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1922 Mayme 2024

Mayme Lukes

May 19, 1922 — January 14, 2024


Mayme L. Lukes, age 101 years and 8 months, of Zumbrota, MN, passed away on January 14th at the Pine Haven Care Center in Pine Island, Minnesota.

Mayme was born on May 19, 1922 on the farm near Lankin, North Dakota, to Joseph A. Kovarik and Elizabeth (Shirek) Kovarik. She attended school at Latona Township #1 school.  She married Charles Lukes on May 31, 1944 and lived on their farm near Lankin and had two sons, Alan and Frank.

Mayme and Charlie retired from farming in 1963 and moved to Grand Forks to start Town and Country Realty. This was also the start of a 30 year career for Mayme as a retail catalog sales specialist with Sears. Mayme and Charlie traveled extensively across the United States and Canada, including Alaska, with their travel trailers and motorhome. Loads of gemstones were sorted, cut, polished and formed into jewelry in their basement workshop.

They retired and moved to Minnesota (rural Oronoco) in 1985 and built a country home with room for gardening and more gem hunting trips.  Mayme’s gardening skills were demonstrated in the huge garden she raised each year.   She had many secret formulas to grow huge vegetables and was always happy to share with friends and neighbors.

In 1995 they moved to Zumbrota where they built a retirement home and joined Our Saviours Lutheran Church.  Mayme still had room for a nice garden and continued growing vegetables, raspberries and strawberries.  She was in her glory to get flowers and bushes planted all around the new house and yard. Garage sale shopping with friends was a favorite pastime. She was a gourmet Czech cook and always treated guests at the house with fresh pastries and treats.

Mayme and Charlie were married for 71 years before his death in 2015.  Mayme was one of a family of 9 children, was the 2nd oldest, and today leaves one sister (Irene Hodek) of Park River, ND and youngest brother (Roland Kovarik) alive. Siblings who preceded her in death are Mildred Kratochvil (Ernest), Jerry Kovarik (Ella), Marcella Sticha (Dennis), Joe Kovarik, Henrietta Karas (Eddie), and John Kovarik (Irene). Her father died in 1995 at age 101 and her mother died in 1983 at age 87. Additionally she is survived by her sons Alan (Ellen) of Bismarck and Frank (LauraJean) of Rochester, granddaughter Susan Marie Wendland (Joshua) of Milbank, SD, grandson Charles Alan Lukes (Katie) of Cape Coral, Florida, several nieces and nephews including Merle Kratochvil of Lankin and Carolyn Hodny of Fargo, 8 great-grandchildren, and sister-in-law Florence Hodny Flanigan. The great- grandchildren are Payton, Olivia, Stella, Rylan and Harper Wendland, and Quentin, Carlisle and Nova Lukes.

A highlight of her teenage years was the ability to join her Uncle and Aunt Albert and Rose Kriha at their Pass-A-Grille home (on the peninsula South of St. Petersburg Florida) for almost an entire year. She learned to play shuffleboard at the local club and became champion on the peninsula, and midnight shrimping with Uncle Al was frequent off the pier just a block from their home. Aunt Rose had the kettle of water boiling when they got home by gas lantern.

She will be buried at Oakwood East cemetery in Rochester in a private graveside ceremony by Pastor Eric Westlake. A celebration of life will be incorporated into a church service at Our Saviours Lutheran Church at a later date. Mayme was a 75 year member of the Western Fraternal Life Association.

Arrangements are being handled by the Mahn Funeral Home in Zumbrota, Minnesota.

Memorials may be directed to Pine Haven Care Center in Pine Island, or Our Saviours Lutheran Church in Zumbrota.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mayme Lukes, please visit our flower store.


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