Delores Kiehne -- Preston

November 29, 2018

Delores Kiehne, of Preston, passed away Nov. 20, 2018, at Chosen Valley Care Center.

Delores was born in Galesville, Wis., on Nov. 29, 1935. She was the oldest child born to her parents, Elmer and Lillian Christopherson. Delores has two brothers, James (deceased) 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 Delores’ freshman year, Oct. 12, 1949.

Delores 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, in high school and throughout her life. Her father was an excellent accordion player, so she grew up with music in the house. Both of her children are also musically talented.

On Aug. 1, 1953, Delores married Merle Kiehne at the Elstad Lutheran Church in rural Lanesboro. After an 18-day, 6,000-mile honeymoon, they made their home on the family farm, where Merle farmed with his dad.

Delores and Merle have two children, Dr. Lynn Kiehne (Vitauts Gulbis) in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Kurt Kiehne (Marieke), Washburn, Wis. They have seven grandchildren, Alexandra, Nathan (Gabby), Shannon (Justin), Christopher, Stephanie (Corey), Jonathon and Kamron; and they also have three great-grandchildren, Violet, William and Carley Ann.

While their children were young, Delores and Merle 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 Minnesota pork producers. Delores was a Minnesota delegate to the National Pork Producers Women, and was elected National Secretary/Treasurer of the 18,000-member group, holding that office for 12 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 Delores 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.

Delores 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, Delores started working at RCTC and became an administrative secretary to the dean at the college. She retired in 2005. They moved to Preston in 1998. She and Merle traveled extensively in their later life, visiting all 50 states, several European countries, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and St. Lucia in the Caribbean.

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

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