Mary Lukes

Thursday, September 21, 2023 12:24 pm

Mary Lukes, age 68, of Decorah, died Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, at Gunderson Health Systems in LaCrosse, Wis., after complications from heart surgery.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, at St. Benedict Catholic Church 307 West Main Street, Decorah, IA with Rev. Donald Hertges presiding. Visitation will be Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Helms Funeral Home, 306 East Water St., Decorah, and also after 9:30 a.m., at the church Wednesday morning.

Mary (Kuhn) Lukes was born on May 27, 1955, in Decorah, Iowa to Francis and Adella (Shindelar) Kuhn.

Mary grew up in Spillville and attended St. Wenceslaus Catholic School until sixth grade.  She graduated from South Winneshiek High School in Calmar in the class of 1973. Throughout high school, she worked at the Bily Clocks Museum and spent time at her dad’s DX service station. She had many fond memories and good stories of growing up in Spillville. Upon high school graduation, she attended St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Cedar Rapids and graduated with her LPN in August 1974. She married her sweetheart, Gary, in October and shortly after their honeymoon, she began what would be her 42-year career in nursing and healthcare roles at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah.

Throughout her career, she worked in the OB Department from 1974 to 1991. She took great pride in providing exceptional, loving care for babies and mothers in this role and it fit her giving, caring and nurturing personality.  Later she transferred to a position in the Emergency Room as the Ward Secretary and her final role was as Ward Secretary in the Surgery Department, in which she retired from on March 1, 2017.  Working with her coworkers brought her so much joy and she valued all the relationships she formed while working at the hospital over the years.  Her calm, get-it-done, manner helped to keep things running smoothly both at work and at home.

Throughout her life, she took pride in raising her two daughters and loved spending time with family. She enjoyed tending to her flowers, golfing, reading, and traveling with Gary to her favorite place, Door County, as well as numerous National Parks and outdoor areas. Mary was an avid Green Bay Packers fan and liked attending games with her husband. She recently enjoyed a bucket list trip to Las Vegas with her sisters and looked forward to monthly lunch get-togethers with good friends and family.  Mary was proud of all her grandchildren. She enjoyed spending time with them doing outdoor activities and playing board games and cards with them, especially Spoons.

Her pride and joy was cheering on her grandchildren at their numerous school activities and sporting events, always making sure they had a favorite snack to congratulate them with. She always went above and beyond making everyone’s favorites treats or meals and also enjoyed hunting for a good bargain. Mary had a sweet smile and caring heart for others.  She took care of everyone she could, loved her family and friends and was selfless in doing so.  She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

She is survived by her husband Gary Lukes, of Decorah; daughters Leah (Doug) Olson of Hiawatha, and Kara (Mike) Miner of Osage,; seven grandchildren Gavin Smith, Danica Olson, Emma Olson, Ella Smith, Maxwel Miner, Teagan Miner, and Marrah Miner; siblings Dave (Lora) Kuhn of Anamosa; Sue Rusk of Afton; Judy Borsheim of Decorah; brother-in-law Wayne (Deb) Lukes of Cedar Rapids; sister-in-law Joyce Schutte, Decorah, and sister-in-law Joan Heinrich, Cresco; as well and many treasured nieces, nephews and extended family.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Adella, her father-in-law Wilmer, her mother-in-law Marcella and two brothers-in-law, Robert Borsheim and Rick Rusk.


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