Gretha M. Loken, of Zumbrota, died Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, at age 98, after heroically having made the decision to stop dialysis after seven years.
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Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. today, Aug. 5, at Wanamingo Lutheran Church, with Pastor David Krinke officiating from Lands Lutheran Church. Burial will be in Lands Lutheran Church Cemetery.
Visitation was from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, at Mahn Family Funeral Home - Larson Chapel in Zumbrota, and for one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorials suggested to Lands Cemetery Association or Lands Building Fund.
Gretha Marian Halvorson Loken was born Jan. 18, 1916, to Fred and Jessie (Dimick) Halvorson in Wanamingo Township, Goodhue County. She grew up on the family farm at "Old Wanamingo." She graduated from Wanamingo High School in 1934, Augsburg College in 1938, and Minnesota School of Business in 1941. While at Augsburg she toured with the college choir and sang in a girls' quartet. She taught English for two years at Cleveland, Minn., then commercial business for six years at Mabel and Wanamingo. She also directed vocal music, operettas, class plays, school annuals and newspapers. After marriage to Obert Loken on June 24, 1947, she was a stay-at-home mom for several years before working as secretary to the Zumbrota elementary principal and then elementary school librarian in Pine Island and Zumbrota.
Gretha was an active member of Lands Lutheran Church as a Sunday school teacher, choir director, WELCA president, co-chair of the 125th anniversary celebration, quilting, singing solos and duets, and was the first female president of the congregation. She taught the Bethel Bible Study series and the Search Bible Studies to Lands-Minneola adults. She was a president of the Cannon River Conference WELCA and secretary of the Southeast Minnesota District WELCA, and attended many national conventions. Obert and Gretha were active in 4-H work, Farm Bureau activities, and Meals on Wheels. She also participated in home extension, Zumbrota hospice, and the hospital auxiliary. She enjoyed nature, music, reading, traveling and all family get-togethers.
Gretha is survived by her four children, Mary (Denny) Veiseth and Barb Loken of Zumbrota, David (Pam) Loken of Maple Grove and Jessie (Wes) Aylsworth of Rockford; three granddaughters, Maren (Brian) Hooper of New Berlin, Wis., and Beth and Amy Aylsworth of Rockford; two great-grandchildren, Norah and Ben Hooper; brother, Fred (Elise) Halvorson of Wanamingo; honorary daughter-in-law, Nancy Schliep of Clarks Grove; honorary grandchildren, Connie Nesset of Edwards, Mo., and Fred Schliep of Zumbrota.
She was preceded in death by her husband Obert; her parents; and brother, Wallace Halvorson.
Mahn Family Funeral Homes Inc/Larson Chapel
1475 Jefferson Dr Zumbrota, MN 55992
Published in The Post-Bulletin on Aug. 5, 2014