Lila Rikhus, 96, Ulen, MN died Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at Viking Manor Nursing Home in Ulen, MN surrounded by her family and under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Lila Lee Andersen was born on April 8, 1924 to Arthur John “A.J.” and Bertha (Lee) Andersen in Lockhart, MN. She was baptized and confirmed in the First English Lutheran Church in Lockhart. Lila attended school in Lockhart for her first 8 years, 3 years of high school in Ada, MN, and finished her senior year in Ulen graduating with the class of 1942. After graduation, she worked several years alongside her father and brother, Art at Northwestern State Bank in Ulen. She attended Concordia College in Moorhead and Miss Wood’s Primary-Kindergarten School in Minneapolis. In 1947, she graduated from Miss Wood’s School and started her career in teaching. Lila taught kindergarten and first grade for several years in Thief River Falls, Wadena, and Worthington, MN. On September 6, 1952, Lila married Einar Burtness. In 1956, the couple welcomed their son, John. Einar passed away on March 6, 1963.
On June 5, 1965, Lila married Sam Rikhus of Ulen. Lila and John moved to the Rikhus Farm northeast of Ulen to make their home where Lila learned to drive her very first tractor and became a farmer’s wife. She had much joy living on the farm and helping with chores and cooking endless meals for those that were helping in the field. In 1980, Lila and Sam moved into Ulen after their son purchased the farm. Sam later passed away in 2010. Lila later moved to the Viking Manor Nursing Home to make her home.
Lila enjoyed teaching. Outside of her career as a teacher, she also taught Sunday School for 25 years. She would often help organize church events and was active in the “Circle” for many years. She was also one of the charter members of the Northern Lights Art Guild of Ulen. She was the “Avon Lady” for many years as well, where she enjoyed delivering catalogs and orders to her customers (old and new) where she got to visit and catch up with her friends. Her spare time was spent cooking, baking, gardening, canning, and living in her tremendous faith in God. She also enjoyed collecting and trying new recipes for her long-time newspaper column “This and That from your Neighbor Lady”. These columns eventually led her to become a published author when they were compiled into a book that sold out quicker than she could sign them! Lila’s greatest joy was watching her granddaughters, Sarah and Stephanie, grow up and eventually become mothers themselves. Once her great-grandchildren were born, she could not get enough of seeing them and watching them grow as well. Lila sincerely always found the good in everyone and truly cherished the time she had with each and every one of her family and friends. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Lila is survived by her son, John (Donna) Rikhus, Ulen; grandchildren, Sarah Rikhus, Ulen and Stephanie (Tyler) Schenck, Hawley, MN; step-grandchildren, Celeste (Matt) Stalberger, Casey (Lisa) Christensen, Michael (Sonia) Christensen and Ted (Kendra) Murray, 3 great-grandchildren, Hailey, Nora and Cameron, 10 step-great-grandchildren and sisters-in-law, Kay (Don) Johnson and Fern Andersen. She is preceded in death by her husband’s, Einar and Sam, her parents, and all her brothers and sisters.