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home : obituaries : obituaries May 31, 2016

1/9/2013 10:02:00 AM
John Menken

John Menken, 96, of Springfield, formerly of Jeffers, died Jan. 3, 2013, at St. John Lutheran Home in Springfield.
Services were Sunday at Jeffers United Methodist Church in Jeffers with Pastor Clinton Firstbrook officiating.
Special music was provided by Lynda Laechel, organist; and Morgen Pederson, vocalist.
Casket bearers were Bruce Pankonin, Mitchell Menken, Bob Barker, Kenneth Engen, Nathan Thomas and Wyatt Dunkelberger.
Honorary bearers were John's grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandson.
Interment was at Jeffers Cemetery in rural Jeffers.
LaCanne Family Funeral service of Windom handled the funeral arrangements.
John Richard Menken was born Aug. 5, 1916, to Tebbo and Etta (Eucken) Menken in Dale Township of Cottonwood County. He was the oldest of 10 children. John was baptized as a small child and was a lifelong member of Jeffers United Methodist Church.
He attended Jeffers Public School, graduating in 1933.
In 1938, John married Viola Pankonin at Red Rock Evangelical Church. They lived near Jeffers where they raised their three daughters. They retired from farming and moved into Jeffers in 1977.
In addition to farming, John also was a truck driver.
John was involved in community affairs, serving on school and church boards, and as president of the county Farm Bureau. He also was a member of the Jeffers Senior Citizens.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, reading and sports and will be remembered for helping others in their time of need. He and Viola also attended many activities of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
They enjoyed traveling, spending 21 winters at Apache Junction, Ariz., and taking a European agriculture tour of eight countries. They also visited all 50 states in the U.S.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Beverly; three brothers: Tebbo, Edwin and George; two granddaughters; two sisters-in-law; and two brothers-in-law.
Survivors include his wife of 74 years, Viola of Springfield; two daughters, La Von (Allen) Thomas of Sun Prairie, Wis.; and Joyce (David) Jorgenson of Jeffers; a son-in-law, Richard Engen of Lamberton; seven grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandson; a brother, Richard (Irene) Menken of Windom; and sisters: Elta Barker of Westbrook, Hilda (John) Brand of Jeffers, Elsie (Russell) Vieregge of North Mankato, Esther (Robert) Rasmussen of Walnut Grove and Ann (Don) Roefer of Jeffers.

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