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Deborah Lynn Nickel

July 2, 1953 March 14, 2013
Deborah Lynn Nickel
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Obituary for Deborah Lynn Nickel

Deborah (Deb) Lynn Nickel, age 59, of Worthington, MN died Thursday March 14 2013 at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.  She was born July 2, 1953 in Anchorage, AK where her father was stationed with the Air Force.  Deb graduated from Worthington High School in 1971 and attended Worthington Community College.
Deb was united in marriage to James (Jim) Nickel of Reading, MN on July 22, 1972, at the First United Methodist Church in Worthington.  After their marriage Deb and Jim first made their home in Madelia, MN where two sons, Trevor and Chad were born.  In the fall of 1976 they moved to Blue Earth, MN where their youngest son Jeffrey was born.  In 1983 the Nickel family returned to Worthington where they purchased the Metz Insurance Agency (Nickel and Associates).  They built a new home where they have lived since that time.  Deb was an active partner in the business, working with her husband Jim and two of their sons, Trevor and Jeffrey.  Deb also was 50% owner/partner with Mike Crowley in Crop Agency Inc., writing crop, hail and multi-peril insurance. 

The First United Methodist Church in Worthington was central to her faith for most of her life. It was here where she was confirmed, married and involved in various volunteer activities.
 Deb was very creative and gifted artistically.  She was self-taught and enjoyed painting, wood carving, making beautiful Norwegian hardanger and tatting, needlework and knitting.  She was especially well known for painting delicate Ukrainian eggs, an art which she also taught to others.  Many of Deb’s beautiful works can be found in the homes of her family and friends.
For 12 years Deb was the Secretary/Treasurer of the Worthington Hockey Association where all three of their sons were participants.  Along with her husband Jim, she was instrumental to the fund raising and construction of the Worthington Hockey Arena.  She was especially proud that all three of her sons became involved with coaching and that her grandchildren have enjoyed participating in the hockey program. Deb and Jim enjoyed attending the grandchildren’s hockey games and their many other activities.   
She loved the family cabin on Bloody Lake by Currie, MN that they owned since 1993.  Weekends from April to October were spent at the lake, where she enjoyed planting flowers, maintaining a large garden, relaxing and spending time with family and friends.  

In July of 2012 Deb and Jim went on a 17 day tour of Alaska in celebration of their 40th Wedding Anniversary.  It was an amazing trip that created many memories for both of them.  

Deb is survived by her husband Jim, sons; Trevor (Erin) and their children Colby,  MaKenna, and Peyton;  Chad (Sarah) and their children Kya, Kory, Riley and Sadie;  Jeffrey (Latina) and their children Jaden, Spenser and Tayler, all of Worthington. Her parents Dean and Diane Yahnke who split time between Minnesota and Texas. Her siblings; Denise (Dick) Schlichte of Worthington; Dawn (Dean) Serbus of Victorville, California; Dan (Wendy) Yahnke of Champaign, Illinois;  Douglas Yahnke/Suzanne Schaber of Mound, Minnesota;  Renee’ Yahnke of Delano, Minnesota and 10 special and loved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents. 

Deb enjoyed people and touched the lives of those who knew her. Two important missions in her life were providing special love and care for her first cousin, Ricki Wilker of Owatonna, MN who lives with mental challenges. She also faithfully supported the American Heart Association.  She loved spending as much time as possible with her 8 granddaughters and 2 grandsons who all truly meant everything to her.  Deb's favorite quote adorned the bulletin board above her desk:  "My greatest blessings call me Grandma". 

Memorial services will be at 11:00 am on Monday, March 18, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church in Worthington, with Rev. Gordon J. Orde officiating. 
Visitation will be held on Sunday, March 17, 2013, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the American Heart Association Heart Walk in honor of Jaden Nickel or the Worthington Hockey Association.


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