Salmela, Roger Henry 89

Roger passed away at Cokato Manor on August 31, 2019
Memorial Service: 11 AM Friday, September 6, 2019 at Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato.
Visitation: 1 hour prior to service at Church on Friday
Interment: French Lake Mission Cemetery, Kingston Township, Minnesota
Roger Henry Salmela was born on December 29, 1929 to Henry and Helen (Anderson) Salmela in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in Robbinsdale, and in 1944 the family moved to Cokato where his parents purchased the Cokato Bakery. Roger graduated from Cokato High School in 1947.

After high school, Roger joined the United States Navy. He served at the Great States Navy Station in Illinois. After service he attended the University of Minnesota, earning BA and MA degrees. After college he taught, first at Benson High School in Omaha, Nebraska, and then Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska. In the late 70s, Roger joined the Peace Corps during which he spent time in Thailand.

Roger enjoyed many sports; in his younger days he played baseball and softball. He was an avid golfer. He enjoyed cars, talking politics, and was a good piano player. He enjoyed travel, especially going to Florida and wintering in Palm Springs. He took very good care of his mother Helen once his father Henry passed away.

Roger passed away at Cokato Manor on August 31, 2019. He had reached the age of 89 years, 7 months, and 2 days.

Survivors include: son Kirk (Debbie) Salmela of Ft. Collins, Colorado; their children and grandchildren, Chase (Megan) Salmela, Parker, and Murphy, of Mattoon, Illinois; Sophia (Collin) Powell, Briar, Blaine, and Genevieve, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado; Ian (Ashley) Salmela, Savannah, and Hudson, of Firestone, Colorado; and Mitchell Salmela of Ft. Collins, Colorado.

He is further survived by his sister and her family: Marlys Ortquist of Cokato; her children, Rene Ortquist, Robin (Tim) Kelly, Rise (Ron) Beckman, Rori (Doug) Carlson, Ruthie (Ron) Klima, Reid (Cheryl) Ortquist, Rahn (Pamela) Ortquist, Raquel (Chad) Kirchoff, and Blake Ortquist; 26 grandchildren; and 40 great-grandchildren.

Roger is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Helen Salmela, an infant brother, and brother-in-law Dennis Ortquist.


Russell, Ralph Enoch 93

Ralph Russell passed away at the Cokato Manor on August 29, 2019.
Mass of Christian Burial: 11 AM Saturday, September 7, 2019 at St. John’s Catholic Church of Darwin
Visitation: 5-8 Friday at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato and 1 hr prior to Mass at St. John’s on Saturday
Prayer Service: 7:30 Friday at the funeral home
Interment: St. John’s Cemetery
Ralph Enoch Russell was born on July 7, 1926 in Cokato, Minnesota to Enoch and Hilda (Tiller)Russell. He graduated from Beaver Dam Dassel High School.

