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Dean Eugene Yahnke

June 23, 1932 December 15, 2015
Dean Eugene Yahnke
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Obituary for Dean Eugene Yahnke

Worthington, MN


      Dean Eugene Yahnke, age 83, of Worthington, passed away on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at the Sunset Hospice Cottage in Worthington MN.

      Dean was born June 23, 1932 in Mankato MN to Curtis and Dagny (Corneliuson) Yahnke. He graduated from New Richland MN High School. After high school he served in the United States Air Force for 4 years. He was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, AK. It was there that he married his high school sweetheart Diane Wilker on January 1, 1953. After serving his country he attended Mankato Business College where he majored in accounting. During his accounting career he was employed with Del Monte in Wells, MN, Campbell Soup Company, Boise Cascade and Central Telephone Company in Worthington, MN and Fairmont, MN. He finished his career with Frontier Telephone in Burnsville, MN. In retirement Dean and Diane split their time between warm Texas winters and the beautiful Minnesota summers.

      The First United Methodist Church in Worthington was central to his faith. It was here that he and Diane raised their five children in God’s love. All five children were confirmed here. Their three daughters and three of their grandchildren were married here. They were involved in various activities within the church.

      Dean enjoyed the outdoors with his parents and siblings as a young boy. He shared his love of the outdoors with his family. The family spent many summer vacations together enjoying Bad Medicine Lake and Beaver Lake. Dean also enjoyed woodworking projects. Diane always asked that he make six of every project so that she and their five children could enjoy his beautiful handiwork. He was a loving husband & family man. He enjoyed teasing his children, grandchildren and their friends. Dean always had a smile to share and lit up the room with his sparkling blue eyes.

      To celebrate Dean and Diane’s 50th Wedding Anniversary their children sent them on an Alaskan Cruise. Three of their children and a daughter-in-law were able to join them on their anniversary trip.

      Dean is survived by his wife, Diane; children: Denise (Richard) Schlichte of Worthington, MN, Dawn (Dean) Serbus of Victorville, CA, Daniel (Wendy) of Champaign, IL and Douglas (Suzanne Schaber) of Mound, MN; son-in-law, James Nickel of Worthington, MN; Renee’ Yahnke of Delano, MN; grandchildren: Trevor (Erin) Nickel, Chad (Sarah) Nickel, Jeffrey (Latina) Nickel all of Worthington, MN, Chad (Jasmine) Schlichte of Phoenix, AZ, Matthew (Kristina) Schlichte of Rushmore, MN, Erin (Josh) Schroeder of Sioux Falls, SD, Ashley (Paul) DiMola of Chatsworth, CA, Zachary Serbus of Victorville, CA, Nathan Yahnke and Kate Yahnke of Champaign, IL, Tyler (Kristin) Yahnke of Surf City, NC, Christopher Yahnke of St. Paul, MN and Michael Yahnke of St. Paul, MN; great grandchildren: Colby, McKenna, and Payton Nickel, Kya, Kory, Riley & Sadie Nickel, Jaden, Spencer & Tayler Nickel, Kylee Schlichte, Brooklyn Heckman and Lucas Schroeder, Tate Schlichte and Meredith Yahnke; brothers: Curtis (Roseanne) Yahnke, Dwayne (Mary) Yahnke, Ned (Pat) Yahnke and sister, Donna (Dale) Pogatchnik; sister-in-law, Sandra Ehlert and brother-in-laws: Farrell Hanson and Bill Wilker and many nieces, nephews & cousins.

      He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Deborah Lynn Nickel; parents, Curtis and Dagny Yahnke; father & mother-in-law, Alver and Edythe (Steele) Wilker; sister, Susan (Yahnke) Hanson; sister-in-law, Sylvia (Mike) Chapman and brother-in-law, Elton “Red” Ehlert.

      Visitation will be held on Sunday, December 20, 2015, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington.

      Memorial services will be held on Monday, December 21, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Worthington, MN, with Rev. Dr. Daren Flinck officiating. Interment, with military honors, will be in the Worthington Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

      In lieu of flowers the family is requesting memorials.

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