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Eileen Dykes -- Rochester

October 6, 2017 GMT

Eileen Veronica Dykes, age 95, passed away at her home in Rochester, surrounded by her family on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.

Eileen was born on their family farm on July 27, 1922, in Marble Rock, Iowa, to George and Ella Meek. Eileen attended a one-room school in Marble Rock from which she graduated when she was 16 years old. During high school, Eileen was the homecoming queen of the Class of 1935 in Marble Rock. Eileen went on to attend the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, where she met her future husband-to-be, Eldon Dykes, at an ice skating rink shortly after Christmas. On April 19, 1941, she and Eldon were married, and together they had five children.

Along with her husband, Eldon, the couple ran many businesses in southern Minnesota, including the Kasson Livestock Exchange, Faribault Livestock Exchange and other businesses in Winona and Austin. She retired from the State Hospital in Faribault, Minn., where she also worked for 16 years. After retirement, Grandma was often found helping out at the Children’s Exchange, another local family business in Rochester.

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Eileen’s special interests and hobbies included raising her children and spending time with her family, playing cards with friends and family, tending to her garden, and trading stocks and futures. Some of her favorite times out and about were to watch her grandchildren play, picking strawberries, and winning at Bingo.

Eileen was the most selfless and supportive caregiver to her husband, five children, and more than 120 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had a very strong faith and prayed the rosary every day. She was also a member of the Resurrection Catholic Church in Rochester.

Eileen is survived by one brother, David Meek (Rose); and five beloved children, Jim Dykes (Nancy), of Kasson, Janice Williams (Butch Reynolds), of Eyota, Virgil Dykes (Connie), of Lake City, Joan Ehret (Walter), of Lewiston, and Jolene Anderson (Tom), of Byron.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Ella Meek; four sisters and seven brothers; loyal husband and father of their five children, Eldon Dykes; and one grandson, Johnny Gillard.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home, 1105 12th St. SE, Rochester, with the Rev. Shawn Haremza officiating. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, in the River Park Chapel, and one hour prior to the service Saturday. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery. The family will greet friends at the funeral home on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of service.

Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com.