In 1953 he married Arlene Ann Boerner. They lived in Dassel for two and a half years before moving to the Russell family farm east of Dassel, where they were blessed with 6 children: Jerome (Jerry), John, Joel, Mary, James (Jim), and Jeffrey (Jeff). Along with driving school bus, Ralph farmed, worked as a foreman for the Green Giant Canning Company and as a machinist at Sterner Lighting in
Winsted. He was a long-time member of the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 292. Ralph took pride in the family farm and celebrated it being recognized as a Century Farm in 2007.
He was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church of Darwin and the Dassel council of the Knights of Columbus. The Russell’s were pleased to help to provide the land for the St. John’s Educational Center.
In 2009 Arlene and Ralph left the farm and moved into a townhouse in Dassel. His hobbies included feeding and watching the birds, playing checkers and cards, and playing with their Jack Russell Terrier, Jaxon. He also enjoyed cheering for (and sometimes cursing out) the Vikings, Gophers and his beloved Twins. After Arlene passed away in February of 2017, Ralph moved into Brookridge Assisted Living in Cokato where he lived until failing health necessitated his to move to Cokato Manor in late July of 2019.
Ralph passed away peacefully at Cokato Manor on August 29, 2019. He had reached the age of 93 years, 1 month and 23 days. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 63 years, Arlene, parents, Enoch and Hilda, brothers, Gordon, Warren, Milton, and sister Lucille “Sally”, grand-dog, Jaxon, and his very special infant grandson, Jesse. Survivors include Jerome (Liz) of Duluth, John (Jenny) of Cokato, Joel of Cokato, Mary (Kelly) Sinclair of Monticello, James of Cokato and Jeffrey of Cokato. Grandchildren: Michael Russell of Big Lake, Jonathan (Cheryl) Russell of Marietta, GA, Sarah (Peter) Wlosinski of Duluth, Allan Pedroza and August Nordgren of Sioux City, Nebraska, Jordon Russell of Hutchinson, Andrew Swan, Alex, and Logan Sinclair of Monticello, Brandon (Carman) Russell of Buffalo, Scott Russell of Howard Lake, Daniel Russell of Cokato, Ashley Russell (fiancé, Austin Peterson) of South Haven, Zack (Ines) Russell, Tyler (Angela) Russell, and Tara (Mike) Reponen all of Hutchinson. Great-grandchildren: Elizabeth, Caleb, Emily, Nolan, Brielle, Avery, Raylan, Whitley, Harper, Arianna, Hunter, Jameson, Avelene, Ames, and a future Reponen due mid-November.
He is further survived by cousins: Lorraine Olson and June Hanson and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.


Wald, Gerald Francis 83

Wald, Gerald Francis
age 83, of Cokato passed away on August 24, 2019. Gerald was born September 1, 1935 in Grand Forks, ND to Joseph and Christine (Klein) Wald. At the age of 6, he attended the Minnesota School for the Deaf in Faribault, MN where he lived until he graduated in 1955. It was here that he learned the upholstery trade. He enjoyed working on the farm when he would come home to Crookston. Gerald was united in marriage to Janet Fletcher on September 27, 1958 at St. Lawrence Church in Faribault. This union was blessed with 5 children and in 1970 they moved their family from Bismarck, ND to Cokato, MN. Gerald worked at Lundeen Furniture until starting his own business, Wald Upholstery, in 1984 and semi retired from the business at the age of 65.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing, gardening, history, watching sports on television, and spending time with his family. Gerald and Janet also took bus tours around the United States and were active in the deaf community.
Survived by his wife, Janet, children, Cathy (Randy) Latour, Sharon Wald, Jean Wald, Mary (Mark) Erickson, and Joe (Mary) Wald, 17 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, brother, Leo (Diane) Wald, and sister, JoAnne (Larry) Ranum.
Preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Christine Wald.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, August 30, 2019 with visitation from 10-10:45 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly. Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato and Howard Lake, MN 320-286-2534,


Carlson, Carl Elroy 93

Carl Elroy Carlson passed away at Cokato Manor on August 19, 2019.
Memorial Service: 1 PM Friday August 30, 2019 at Albion Evangelical Free Church 11480 5th Street NW. Cokato Minnesota
Visitation and meal: 11AM – 1 PM Friday at Church
Interment: Mt Hermon Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Carl Elroy Carlson was born on the family farm in Cokato Township on August 22, 1925 to Frank and Alvina (Peterson) Carlson. He grew up on the farm and graduated from Annandale High School in 1943. After high school, he worked on the Ruge farm in Maple Lake, MN. He entered the United States Navy on August 19, 1943. He served as a radioman during World War II on ships stationed in the Philippines.

On February 24, 1951, Carl married Norma Larson at Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church. Their 68 years together were blessed with the birth of five children. Carl farmed but also had a variety of jobs including driving milk truck, feed salesman, factory worker at Minnesota Rubber, and in retirement worked at Cub Foods. He was a devout Christian, man of integrity, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Carl passed away at Cokato Manor on August 19, 2019. He had reached the age of 93 years, 11 months, and 27 days.

