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Helen Irene Melquist, 90, of Cokato

Helen Irene (Wendolek) Melquist, 90, of Cokato, died Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, at Dassel Lakeside Nursing Home.
The funeral service was held Thursday, Aug. 31, at Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, with interment in the Cokato City Cemetery.
Helen Irene (Wendolek) Melquist was born Jan. 26, 1927, at home in Hale Township, McLeod County, to Theophil and Sophie (Pilarski) Wendolek. She grew up on a farm in Hale Township and attended country school until the eighth grade.
On Nov. 7, 1945, she married Lloyd Melquist. They had met on a blind date some years earlier. They were married at the parish house in Silver Lake. The wedding day entailed sunshine in the morning, rain in the afternoon and, by evening, snow. From this union they were blessed with four children, Dianne, Loren, Darlene and Larry. The couple moved to their farm northeast of Cokato. Mrs. Melquist worked with her husband milking cows, raising pigs, chickens, steers, cash crops and canning many home-grown garden vegetables. She loved to cook and care for her family. She was known for her great cooking; two of her well-known dishes, made for her family each year, were potato sausage, which she learned from her mother-in-law, Alice, and Czarnina (duck soup), a recipe passed down from her mother.
In her earlier years, she worked at Johnson Produce, Northland Canning and Fabra-Tek. She also was the secretary for the farm and sawmill business and worked alongside her husband, running a sawmill for 40 years doing custom sawing and manufacturing pallets, and doing whatever to make a richer life for her family. Along with all of the hard work of the farm, she enjoyed raising her children, making pies, cookies and banana bread, playing softball, working at the Evangelical Lutheran Church stand during the Corn Carnival, helping to prepare quilt blocks and going out dancing with her husband, friends and relatives. She served pie on Presidents Day for the Cokato Chamber of Commerce. Her soul was filled with love and the times she was able to spend with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren. She was a lifelong member of Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church.
She is survived by her children, Dianne (Bob) Zitloff, Darlene Larson (fiancé Jim Stigen), both of Cokato, and Larry Melquist of Minneapolis; grandchildren, Darwin and Blaine Zitloff, Josie Koivisto, Jake Pettit, Janna Stigen and Angela Templin; great-grandchildren, Devin, Ryan and Cheyenne Zitloff, Deserae Peterson, Dylan and Caleigh Zitloff, T.J., Charlie, Martin and Brock Koivisto, Addison, Ava and Breck Pettit and Gracey and Breana Templin; great-great-grandchild, Carter Peterson; many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Sophie and Theophil Wendolek; husband, Lloyd Melquist; son, Loren Melquist; grandson, Scott Melquist; and three brothers, Donald, Albert and Theophil Wendolek.
Arrangements were with the Swanson Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.