AURELIA “REELY” ELEANOR KAHNKE, age 100, of Mankato, formerly of Janesville, passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at Monarch Meadows in North Mankato.
Born on September 22, 1920 near Wells, Minnesota in Faribault County. She was the second oldest of eight children and she, along with her siblings, would walk a mile to country school every day or travel by horse and sleigh in the wintertime. On the farm, she learned how to milk cows by hand, thresh grain, tend to the garden, can vegetables, bake bread, and help with harvest. As a young woman, she worked various jobs, including “breaking eggs” for the World War II effort.
In 1945, after Wells was hit by a devastating tornado, Reely moved to Mankato, MN where she landed a position at the downtown Hodapp and Wegge Drug Store. It was through this job, where she met her husband.
Reely and Lawrence Kahnke were united in marriage on August 21, 1954 in Wells. They worked together to operate their family farm near Janesville and raised four children. Reely was involved in the Catholic Order of Forresters, St. Ann’s Catholic Parish, and Adoration Services at the church chapel. In 1987, she and Lawrence retired and moved to Janesville.
Reely was a strong, generous, humorous, upbeat, and hardworking woman. Her greatest joy in life was being a wife, mother and grandmother, but she also enjoyed gardening, quilting, dancing, playing cards and bingo, and joining in coffee klatches with her neighbors and friends. She enjoyed the outdoors and especially looking at cloud formations. She loved her adopted community of Janesville.
In 2014 when her “Dear Lawrence” passed away, Reely moved to Monarch Meadows Assisted Care in North Mankato. She is survived by her children, John (Cammy) Kahnke of Janesville, Dave Kahnke of Janesville, Jeanie Kahnke (friend, Don Norman) of Louisville, Kentucky, and Deb (Bruce) Haar of Bloomington; her grandchildren Marie (Patrick) Hicks of Bloomington, Matthew (Karen) of Janesville, Susie Kahnke of Lawrence, Kansas, and Grace (Tyler) Mau of Sioux City, IA; her great-grandchildren Charlie and Walter of Janesville; her sister Lillian Bush of Stewartville; sister-in-law Alice Yainske of Cloquet; and many nieces, nephew, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Lawrence; parents John and Elizabeth Yainske; siblings: Esther (Leonard) Regenscheid, Ray Yainske, Philip Yainske, Maxine (Thomas) Kuechenmeister, Margaret (Alvin) Kahnke, and Marvin Yainske; and her brothers-in-law: Eugene (Mary) Kahnke, and Richard Bush.
Visitation will be from 2:00 – 5:00 PM on Sunday, July 18, 2021 at the Janesville Chapel of Dennis Funeral & Cremation Services with a parish prayer service to follow. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the Mass at the church on Monday.
Funeral Service will be 9:00 AM on Monday, July 19, 2021, St. Ann Catholic Church in Janesville with Fr. Brian Mulligan as celebrant. Interment will be in the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to West Team of Mayo Clinic Hospice in Mankato, St. Ann Catholic Parish in Janesville, or the Monarch Meadows Care Suite Staff.
Monday, July 19, 2021
8:00 - 9:00am (Central time)
Monday, July 19, 2021
Starts at 9:00am (Central time)