Thief River Falls - Rodena Mehrkens, 87, of Thief River Falls, died on Friday, May 24, 2013 at Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 28 at St. John Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, with Rev. Aaron Zuch officiating. Interment was held at Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls.
Rodena Johanna VanLith was born Sept. 21, 1925, in Plummer, the daughter of John and Margaret (Gerres) VanLith. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Plummer. She attended grade school and high school at Plummer. Rodena was employed at Land O’ Lakes in Thief River Falls.
On Nov. 8, 1944, Rodena was united in marriage to Marvin Peter Mehrkens at St. John Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls. They lived on a farm three miles south and 3½ miles west of Thief River Falls. She helped on the farm as well as being a mother and homemaker and raising her five children.
Rodena was an active member of St. John Lutheran Church and the church quilters called the “Piecemaker’s” and also a member of Sanders Township Homemaker’s. Rodena and Marvin enjoyed dancing and playing cards. Rodena also enjoyed gardening, sewing and was well known for her patch work quilts. She also enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She is survived by children: Marion Ann (Calvin) Sorenson, Thief River Falls, Albert Earl (Kathy) Mehrkens, Thief River Falls, Darrel Arthur (special friend Sherry Sorenson) Mehrkens, Thief River Falls, and Verla Diann (Donavan) Erlandson, Thief River Falls; 12 grandchildren, Carol (Dale) Kolseth, Allen Mehrkens, Andy Mehrkens, Dale (Denise) Mehrkens, Dean (Elizabeth) Mehrkens, Peter (Clare) Mehrkens, Paul Mehrkens, Tammy (Joe) Hickey, Tracy Mehrkens, Krista (Tim) Halling, Kevin (Julie) Mehrkens and Cory (Fiancé Cindy Williams) Mehrkens; 16 great-grandchildren, Lisa Kolseth, Kayla Mehrkens, Tessah Halling, Mara Mehrkens, Adrian Mehrkens, Garrett Mehrkens, Emry Mehrkens, Kurtis Mehrkens, Wyatt Mehrkens, Tirzah Mehrkens, Shamus Mehrkens, Lizzeth Mehrkens, Bryce Mehrkens, Kayle Mehrkens, Kelsey Mehrkens, and Addison Mehrkens; several nieces and nephews.
Rodena was preceded in death by husband, Marvin on July 21, 1999; son, Roy and her parents, sisters Wilma Hyland, and twin sister Nellie Culkins; brothers Norbert VanLith and Cornelius VanLith.
Family condolences may be sent by visiting www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.