Venita Sikkink turned 100 years old on April 29. She has lived in Fillmore County her entire life. She is shown above with five of her children. From left, are Arlys Sikkink, John Sikkink, Venita Sikkink, Dorothy Dykstra, Arlyn Sikkink and Suzanne Sikkink.
Venita Sikkink turned 100 years old on April 29. She has lived in Fillmore County her entire life. She is shown above with five of her children. From left, are Arlys Sikkink, John Sikkink, Venita Sikkink, Dorothy Dykstra, Arlyn Sikkink and Suzanne Sikkink.
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"The Lord has a plan," shared recent centenarian Venita Sikkink who turned 100 years old on April 29. It seems part of that plan was a long life for Venita, who has lived all of it within Fillmore County.

Within those 100 years, many things didn't change, but that has suited Venita just fine.

"I appreciate what the Lord has done for me and have since I was a little plan," she explained.

Venita's faith has been a very important part of her life. She was baptized at the Greenleafton Reformed Church and has been a member her entire life. She found it important to participate in church activities and was a choir member, Sunday school teacher, and part of the women's ministry for many years.

She also was very active in developing her faith outside of church as well. Venita, her husband, Walter, and their six children always held prayers before meals and read scriptures together.

"The Christian life is important to all of us," shared Venita.

Being faithful was something instilled in her at a young age. She would often attend bible school. As she got older, she led a bible study at the Spring Valley Care Center, which is where she now resides.

Venita had plenty of experience teaching because she taught at country schools for five years after graduating from Preston High School in 1930. She taught students in kindergarten through eighth grade at York, Bristol Center and Hazel Prairie.

The reason she stopped teaching was because she married Walter Sikkink on June 12, 1936. They met through one of Venita's friends, who was Walter's cousin. Walter was returning to his home in Hinkley, Minn., from picking corn in Iowa and stopped in to visit relatives. His uncle encouraged him to stay and he soon met Venita. They were married for 52 years.

After getting married, the couple moved to a rented farm a few miles west of Greenleafton. This was during the Great Depression and times were hard due to inadequate feed for their livestock, little rain and low prices. However, their family never went hungry because they were able to grow a garden.

The Sikkinks eventually bought the farm in 1945 and soon had a variety of animals on their property. Cows, chickens, pigs, horses and sheep were all taken care of there in the valley they lived in. This was around the same time that tractors were becoming more widely used.

The Sikkink family used the horses to pull their sled in the winter in order to attend church and go to town. Owning horses remained a mainstay on the property and were often used to give grandchildren rides whenever they visited.

Living on a farm has always been part of Venita's life. She was raised on a farm and lived on the farm near Greenleafton until she was 96.

"I still consider it home," she shared explaining that the fellowship and friendship of neighbors, among other things, is what makes it worth it.

Taking care of the land was important to her and Walt. Venita recalled an award her husband won in 1954, a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Accomplishment in Soil Conservation.

Venita gardened and would can and freeze the produce which would grow on their farm. She also kept the financial records for the farm.

Venita reached out to nearby communities and helped them throughout her life. She helped start the Cherry Grove Community Center and Fourth of July Parade.

One of her hobbies was to make quilts for family, care centers, and missions.

Today, Venita's legacy includes 15 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She was able to spend the weekend before her birthday with many of them and celebrated a life that has been full of farm, family and faith