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Lillian M. Helmke, 100

Lillian Madge Helmke, age 100, of Cokato, died Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, at the Cokato Manor.

The funeral service will be Monday, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. at Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, with visitation for one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in the church cemetery.

Lillian was born Jan. 30, 1910, in Burke Township, Pipestone County, to Charles and Minnie (Bridge) Ripley, and grew up in Hatfield, MN. She is the last survivor of the children born to Charles and Minnie, who were farmers.

In 1929, at the age of 19, she wed her husband, Henry. They moved to a farm in the Lake Wilson area, and she remained there until 1950, when the family moved to Cokato.

The couple had six children, five boys and a girl.

Lillian worked at National Connector for a time, and helped her son, Gene, at the KOA Campground on Cokato Lake. She was a homemaker her entire life.

Lillian enjoyed embroidery, cards, and reading. She also enjoyed music, especially Gaither Gospel Music and Lawrence Welk.

A member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato, Lillian served as a volunteer at the Cokato Manor, and in 1998, she was named volunteer of the year.

Lillian is survived by her daughter, Darlene (Duane) Davidson of Golden Valley; son Ronald (Lana) Helmke of St. Louis Park; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Minnie Ripley; husband Henry; sons Gene, Dale, Darrel, and David; two sisters; and seven brothers.

Arrangements are with the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.