January 23, 1926 - March 27, 2021


Lola Bertha Retka, 95, of Little Falls, died Saturday, March 27, 2021 at Little Falls Care Center. A visitation will be at Emblom Brenny Funeral Service on Monday, April 5 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. A funeral service will be held April 5, 2021 at 1:00 PM at Emblom Brenny Funeral Service with Father Mark Botzet officiating. Interment will be in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 6.

Lola Bertha Mealman was born on January 23, 1926 in Murray County to the late Roy and Gertrude (Noble) Mealman. She attended rural country school until the eighth grade. She worked in Minneapolis for a short time as a nanny and then moved to St. Paul. During her time in St. Paul, she assembled P38 Lightning Airplanes during the war. She attended beauty school and received her beautician's license. Lola moved to Little Falls in 1946. She was united in marriage to Henry Retka on May 29, 1948 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Little Falls. After living in town for a few years, the couple made their home on Great River Road. She worked as a beautician at "Cora's Beauty Shop" for a couple of years. She then went to work for Crestliner Boats, where she worked for 15 years inspecting boats. Lola also worked at West Discount Sales for several years. She accomplished many things in life that she would never would have imagined she would be able to do. Lola had a love of travel and traveled the world from, Africa, to climbing the Great Wall of China, Russia, Greece, Europe and the United States. Her trips to Las Vegas, Laughlin and the local casinos were special to her. She was a rules follower and a wonderful mathematician. She loved a good piece of pizza, a game of Yahtzee, sewing, quilting and especially baking. The children could always count on Mom having a project for them to help with whenever they would visit. Lola was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, the Christian Mothers and funeral lunch helper.

She is survived by children, Sharon (Mike) Smieja of Rice, MN, Gordon Retka of Little Falls, Gerald (Lisa) Retka of Little Falls, Sandra (Dennis) Dickson of Coon Rapids, Gene (Lindalee) Retka of Little Falls; sisters, Erma Ogren of Springfield, MO and Jean Williams of Lakeville; grandchildren, Michelle, Heather, Michael, Garrett, Tanya, Kristin, Marae, Aubrey, Eric, Jarrek and Bianca; 15 great grandchildren and one on the way.

She was preceded in death by parents; husband; daughter-in-law, Linda; siblings, Albert Mealman, Earl Mealman, Charles Mealman, Nettie Mealman, Edna Trabaunt and Betty Fuller.