Craig Mensink
Craig Mensink

Craig Alan Mensink, 61, of Preston, died peacefully, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, at his home surrounded by his family after his heroic fight against cancer. 

He was born in 1956 in Preston to Wendell and Cleo (Miedema) Mensink.

He graduated from Preston High School in 1974 and went onto graduate from Rochester Community Technical College in accounting.

He married Pam (Hovey) in 1977, and in 2017 they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

He briefly worked at Harvester and KFIL Radio before finding his true calling as a farmer. He and his wife Pam took over the family farm near Greenleafton 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 died.

He was a passionate educator and promoter 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. He received numerous accolades for his farming. In 2011 He and his wife were awarded the Minnesota Farm Family of the Year for Fillmore County, and in 2017, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Pork Board in recognition of his selfless service to the pork industry. He 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. 

The pride that he took in his farm was only overshadowed by the pride he took in his kids and grandkids. He instilled in his family an appreciation for agriculture, honesty, integrity and the importance of always finding time to serve others and give generously. He loved life. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, golfing, camping, country music, Camaro car drives and sunrises in the combine. He worked hard, but knew the value of spending quality time with his family and friends. Nothing brought him greater joy than being on the farm with his wife and having his kids and grandkids come home. 

He is survived by his wife, Pam; three children, Mike (Rachel) Mensink, Mandy (Nate) Olsen and Megan (Chad) Persons; three grandsons, Owen and Asher Olsen and Jackson Persons; one granddaughter, Lizzie Mensink; 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. 

He was preceded in death by his brother, Rich Mensink.

A Celebration of Life for him was held on Monday, Jan. 22, at the Christ Lutheran Church in Preston.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested that memorial donations be made to Christ Lutheran Church.

Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home, Preston, is assisting the family.