April 19, 2023 at 5:31 p.m.

Dennis N. Rykken

Dennis N. Rykken
Dennis N. Rykken


Dennis N. Rykken, 81, of Sauk Centre, passed away from complications of a stroke April 13, 2023, at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 25, at First Lutheran Church in Sauk Centre with the Rev. Rebecca Thomas officiating. Inurnment will be held at a later date.

Visitation will be 9:30-11 a.m., Tuesday, prior to the service at First Lutheran Church.

Dennis Neal Rykken was born May 21, 1941, in Willmar, Minnesota, to Hartley and Stella (Peterson) Rykken. Dennis was united in marriage to Barbara Lausen Sept. 1, 1962, in Sacred Heart, Minnesota. He graduated from Augsburg University with a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology and minors in psychology and economics. He went on to earn his Master of Social Work from the University of Hawaii in 1968. Dennis started his social work career in Mankato before moving to Sauk Centre in 1974 to work at the Minnesota Correctional Facility as a program director. Dennis retired from MCF-Sauk Centre as the assistant superintendent when the facility closed. Upon retiring from state service, he continued to work for SEH for three years as a business development municipal utilities consultant. Dennis served as a board member for the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Commission for seven years, Sauk Centre Public Utilities Commission for 27 years – 16 of those years as the commission’s chair – and the Sauk Centre City Council for many years, serving as mayor of Sauk Centre on three separate occasions.

Dennis loved traveling, camping and going on cruises with his wife, Barb. Anyone who knew “Dennie,” knew he loved visiting and going out for a meal with family. Telling stories and jokes came easy to him.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Barbara Rykken, of Sauk Centre; children Maile (Michael) Lambrecht of Sauk Rapids and Jay (Sarah) Rykken of St. Joseph; grandchildren Jacob, Jadrien, Brennen, Mia and Addison; sisters Donna (Jim) Lessman and Diane Hite.

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, Hartley and Stella Rykken; and grandson Alex Rykken.

Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral and Cremation Services, of Sauk Centre.



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