that he helped. He also supplied livestock to rodeos around the state of Texas. When he was not actively involved, you could find him watching rodeos on TV.
When at home, Kenneth enjoyed his time with all of his family and friends. He loved spending time with his great niece and nephew, Adalyn and Brooks. Together they enjoyed Yoo-hoo, icy pops, and Drumsticks. He also loved to go out to eat and enjoy a cold Bud Light with his niece, Stephanie. Raley, Kenzie, Sadie and Corie shared their love of livestock with their Uncle Kenny as he always looked forward to watching them show goats. His sister’s furry companion, Sasha, was his partner in crime - even when he was giving her food scraps when he wasn’t supposed to. He was an avid attendee of Super Bowl parties and host of Super Bowl pots.
Aside from being an employee of rodeo life, Kenneth was a long-time employee of Blue Bell Creameries.
Kenneth will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. You can consider yourself lucky if you heard one of his many jokes or were on the receiving end of one of his pranks.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents Robert Jr. & Estella Nienstedt, brother Robert “Robbie” Nienstedt, nephew Robert Lynn “Shorty” Nienstedt, along with his aunts and uncles.
He is survived by his sister, Karla Nienstedt, brothers Ronnie Nienstedt and wife Debra, and Bobby “JJ” Nienstedt and wife Christy, and sister-in-law Cherie Nienstedt. Nieces and nephews Kaitlyn and Zach Holder, Tyler Nienstedt, Raley, Kenzie, Sadie and Corie Nienstedt; Stephanie Nienstedt, Jeffrey and Jenny Noto; great nieces and nephews Adalyn and Brooks Holder, Trenton Nienstedt, and Allie Noto.
Pallbearers will be Colton Anders, Paden “Petey” Ullrich, Micah Harmel, Justin Lewis, Justin Fuchs, Shane Kloecker, Johnny Phillips, Tommie Broesche, Jess McGinley, and John Bertell Landolt.
Honorary pallbearers are Doug Harmel, Bob Knittel, Terry Korthauer, Robert Fuchs, Joe Neinast, Russell Neinast, Bobby Kloecker, Roney Ripple, Foster McCraw, Spinner Burger, Preston Rodriguez, Landon Deason, and Thomas Willard.
The family would like to thank Dr. Frederick Tan and his staff at Fresnius Dialysis, the staff of Accent Care, and the staff that cared for Kenneth during his time at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan, TX and St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, TX. The family would also like to thank Pastor Alvin Luedke for his numerous visits with Kenneth during his hospitalization.
Memorials may be directed to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Rehburg.