Lily Cecelia Luke, age 88, of Watertown, died peacefully at her home Sunday, April 26, 2009.
She was born March 10, 1921, to Andrew and Freda (Mortenson) Jessen in Minneapolis, one of seven children.
Lily graduated from Minneapolis North High School and as a young adult, joined the Navy, and served as a telephone operator in San Francisco and New York during World War II.
Education was always important to Lily and while in the Navy, Lily attended Hunter College in New York.
In 1951, she married James Carlton Luke and together, they operated a dairy farm near Watertown for many years.
Lily was a very active volunteer and enjoyed helping others. She was named Carver County “Senior of the Year” in 2007.
An avid reader, Lily enjoyed crossword puzzles and could still beat her grandchildren at Scrabble. She enjoyed travel to anyplace new, with her friends or on her own. She also traveled to North Carolina annually to celebrate Christmas with her son, Allan, and family.
Lily is survived by her two devoted sons, Allan and his wife, Ann, of Raleigh, NC, and Jeffrey of Mankato; three loving grandchildren, Nathan and his wife, Kelly, of Fuquay-Varina, NC, Maaran and her husband, Jarid, of Whitsett, NC, and Brian, currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia; and two great-grandsons, Nicholas and Jackson Luke
She is further survived by her sisters, Gladys Lynch and Gloria Bray; and her brother, Andrew Jessen and his wife, Laurel; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Lily was preceded in death by her husband, James; parents Andrew and Freda Jessen; an infant son; and beloved siblings Harold Jessen, Lawrence Jessen, and Marilyn Anderson.
Funeral services took place Saturday, May 2 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Watertown with the Rev. Kenneth DeFor officiating. Interment was in the Watertown Community Cemetery.
Casket bearers were Nathan Luke, Kelly Luke, Maaran Luke Durham, Ross Jessen, Philip Jessen, and Neil Jessen.
Arrangements were by the Iten’s Watertown Funeral Home.