Mark Allen Kotila, 62, was born in Cokato, Minnesota on February 26, 1952, to Nels and Ardyce (Morris) Kotila. He grew up on the farm North of Cokato and lived there his entire life. On November 17, 1973, Mark married his high school sweetheart, Joan Raisanen. They were blessed with thirteen beautiful children.
Mark attended the Auto Mechanics Course at Hutchinson Vo-Tech the very first year it opened. He worked at Cokato Motors Sales in his early years, until he and Joan took over running the family dairy farm full time. In 1998, he sold his cattle and rented out his cropland and concentrated on his excavating business with his son, Nels, where he worked until his death.
Mark was very talented and had many hobbies including mechanics, especially rebuilding and souping up the ’50′s vehicles, his favorite being his ’57 Chev. Some of the highlights of his life were taking sauna, ice fishing on Lake of the Woods, motorcycling out in the mountains, camping along the North Shore, enjoying winter siestas in Mexico on the white sand of the Caribbean Sea with Joan. He loved wheeling and dealing, and spending endless hours in his shop fixing equipment and visiting with friends and neighbors who stopped in to see what his latest project was. He was an innovative inventor, and gardening and cooking were also enjoyable to him.
Mark had a gentle and friendly nature and had a gift of bringing laughs and entertainment to many of us with his ability to mimic people and tell humorous stories of his latest adventures. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and had a special spot in his heart for his grandchildren.
Mark passed away on his beloved farm, on August 23, 2014, doing what he loved to do, working on his latest mechanical project.
He is survived by his wife Joan. Children: Annika (Sam) Mattila of Cokato, Nels (Mary) of Cokato, Mitchell (Anna-Reeta) of Cokato, Bridget (Jeff) Ylitalo of Cokato, Jack (Leah) of Gillette, WY, Natasha (Greg) Jurvakainen of Cokato, Colin of Gillette, WY, Julie (Pat) Lake of Wolf Lake, MN. Ashley (Nathan) Lake of Cokato, Tatiana Kotila of Scottsdale, AZ, Jordan of Cokato, Taylor Kotila of Cokato and Shauna Kotila of Cokato. 41 grand children and 4 step-grandchildren. Sisters; Karen (Larry) Goga, Kathy (Del) Young, Susie Hutchins, Ruth (Darrel) Miller. Father-in-law Paul Raisanen, sister & brother-in-laws, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents Nels and Ardyce, mother-in-law Millie Raisanen and brother-in-law Chuck Hutchins.
A Funeral Service will take place at 11 AM, Thursday, August 28, 2014 at Cokato Laestadian Lutheran Church (16144 20th Street SW, Cokato), with visitation from 4-8 PM Wednesday, and 1 hour prior to services on Thursday, all at the Church. A prayer service will be held at 7PM on Wednesday, and interment will take place at the Cokato Finnish Cemetery.