Margaret Lucille (Yackley) Zanke

September 26, 1920 ~ October 31, 2020 (age 100)


Margaret Lucille Zanke was born to Arthur Sr and Edna (McKenzie) Yackley on September 26, 1920, at Canby, Minnesota.  She was the 5th of seven children.  She grew up and attended school in Canby.  Due to the Great Depression, she was unable to obtain her High School Diploma until later in life and then furthered her education by completing a Nurse’s Aide Training Course and taking Bookkeeping/Accounting classes at Canby Technical College and Southwest Minnesota State University.

Margaret married Gordon Zanke and to that union she was blessed with four daughters: DeAnne (Jack) Drietz, Patricia (Ruffin) Veal, Judith (Jeff) Ochsendorf and Mary (Ben) LaLonde.  Margaret’s family was the heart of her life next only to her faith.  Losing her mother at age 3, she and her siblings had a special family bond.  Family outings, reunions and genealogy were important to Margaret – so much fun Yackley & Zanke gatherings.  She loved spending time with her grandchildren, friends, dancing, playing cards and baking cookies and bars for the holidays.  She gave us love and taught us kindness, laughter, strength while modeling perseverance and her faith.

Margaret had numerous jobs each one increasing her love of people and learning.  She was a cook at Canby High School; salesperson for J C Penney’s; Food Coordinator and cook at Camp Courage; Secretary/Bookkeeper at Russ’s Mobile Oil; and Customer Service Desk representative at the Canby News.  In her early 50’s she moved to Marshall to create a new life.  She was Office Manager/Bookkeeper at the Lyon County Residential Facility for troubled youth and later was an Assistant Secretary/Director of Faith Mountain Ministries.  That work was inspiring to her as she was helping spread “God’s Word.”  At retirement age, she began working part time at the Green Thumb Program in Marshall putting “seniors” to work in the Lyon/Lincoln Counties in MN.  She received many MN State Commendations for high placement for her seniors.  She also was involved with Singles Club and Stephen Ministry at her church.  At age 82, Margaret moved to Elk River, MN.  She became an active member of her beloved Central Lutheran Church where she participated in Bible Studies, McC’s Meal site, Befrienders, Stephen Ministry and restarted the Veterans Program.  She was thankful for the friendships she made there.

Health issues brought her to Park River Estates Care Center in Coon Rapids at 95.  She participated in many activities and kept abreast of the news by reading the paper front to back daily.  She began her life’s mission as a “prayer warrior.”  She thought God must be keeping her here on this earth for some reason and certainly her family, friends, caregivers and the world needed prayer.  The caregivers at Park River Estates were her angels on earth.

Throughout her life of 100+ years, she blessed and brought joy to her family and others.  Margaret has 8 grandchildren: John Drietz, Jeff (Donna) Drietz, Jayne (Harvey) Sik, Joseph Bednar (Deceased), Todd (Debbie) Jants, Ericka Babione, Dan Klonowski, and Tony Quigley.  She has 15 great-grandchildren: Devin (Ashley) Drietz, Damian (Kelsey) Drietz, Becky (Matt Steinbrom) Drietz, Jeffrey Jr Drietz, Cory (Rachel) Drietz, Melinda (Steffan) Stiklestad, Craig Sik, Melanie (Garrett) Fronk, Sarah (Mark) Schmiesing, Eric (Thalia) Sik, Adam Bednar, Jerica Floyd, Tonya Hagen, Natasha Klonowski and Autumn Hadley; and she has numerous beloved great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Arthur & Edna; siblings - Alice (Eddie) Grengs, Arthur (Buster) Jr (Bernice) Yackley, Lester (Wilma) Yackley, Frank (Bernice) Yackley, Marjory (Bill) Merritt and Edna (Ray) Telford; brothers-in-law Calvin (Margaret) Zanke and Harlow (Mildred) Zanke, sister-in-law Luella (Bill) Stamp; son-in-law Jack Drietz; grandson Joseph Bednar; great-grandson Darrel Jants and many friends.

We will miss her love, hugs, laughter, stories, strength, wisdom, laughter and spunk!  She’s forever in our hearts and we know she knows the glory and joy of the grace of her Savior.

Memorials preferred to: Central Lutheran Church Youth Ministry; Park River Estates Care Residents Council, Coon Rapids, MN; or CAER Food Shelf, Elk River, MN.

Private funeral service for “immediate” family will be at 1:00PM on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at Central Lutheran Church.

The service will be streamed and can be accessed via the button below this obituary shortly before and during the service.  After the funeral is complete, a recording of the service will be available on the Central Lutheran's YouTube channel at: 


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Funeral Service
November 15, 2020

1:00 PM
Central Lutheran Church
1103 School Street Northwest
Elk River, MN 55330

Video is available for this event

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