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Lillian Hults, age 96, of Ortonville, died June 9, 2018, at Fairway View.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 14, at 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Ortonville. Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 5 – 7 p.m. at Mundwiler and Larson Funeral Home in Ortonville. Visitation will continue at the church on Thursday, one hour prior to the service.
Lillian Orpha Hults was born in Merrill, Iowa, on May 12, 1922, to parents Harry and Elizabeth (Thompson) Rickard. She had one brother, Robert, who was born in 1927. She grew up in rural Gary, SD, on a farm. Work was hard on the farm during the Depression years but here she found her excellent work ethic, her skills for gardening, baking, cooking, and her love for animals.
She graduated from Gary High School in 1940. On May 3, 1944, she married Dwight (Duke) Hults in Watertown, SD. While Duke was in the service, Lil worked in Gary at her Aunt’s café and was a companion to an elderly friend. Three daughters were born to this union.
They left Gary and lived in Worthington before moving to Big Stone City in 1954. In 1957, they moved to Ortonville. While Duke was working at a local gas station, Lil worked as a waitress at Cashtown Café working for Ralph and Alice Broadbent, then Curly and Alice Davis, and then later for Toby and Izzy Tobin. They also lived in an apartment above Cashtown Café before settling into their home on First Street. Duke then started his long career for the City of Ortonville. Over the years, Lil worked at other café’s in Ortonville, she made donuts for Marvin Engebretson at his various café’s, and worked at the Electrik Maid Bakery for the Julius Brothers. In the early 70’s, she began working as a cook at the Ortonville School.
In the late 70’s, Lil and Duke spent their time camping all over Minnesota and South Dakota, taking in thrashing machine shows, visiting the Black Hills several times, and made trips to Fort Sisseton. They were able to take several of their grandchildren on weekend camping trips. In the early 80’s, Duke purchased a motorcycle and they set out on a new adventure spending hours riding together. Duke passed away suddenly in 1987.
Lil was looking for something new to do after Duke passed away and went to the local library. She checked out a book about bowling and using the book, she learned the fundamentals of bowling and how to keep score. She then spent many years enjoying that sport, making new friends, and participating on a league winning bowling team.
Lil will be remembered for her baking skills, including: homemade caramel and cinnamon rolls and making everyone their own favorite loaf of banana bread. She planted a large garden, harvested, and canned the fruits of her labor. She will also be remembered for playing Cribbage, King’s Korners, making flannel pajamas for Christmas for her daughters and granddaughters, her love of flowers, making embroidered pillow cases and dishtowels, creating simple tied quilts, and making big batches of chili. She loved polka music and dancing in the living room with Duke, watching Lawrence Welk, chili cheese dogs, Elvis, and Dairy Queen ice cream. She gave special birthday parties by treating each family member to their favorite birthday dinner and making their favorite cake for the celebration.
She became a resident at Golden Living in Milbank in the winter of 2015 and moved to Northridge Residence in Ortonville in April 2016. Upon the completion of the new nursing home, she moved into Fairway View Neighborhoods/Orton’s Crossing in March 2017. She enjoyed the new building and the homelike atmosphere.
She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Ortonville and was an active circle member. She was known for her ‘egg-coffee’ served at various church gatherings.
Lillian is survived by her three daughters: Linda (Donald) Schumacher of Ortonville, Diana Hults of Ortonville, Dona (Gary) Speth of Big Stone City; granddaughters: Michele (Brad) Froelich of Kerkhoven, Laura (Randy) Marcus of Prinsburg, Shawna Speth of Milbank, and Amy Speth of Brandon; great-grandchildren: Alex, Mackenzie, and Madison Froelich, Jennifer, Britney, Kayla, and Ryan Marcus, and Chase, Kyler, and Brodryck Speth; along with many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents; husband, Dwight (Duke) in June 1987; grandson, Michael Schumacher in October 2000; and brother, Robert Rickard in 2003.