Evelyn Christina Dieckgrafe Effken, 88, passed away on April 7, 2021 at Southlake Village in Lincoln, Nebraska. On December 12, 1932 she was born to Carl and Nanka (Damme) Dieckgrafe at home on the family farm southeast of Cook, Nebraska. Evelyn was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church. She attended a one-room school at District #46 Mount Pleasant through the 8th grade.
Evelyn graduated from Cook High School in 1951, attended Midland Lutheran College in Fremont before graduating from the University of Nebraska School of Nursing in 1955. After graduation, she began her career as a Registered Nurse at the Community Memorial Hospital in Syracuse, caring for patients for 19 years. At that time, she transitioned to caring for the elderly at the Good Samaritan Center in Syracuse for almost 26 years.
She married John Effken on September 11, 1955 at Grace Lutheran Church in Cook, Nebraska and they were blessed to celebrate 62 years of marriage. Along with her brother-in-law Bill Effken, John and Evelyn owned the Cook Grain and Lumber Company, where she also worked until the business was sold in 1991. John and Evelyn enjoyed traveling, visiting all 50 states and 19 foreign countries.
Evelyn’s faith was important all through her life. She was a charter member of Grace Lutheran Church where she was a member of the choir for over 50 years, taught Sunday School, and served as a League sponsor with John.
Evelyn had a passion for quilting, gardening, and her family. She pieced quilts for herself, her family, and for her church, and was an active member of the Heritage Needlework Guild based in Southeast Nebraska. Evelyn spent hours working in her garden and planting trees. She was a member of the Village of Cook Tree Board for 16 years and the recipient of the 2005 Outstanding Tree Care award presented by the Nebraska Forestry Service and Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. Much of Cook’s spectacular fall foliage can be attributed to Evelyn. Playing pitch with her family during the winter months and on holidays was a special treat for Evelyn.
Evelyn is survived by her daughter, Sarah (Carl) Purcell of Cook; son David (Kellie) Effken of Lincoln; grandchildren: Laura Purcell M.D., Michael Purcell, Danielle (Tyler) Burbach, Erica (Logan) McClure, Cassandra Effken; great-granddaughters Evelyn “Evie” and Hazel Burbach; sister-in-law, Jean Effken; special friend Jan Augustyn; cousins, nieces, and nephews; and numerous friends.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brother Eldon (Jean) Dieckgrafe, brother Charles (Margorie) Dieckgrafe, sister Helen (Don) Stinson, and brothers-in-law William Effken and Theodore Effken.
Funeral services will be Tuesday, April 20, 2:00 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, Cook, Nebraska with Reverend Jim Helgren officiating. Masks are required.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the UNMC College of Nursing and the Cook Rescue Squad.
Arrangements By: Fusselman Allen Harvey Funeral Home, Syracuse, NE
Condolences to www.fusselmanallenharvey.com
Published on April 13, 2021