The Free Press, Mankato, MN

August 14, 2013

Roy Elver Lukken


—   Roy Elver Lukken, age 95, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at his home in Big River, California with those he loved by his side.

 A Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at Farmamerica, Minnesota's Agricultural Interpretive Center, in rural Waseca. Interment will be at Kerns Cemetery near Mankato. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Farmamerica - Minnesota's Agricultural Interpretive Center or the building fund for the Big River Baptist Church.

 Roy was born on August 24, 1917, one of five children of Clarence H. and Mable Lukken of Nebraska, where he learned farming at his father's knee.  He attended high school in Mankato, and played on the local baseball team until Uncle Sam tapped him on the shoulder requesting his service in World War II, where he was trained as a mechanic for big equipment.

 Upon discharge from the Army, Roy married his true love, Marcie Reiff, and they spent 59 years together. Because farming was the only thing Roy ever wanted to do, he returned to Minnesota and began buying farmland no one else wanted and worked until they were profitable and beautiful.  Roy was a forward thinker and explored using machinery on his farms, developing many innovative ideas to increase production on his land.  Roy was instrumental in developing The Minnesota Agricultural Interpretive Center, also known as Farmamerica.  He donated land in the late 1970s and, in 1978, Farmamerica came into being for the purpose of preserving Minnesota's rural agricultural heritage.  Included is an impressive Visitors Center, a pond and prairie restoration, many external historical buildings, plus a large collection of antique tractors and farm equipment.  For many, visiting Farmamerica is a life-long experience they will never forget and it gives a very small part of this great country's history and westward expansion.

 While Roy and Marcie leave no children behind, however, they both leave such a giant legacy and huge shoes to fill by all who were blessed to have known and worked with them.  He is survived by his sisters, Donna Bye of Richfield and Doris (John) Ramy of North Mankato; his dear friends, Peg and Pat Pauley and their extended family of Big River, CA; also many nieces, nephews, other family and friends.

 Roy was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marcie; his parents and brothers.

 Good-bye dear brother and friend, you've spread your love and done your job well, you will be missed but never forgotten, the last sunset was your final bell.  Rest in peace Roy, happy reunion with your Lord and friends.