Lillian Marian Torkelson is the daughter of Emil and Hulda Torkelson. She was born October 24, 1910, at Anamoose, North Dakota, but came to Canada less than six months later. She received most of her elementary education at a country school near present- day Ratcliffe, Saskatchewan, and her high school at Radville, Saskatchewan. In 1929, she graduated from the Regina Normal School.
Following several correspondence courses and summer courses at Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg, Lillian attended one full year at United College, Winnipeg. In 1943, she received her B.A. degree in English and history from the University of Manitoba. Since that time, she has taken additional university courses at Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Vancouver, and Abilene.
Lillian Torkelson was in the teaching field 52 years altogether. Before teaching at Radville Christian College, she had taught at three country schools (Glen Curren 1929-30, Model, and Lein) and four small high schools (Bird's Hill 1934-37, Robsart 1937-39, Lyndale 1939-42, and Wawota 1943-46). She began teaching at Radville Christian College when the high school department opened in 1946, and moved with the college to North Weyburn in 1957. She retired from full-time teaching at Western Christian College in 1974, but continued as a part-time teacher for eight additional years. The majority of Lillian's volunteer activities have been connected with education of some kind. In 1931, she helped organize the first summer vacation Bible school at Minton, Saskatchewan, of churches of Christ in Canada, and she continued with V.B.S. work for another seven summers at Radville. She has taught ladies' and girls' Bible classes at Weyburn. Since 1979, she has been a Bible correspondence course instructor for students mainly from Nigeria, Ghana, and Jamaica.
Lillian has been a member of the alumni organization of Western Christian College since its inception in 1953 and served as its executive secretary (1963-80), and has been a member of the Women's Service Club for 30 years.
Within the Weyburn community, she has served in various capacities in the Weyburn Teachers' Organization. In 1967, she was chairman for the reunion committee during centennial celebrations and edited for publication that year, "Trail Blazers of the Chalkboard." For seven years, she served on the health and welfare committee for superannuated teachers.
As a member of the University Women's Club of Weyburn, she has served as secretary and president. She was provincial education representative for the University Women's Club for a three-year term.
In one other educational medium, Lillian has been fortunate enough to serve. She was subscription and mailing manager of the women's magazine "Sister Triangle" (1981-88).
For visiting the mentally ill at the Saskatchewan Hospital, Lillian received a Certificate of Appreciation in 1966, and she has received certificates of appreciation from the Weyburn Home Care Organization for visiting and for delivering Meals-on-Wheels. Several other honours received during her lifetime have been appreciated. She received the governor-general's medal when she graduated from high school; the college yearbook has been dedicated to her twice; she was alumna of the year 1974; she was nominated as Canadian Citizen of the Year (1989) by the University Women's Club; and has received plaques for long service from the college, but the honour she has appreciated most of all was her all-expense paid trip to Europe and the Holy Land (1970) given by her friends and college alumni. According to Lillian Torkelson, God has entrusted each person with a special mission on this earth. She considers herself privileged to have Christian education as her mission.