Nature 36

Kent N. Maffitt

January 23, 2021

Obituary

Kent Maffitt passed into eternal life on Saturday January 23rd 2021.  He was born on February 24th 1936 in Shenandoah, Iowa to Floyd and Helen (nee Newton) Maffitt and grew up on a family farm near Sidney, Iowa.  Though he lived in Missouri while earning his bachelor’s degree, he lived 63 of his 85 years in Minnesota.

Kent met his lifetime sweetheart (Lois) Elaine Blezek as a boy.  They dated through high school and recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.  They had been soul mates for more than 70 years.  Together they raised their two sons in Minneapolis.

Kent truly lived the American dream.  He was born a poor Iowa farm kid, but somehow managed to make it through graduate school at the University of Minnesota while supporting a growing family on a very modest stipend. Later he enjoyed a successful career as a research physicist, teacher, mentor, inventor, and industry executive.  In 1985, Kent and Elaine moved from southeast Minneapolis to Lake Elmo.  Their dream home was nestled into thick woods that he promptly equipped with a dizzying array of birdfeeders.  He dearly loved watching the birds and grousing about the squirrels from the comfort of his chair by the window.  Much to the chagrin of the squirrels (and amusement of his family), Kent employed his deep understanding of physics and electricity to skew the balance of seed strongly in favor of the birds.

Kent enjoyed fishing in the north woods, woodworking, birdwatching, traveling with Elaine and spending time with his family.  His wooden creations were both numerous and beautiful, but he was most proud of the heirloom creations that he made for the weddings and births of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  He had an incredible singing voice and sang in the 3M Male Chorus, The Mellow Fellows, and his church choirs.  The many wonderful friends that he met through singing formed the core of Kent and Elaine’s rich social circle.  In recent years, you didn’t have to visit long with him before you would learn that his great grandchildren were the absolute apples of his eye.

Survivors include his wife, Elaine Maffitt of Stillwater, sons Mark (Kay) Maffitt of Madison, WI, Neil (Bonnie) Maffitt of Rochester, grandchildren Kari (Andrew Tsai) Maffitt of St. Paul, Jeffrey (Adrian) Maffitt of Eden Prairie, Rachel Maffitt of Madison, WI and great grandchildren Vivienne, Gwen and Dorian.  He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Clark Maffitt and sister Barbara Maffitt.

A private family service will be held Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:00 P.M.  The service will be livestreamed at https://vimeo.com/event/340831

Both Kent and Elaine moved to the Boutwells Landing campus of Presbyterian Homes in 2018. The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the many loving staff for taking such great care of them. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Andrew’s Lutheran Church Choir, Mahtomedi, MN, or the National Audubon Society. Condolences may be sent to the Family of Kent Maffitt C/O Bradshaw 2800 Curve Crest Blvd., Stillwater, MN 55082.

 


Services

Private Family Service

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