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Lois Caroline Hankins

Lois Caroline Hankins went to join Jesus on Feb. 13, 2014 in Chandler, Ariz. after a one and a half year battle with ovarian cancer.

Lois Caroline Hankins of Albert Lea, Minn., was born in Clark, S.D. to Nels and Lillian Wika on Dec. 7, 1935. She was raised on the family farm. She attended elementary school in a one-room school house. She was baptized and confirmed at Clark Center Lutheran Church. She attended high school at Augustana Academy, a Christian high school in Canton, S.D., graduating in 1953. She was employed from 1953-1955 at Codington-Clark Electric Cooperative in Watertown, S.D., as a secretary. She graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn. in 1958. During college she worked as the secretary for the Concordia Concert Choir and Band to pay for her college education.

While in college, she met Stanley Hankins from Solon Springs, Wis. and they married on Nov. 24, 1957, in Clark, S.D. They taught two years at Clark High School before moving to Albert Lea, Minn. in 1960. They lived on an acreage west of Albert Lea since 1964. During the years she was caring for their four children, Lois did substitute, part-time, and adult education teaching in the Albert Lea school district, ALTEC, Gateway Cooperative Center, and Freeborn High School. From 1977 until 1980 she was employed full time at the Waseca Cooperative Center at Waseca, Minn. She completed a two-year medical secretary internship program at Naeve Hospital in Albert Lea. From 1980 to 1997 she was employed full time at what is now Riverland Community College in Albert Lea as an instructor in the medical secretarial program and other business-related classes. Her students were a special joy to her. She loved teaching and returned to substitute teach at Riverland many times after her retirement.

Lois' faith in Jesus Christ was primary. Lois and Stan served on the music team and as mission coordinators at their church, Our Father's House, Albert Lea. They were involved in mission outreaches to Children's Vision International, a children's home in Bogota, Colombia; YWAM Hospital Mercy Ships in Latvia; Mexico outreaches; Costa Rica; Okontoe Fellowship in Grand Marais, Minn.; Los Angeles Inner City mission; a MAPS church building project in Kauai, HI; and Albert Lea Youth for Christ, plus cooking for the Youth for Christ Colorado Caravan. Lois and Stan were part of a Monday night bible study for more than 35 years and also another social group of long-term friends. Lois was thankful for her Christian heritage and wanted to leave that legacy to her family.

Lois enjoyed keeping in contact with her family and friends through email. Her hobbies were photo scrapbooking and growing beautiful flowers in her gardens. She and Stan enjoyed bicycling, hiking, and traveling, especially to see family and also working together on their acreage.

She is survived by four children, a son Philip (Elizabeth) Hankins of Sacramento, Calif.; daughters, Lynne (Kevin) Hartke of Chandler, Ariz., Renae (Daniel) Roehrs, of Pagosa Springs, Colo., Lisa (Dan) Malmstrom of Battle Lake, Minn.; and 13 grandchildren and five great grandchildren, Matthew, Garrett, and Elise Hankins of Sacramento, Calif., Nathan (Rachel) Hartke and great grandchildren Micah and Madelyn of Tucson, Ariz., Aleah (Todd) Butler, Katelyn and Zachary Hartke of Chandler, Ariz., Tim Roehrs of Waco, Texas, Tiffany (Darrin) DeBoer and great grandchildren Jasmine, Levi and Titus of Durango, Colo., Brianna (Rory) Burnett of Pagosa Springs, Colo., Reed Malmstrom of Big Sky, Mont., Grant Malmstrom of San Diego, Calif., and Evan Malmstrom of Battle Lake, Minn.

Lois was one of 12 children. She is also survived by one sister and one brother, Joyce Thies, Sacramento, Calif., and Glenn (Cindy) Wika, Sioux Falls, S.D.; and sisters-in-law Marbeth Wika, Clark, S.D., Mary Wika of Watertown, S.D. She is also survived by many other family members. There are about 400 in the immediate family since it began in 1912.

She was preceded in death by her husband Stan in 2013, her father in 1979; her mother in 1983; five brothers, Norm Wika, Emmett Wika, LeRoy Wika, Alvin Wika, Maurice Wika; and four sisters, Mildred Cochrane, Orva Huffman Schwartz, Nora Davis and Sylvia Mears-Davis. She was also preceded in death by six brothers-in-law, Jack Davis, George Huffman, Clifford Schwartz, Ralph Cochrane, Bill Thies and Frank Davis, and sisters-in-law Ruth Wika, Darlene Wika, Norma Wika and Deloris (Wink) Wika.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the 4 p.m. memorial services for Lois Hankins on Saturday, March 29 at Our Father's House, Albert Lea, Minn.. Rev. Kevin Hartke will officiate. Online condolences are welcome at

Memorials can be given to Children's Vision International, Bogota, Colombia or to Albert Lea Youth for Christ.