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Kenneth Lynes was a jack-of-all-trades whose generous, gregarious presence left an impression on many people in southeast Minneapolis.

The electrician-turned-handyman freely lent his time and expertise to those who needed it, whether he was tending to his church or giving people rides. "Electro-Ken" had a reputation for being able to fix everything from computers to televisions.

"Kenny was a genius," said Peter Kish, former owner of Pete's Como Barber Shop, where Lynes was a regular customer — and helper. "He just was a neat guy. He was always helping people."

Lynes died of COVID-19 on Aug. 4. He was 81.

Friends remembered Lynes as a man with many passions. He was an avid bowler who participated in two leagues, as well as an amateur radio enthusiast who once had a giant transmission tower in his backyard. He was active in his church and the Van Cleve Park Seniors Club, as well as Big Brothers and the Boy Scouts of America in the past.

"He had an opinion on everything. And he would talk to everybody," said his niece Leona Kruchten, who lived across the alley from Lynes. "If you were sitting alone in a room, he'd come up and talk to you. You didn't really have to encourage him or anything."

Kruchten said it seemed like Lynes was always doing something for someone else whenever she saw him. He once offered his home to two people on the bus who had nowhere to stay, she said, and was often driving people around town.

And he was always interested in the latest technology.

"On any given day, there would be two or three computers in his house that would be in varying degrees of being repaired," Kruchten said.

Lynes was an active volunteer at University Lutheran Church of Hope, said Pastor Jen Nagel. In addition to ushering, he took care of the boilers and oversaw projects like installing LED lights in the sanctuary.

"He was very spiritually grounded, and that was really important to him," Nagel said. "And at the same time his way of giving back was the technical know-how."

Nagel added, "He was somebody who valued labor and working hard together."

Lynes never married or had children, but he left behind a voluminous contact list of friends and acquaintances. "It's totally unbelievable. It looks like a phone book," Kruchten said.

In addition to Kruchten, of Minneapolis, survivors include nieces Maureen McGinty of Richfield, Colleen Friedrichs of St. Louis Park and Catherine Dahlvang of Sartell. A virtual memorial service was held last week.

Eric Roper • 612-673-1732