Craig A. MensinkMarch 30, 1956 ~ January 17, 2018 (age 61)
Craig Alan Mensink, 61 of Preston, MN passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on January 17th after his heroic fight against cancer.
Craig was born in 1956, in Preston to Wendell and Cleo (Miedema) Mensink. Craig graduated from Preston high school in 1974 and went onto graduate from Rochester Community Technical College in accounting. Craig briefly worked at Harvester and KFIL Radio before finding his true calling as a farmer. Craig and his wife Pam took over the family farm near Greenleafton, Minnesota in 1977. With the addition of his son-in-law Chad Persons to the farm operations, he continued to work and harvest crops until he passed away. Craig was a passionate educator and promotor of pork farming: He served with Fillmore County Pork Producers, the Minnesota Pork Board and the National Pork Board. During his tenure with the National Pork Board, he worked on several committees and traveled to countries such as Japan, China, Brazil, and Russia. Craig received numerous accolades for his farming: In 2011 Craig and Pam were awarded the Minnesota Farm Family of the Year for Fillmore County, and in 2017, Craig received the Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Pork Board in recognition of his selfless service to the pork industry. Craig was also a devoted servant to his local community; and volunteered time to his church, Christ Lutheran, 4-H, and cooked and donated pork to numerous events around Fillmore County.
Craig married Pam (Hovey) in 1977, in 2017 they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They have three children, Mike (Rachel) Mensink, Mandy (Nate) Olsen, and Megan (Chad) Persons; three grandsons, Owen and Asher Olsen, Jackson Persons; one granddaughter, Lizzie Mensink.
The pride that Craig took in his farm was only overshadowed by the pride he took in his kids and grandkids. Craig instilled in his family an appreciation for agriculture, honesty, integrity and the importance of always finding time to serve others and give generously. Craig loved life, he lived it to the fullest. He enjoyed the outdoors; hunting, fishing, golfing, camping, country music, Camero car drives, and sunrises in the combine. He worked hard, but knew the value of spending quality time with his family and friends. Craig will be remembered fondly for his contagious smile and laughter, sense of humor and genuine personality. Nothing brought him greater joy than being on the farm with his wife and having his kids and grandkids come home.
Craig is preceded in death by his brother, Rich Mensink. He is survived by his parents, Wendell and Cleo Mensink; siblings, Brenda (Dean) Tollefson, Dave (Tracie) Mensink, Cindy (Ron) Mensink, and Will (Patty) Mensink; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, January 21, with a Celebration of Life at 11 A.M. on Monday January 22, both held at the Christ Lutheran Church, 509 Kansas St NW, Preston, MN 55965. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that memorial donations be made to Christ Lutheran Church.