Survivors include his wife Norma; their children Barbara (Richard) Barsness, Joan (Stephen) Schesvold, Steven (Jane) Carlson, Kathleen (Scott) Banta, and Janet (Jon) Saksa; grandchildren Betsey Alessi, Amy (Jeff) Boyle, Sarah (Evan) Anderson, Mark (Amanda) Barsness, Elizabeth (Rob) Driftmeyer, Jenny Schesvold, Jordan Schesvold, Stephanie (Luther) Kemp, Elizabeth (Kalin) Kauppila, Andrew (Christine) Banta, Jacob (Rachel) Banta, Lucas (Lisa) Banta, Molly (Shaphan) Kirkpatrick, Heidi (Jacob) Nelson, Shelly (Caleb) Spitler, and Brian (Abi) Saksa; and 26 great-grandchildren. He is further survived by his sister Genevieve Larson, brother-in-law Donald Carlson, and sisters-in-law Joan (Beeb) Larson and LuAnn Larson.

Carl is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Alvina Carlson; parents-in-law Emil and Edith Larson; siblings and spouses Andrew (Evelyn), Waldor (Millie), Lawrence (Billie; Florence), Richard, Ellsworth (Edna), and Verona (Bernie) Broman; siblings-in-law Lorraine Carlson, Gordon Larson, Philip Larson, and Daniel Larson; and grandson-in-law Mario Alessi.


Wicker, Vivian Bernice (Stein) 99

Vivian Bernice (Stein) Wicker
Vivian Wicker was hard to convince she’d turned 99. “Am I really 99?” she asked several times on that birthday, and we’d point to two gigantic gold Mylar balloon 9s hovering above her. It would have been easier to persuade her she was 66 and that we’d incorrectly displayed the balloons upside down.

Vivian — a woman of unlimited kindness, optimism and generosity — didn’t quite reach triple-digit-balloon status and died Aug. 11 in Monticello. Those qualities live on in the hearts of the many family and friends she touched.

Vivian Bernice Stein was born April 21, 1920, in Cokato, Minn., and lived there most of her life. She graduated from Cokato High School in 1938 and began working in a dizzying assortment of businesses: a restaurant, pharmacy, bank, railroad, museum, schools (from tidying up a one-room country schoolhouse as an eighth-grader during the Depression to district secretary at Dassel-Cokato High School) and a law office. She balanced all the hard work with a willingness to help anyone who came to her with questions or problems.

She married Ralph Wicker in 1948 and they started a family, raising three children in Cokato. She also was active in the Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church: baking pies for and working at the church stand at the Corn Carnival for 50 years, teaching Bible lessons in Sunday school to 4-year-olds when they least expected it, and making quilts for graduating seniors of the congregation or for those simply in need of a gesture and practical gift that warmed their bodies and souls.

Those quilting hands worked magic in other ways, as Vivian enjoyed crocheting, knitting, sewing, embroidery, made greeting cards and possessed the knack for playing the piano by ear. She also had the talent and patience for calligraphy, which turned many a simple announcement or a selection of poetry into a work of art.

Vivian is survived by her daughter, Ann McDonald of Mashpee, Mass.; son, Brian (Robin) of St. Michael; grandchildren Kristin (Tom) Maynard of Auburndale, Fla., and Matt McDonald of Hyannis, Mass.; and great-grandchildren Elizabeth and Amy Maynard of Auburndale. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph; daughter Kay Wicker; son-in-law Douglas McDonald, and by three brothers and five sisters.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at the Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church. Visitation will be on Monday, August 19, 2019 from 4-8 at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Cokato. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Vivian’s name to St. Benedict’s Senior Community in Monticello, where the staff cared for her with boundless love and compassion. God bless you all.

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