Lila Racelia (Fingerson) Eickhoff of Rochester, Minn., formerly of Wykoff, Minn., passed away Jan. 11, 2019.
She was the daughter of Malvin and Corolla (Sundet) Fingerson. She was born Oct. 4, 1930, at Saint Mary’s Hospital, Rochester, where she was also baptized. She attended Rice Creek country school and then moved with her family to the Wykoff area and finished her schooling in Wykoff. After graduation from high school, she attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, taught school in Harmony and also did substitute teaching after she was married.
On June 3, 1951, she was united in marriage to Donald Eickhoff at Fountain Lutheran Church and they began their life on the farm. They were blessed with five children, Thomas of Minneapolis, Dona (Wayne Hebrink) of Lakeville, Jane (Dennis Meisner) Wykoff, Steven (Brigid Walsh) of Fountain, and Lisa (Rodney Vorwerk) of Wykoff.
Lila was active in her church and community. Church activities included teaching Sunday school, Bible school, helping with instruments, playing the organ, directing junior choir, and Christmas programs. When her children were in 4-H, both Don and Lila were leaders, with Lila directing Share the Fun and taking the group to the State Fair several times. Working with the Wykoff Area Historical Society in its beginning was a community project that both Don and Lila enjoyed.
In the 1960s, Don became interested in flying. Flying became their life. When they joined the International Flying Farmers organization, both Don and Lila were pilots, both were instrument rated. Lila was chosen Queen of the Flying Farmers Organization in Miami Beach, Fla., in 1964, and Don became President in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1981. Lila was also chosen Woman of the year in 1984 in Winnipeg, Canada, the same year that she received her instrument rating. The entire family enjoyed these years of flying, traveling the entire United States and Canada. Don and Lila also flew to Mexico, Central America, and the Bahamas in their plane.
In 1986, Don and Lila retired from the farm and moved to Wykoff, where Lila and her friend, Connie, opened the Bank Gift Haus, which later included a Tea Room. In 2004, the business was sold, and Don and Lila began their travels abroad. Traveling to 64 countries was a privilege they both thoroughly enjoyed. In 2015, Don and Lila moved to The Waters on Mayowood, a retirement community.
Lila is survived by her husband and children, as well as brothers, Leroy (Ruth) Fingerson of Eden Prarie, and Conrad Fingerson of Rochester; 11 grandchildren, Amanda (Nick) Greene, Stephanie Hebrink, Athena (Nathan) Nistler, Derek (Hilliary) Meisner, Jared (Katherin) Meisner, Nicole (Jason) Newville, Richard (Katie) Eickhoff, Kathleen (Alex) Mensink, Mitchell (Crystal Shepherd) Vorwerk, Andrew (Courtney Aschoff) Vorwerk, and Nathan Vorwerk; 19 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Lila is also survived by in-laws, Virgil and Marva Eickhoff of Wykoff and Diane (Aaron Barnhart) Eickhoff of Kansas City. She was preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Dr. Robert Butler, and sister-in-law, Dr. Myrna Lewis.
Memorial service was Jan. 16, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wykoff, with Pastor Michael Harman officiating.