Lila Eickhoff, 88, formerly of Wykoff

Lila Eickhoff

Lila Racelia Fingerson Eickhoff, 88, of Rochester and formerly of Wykoff, died on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

She was born to Malvin and Corolla (Sundet) Fingerson on Oct. 4, 1930, at Saint Marys Hospital in 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 and 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. The couple was blessed with five children.

She 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 she and her husband were leaders. She directed Share the Fun and took the 4-Hers to the State Fair several times. Working with the Wykoff Area Historical Society in its beginning was a community project that both she and her husband enjoyed.

In the 1960s her husband became interested in flying and flying became their life. When they joined the International Flying Farmers organization both she and her husband were pilots and both were instrument rated. She was chosen queen of the Flying Farmers Organization in Miami Beach, Fla., in 1964, and he became president in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1981. She was also chosen Woman of the Year in 1984 in Winnipeg, Canada, the same year she received her instrument rating. The entire family enjoyed these years of flying, traveling the entire United States and Canada. They also flew to Mexico, Central America and the Bahamas in their plane.

In 1986, the couple retired from the farm and moved to Wykoff where she and her friend, Connie, opened the Bank Gift Haus, which later included a Tea Room. In 2004, the business was sold and they began their travels abroad to 64 countries. In 2015 they moved to The Waters on Mayowood, a retirement community.

She is survived by her husband, Donald; children, Thomas of Minneapolis, Dona (Wayne Hebrink) of Lakeville, Minn., Jane (Dennis Meisner) of Wykoff, Steven (Brigid Walsh) of Fountain and Lisa (Rodney Vorwerk) of Wykoff; 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; many nieces and nephews and 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.

A memorial service for her was held on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at St Johns Lutheran Church in Wykoff with the Rev. Michael Harman officiating.