Delores Kiehne, 82, of Preston

Delores Kiehne

Delores Kiehne, 82, of Preston, died on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, at Chosen Valley Care Center.

She was born in Galesville, Wis., on Nov. 29, 1935. She was the oldest child born to her parents, Elmer and Lillian Christopherson. She has two brothers, the late James and Garry and two sisters, Arlene Brekke and Lucille (Sue) Hansen.

The siblings attended several schools in Wisconsin, and then the family moved to Minnesota early in her freshman year in 1949. She completed her high school education and graduated from Canton High School as class salutatorian in her Class of 1953.

Band and music were always a love of hers throughout her life. Both of her children are also musically talented.

On Aug. 1, 1953, she married Merle Kiehne at the Elstad Lutheran Church in rural Lanesboro. The couple had two children.

After their honeymoon, they made their home on the family farm where her husband farmed with his dad.

While their children were young, they had a purebred hog operation selling breeding stock to Pork Producers. They showed hogs for 32 years at the Minnesota State Fair and many national shows. The whole family was active in 4-H and FFA at local fairs and involved in a grassroots level with MN Pork Producers. She was a Minnesota delegate to the National Pork Producers Women and was elected National Secretary/Treasurer of the 18,000 member women’s group, holding that office for twelve years.

She became the first recipient of an award naming her “Farm Wife of the Year,” by a national magazine called Farm Wife News. Her involvement with Pork Producers took her all over the country promoting new ways to use pork in our daily menu. She spoke out for the pork industry on animal welfare, food safety, imports and exports and on using more pork in school hot lunch programs. 

She also found time to be a Sunday school teacher and president of the Henrytown Church WELCA for three years.

After retiring from active farm life in 1985, she started working at RCTC and became an administrative secretary to a dean at the college. She retired in 2005. They moved to Preston in 1998. She and her husband traveled extensively in their later life, visiting all 50 states, several European countries and St. Lucia in the Caribbean.

She is survived by her children, Dr. Lynn Kiehne (Vitauts Gulbis) of St. Petersburg, Flo., and Kurt Kiehne (Marieke) of Washburn, Wis.; six grandchildren, Alexandra, Nathan (Gabby), Shannon (Justin), Christopher, Stephanie (Corey), Jonathon Kamron and three great-grandchildren, Violet, William and Carley Ann. 

The funeral for her will be held at Henrytown Lutheran Church on Saturday, Dec. 1, with the viewing beginning at 1 p.m. and services at 2 p.m. and a light lunch to immediately follow. Burial will be at the Henrytown Lutheran Church Cemetery.