Ardath Maybelle Luikens, age 93, of Cokato, passed away Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, at her home.
Funeral services will take place Saturday, Aug. 24, at 11 a.m. at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Chokio, MN, with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at Fort Snelling on a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Land Stewardship Project, 821 East 35th Street, #200, Minneapolis, MN 55407 in honor of Ardath’s commitment to the stewardship of sustainable farming practices.
Arrangements are with the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato; www.swansonpeterson.com.
Ardath was born June 5, 1926, in Fargo, ND, to Arthur H Meland and Mabel (Backen) Meland.
She grew up in Moorhead, and graduated from Moorhead State Teachers College High School in 1943. In 1946, Ardath graduated from Moorhead State Teachers College with a bachelor of science degree, followed through the years with post-graduate education at Moorhead State University, University of Minnesota Morris, and Winona State University.
Following her graduation from college, Ardath taught in Santa Paula, CA, and then in Appleton, MN.
Ardath and Elvin Richard Luikens were united in marriage Oct. 1, 1949, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead. Following their marriage, they made their home on the Luikens farm in Eldorado Township, Chokio, where they raised their three children.
Along with helping on the farm, Ardath continued her passion as an educator while working in the Chokio-Alberta Schools as a teacher and librarian, and also as a teacher for Head Start.
In 2013, after 64 years on the Luikens farm, Ardath moved to Cokato, to be closer to her children and to open the opportunity for her grandson and his wife to continue the Luikens family farm legacy with the transition to organic farming.
Ardath was an active member of her church family at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Chokio, and in the community. She was always willing to volunteer her services and offer support wherever it was needed. She was involved in 4-H, church groups, Luther League, the historical society, and served as an election poll worker, as well as volunteering with other community service organizations.
Ardath was a devoted and proud mother and grandmother. She was always encouraging education, and supportive of new adventures. She never came for a visit empty-handed; her arms were always full of food and treats for all, and arts and crafts or games for the children.
As a grandmother, Ardath never missed a milestone event, and was there for every baptism, confirmation, graduation, and wedding. To the delight of her grandchildren, she never missed a Grandparents Day at school.
In addition to her passions for education and family, Ardath enjoyed traveling, reading, gardening and sewing.
She is survived by her children: Barbara (Richard Benson) Luikens, Arlys (Dwight) Redden, and Nancy Joanis; grandchildren Alexander (Alena) Benson, Nicholas Benson, Katherine (Tommy) McCauley, Jennifer Redden, Beth (Bradly) Harrison, and Derek (Carrie) Redden; great-grandchildren Hendrik Benson, Eliza McCauley, Dominic Redden, Makayla Rauer, Ailee Harrison, Beckham Harrison, Dorothy Redden and Elvin Redden; and sister Marlys Johnson.
Ardath was preceded in death by her parents; husband Elvin; and son-in-law William Joanis.