Hillstrom, John Thomas 36

Hillstrom, John Thomas
earthly journey ended on November 30, 2014, at the age of 36. He was born April 26, 1978, in St. Cloud, MN to Charles and Karen (Jarl) Hillstrom. John Graduated from Dassel-Cokato High School in 1996. He furthered his education with an Associates Degree in Social Work and a Bachelors Degree in Economics with an Investment emphasis from the University of North Carolina at Willmington.
John liked to fish, hunt, and spend time in the outdoors. He played hockey and enjoyed good conversation with friends and family. In addition, John had a healthy sense of adventure, which led him and friends to hop a train, taking them out west. Later his travels led him to North Carolina, where he found his love of the ocean and the coastal region.
He is survived by his father Charles (Denise) Hillstrom, sister Anne (Nathan) Bassett, brother Karl Hillstrom, nieces and nephews, Nick, Josh, Erin, Lydia, Eian Bassett, and Hope Nevala, grandparents, Tom and Joyce (Kotila) Jarl. Along with several other family and friends.
John was preceded in death by his mother, Karen, grandparents, Uno and Ruth Hillstrom.
There will be a celebration of John’s life on Friday, December 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church. Visitation will take place from 4-7 pm, along with 4:00 prayer on Thursday, December 4, 2014 at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato and continue 1 hour prior to the service at the church.


Harju, Neal Raphael 82

Neal Harju passed away at Cokato Manor on November 28, 2014
Funeral Service: 2PM Wednesday December 3, 2014 at First Apostolic Lutheran Church of Dassel
Visitation: 4-8 PM Tuesday at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato and 1hr prior to service at church on Wednesday
Prayer Service: 7 PM Tuesday at the funeral home
Interment: Cokato Finnish Cemetery

Neal Raphael Harju, was born on December 23, 1931 in Wing, North Dakota, to John Rudolph and Lydia (Matson) Harju. He grew up on the farm in Wing and attended country school. Neal graduated from Bismarck High School in 1950. After high school Neal spent two years in the United States Army and served in Massachusetts, the Carolinas and Germany. While still in the service, Neal met June Lehtinen of Fitchburg, Massachusetts and they were married on March 20, 1954 by Reverend Reino Kallio, in Fitchburg.

After military service Neal and June moved to Cokato, where Neal found work at the Harkman Tire Service. In 1966, Neal and his brother Bill Harju purchased the tire shop from Carl Harkman. Neal retired in 1994.

Neal was a member of the First Apostolic Lutheran Church of Cokato. He cherished time spent with all of his family and dear christian friends.

Neal passed away at the Cokato Manor on November 28, 2014. He had reached the age of 82 years, 11 months and 5 days.

Survivors include: Wife June of Cokato, Daughters: Joanne (Gary) Chamberlain of Cokato, Linda (Dennis) Samuelson of Cokato and Maria Harju of Howard Lake. Grand children: Tara (Timm) Hagen, Sheila Chamberlain, Erin (Kevin) Parenteau, Jessi (Mike) Hauan, Kelsey Chamberlain, Derrek (Amanda) Harju, Jaden Samuelson. Great grand children: Akadia Hagen, Austin Hagen, Alana Hagen, Noah Parenteau, Jolynn Hauan and Brooke Hauan. Sisters: Eunice (Frank) Korpi of Mountain Iron, MN. And Judy (Arlin) Hogenson of Fairbanks Alaska. Nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Neal was preceded in death by: his parents John Rudolph and Lydia, grandson Brandon Chamberlain, great-granddaughter Aubrey Parenteau, Sisters Lillian Harju, Ellen Bailey, and Martha Bailey. And brothers: Bill, Vernon, Hubert, and Otto.


Mattson, Isabelle Mary Ann 92

Funeral Service: 11:30 AM, Monday 12/1/2014, at Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato
Visitation: 4-8 PM Sunday at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato and 1hr prior to Funeral Service at Church on Monday
Prayer Service: 7:00 PM Sunday at the funeral home.
Interment: Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery of Cokato


Mattila, Gary Curtis 60

Gary Curtis Mattila, age 60 of Cokato, MN passed away after a 2 year battle with cancer on Nov 13, 2014. He was born on Oct 13, 1954 in Cokato, MN to Jerald and Mildred Mattila and grew up in Dassel. He married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Raisanen on Jan 12, 1974 and were blessed with 9 children and 40 years of marriage.

Gary attended the Sales and Marketing Program at Hutchinson Vo-Tech, and was a salesman in the agriculture field for his entire working career. Gary retired in April of 2014 due to his cancer.

Gary had many hobbies, such as hunting, bird watching, fly fishing, tying flies, rod building and traveling to many destinations to explore new fishing spots with Fort Smith, Montana becoming a favorite place to travel with friends to fish and relax. He enjoyed duck, pheasant and deer hunting with his sons and grandsons. Since retirement, you would see Gary and his favorite companion, Bear by his side everywhere he went. Gary also loved spending time with any of his 30 grandchildren, visiting on the porch, going places or just hanging out.

He is survived by his wife Nancy of Cokato, Children, Jeremy (Stacy), Kimberly (Steve) Parks, of Dassel, Karla (Dale) Hoikka, of Cokato, Shanna (Greg) Koivisto of Dassel, Michael (Stephanie) of Cokato, Jason of Brainerd, Jill (Austin) Clarke of Birchwood, WI, Derek of Howard Lake, and Holly of Minnetonka. 30 Grandchildren, Grace Mattila, Joslyn, Russell, Leila, Vince, Tori, Emmett, Natalee, Eddy Parks, Clarke, Juliana, Lewis, Robert, Dakota, Zane and Benjamin Hoikka, Blayne, Abigail, Nicholas, Hans, Jack, Andrew, Ellen, Greta, Clayton Koivisto, Lauren, Erica, Kendra, Mallory Mattila, Chloe Clarke. His parents,Jerald and Mildred of Dassel, Sisters and brothers, Phillip (Caroline) of Williston, ND, Susan (Mike) Jurmu of Loretto, Carol (Doug) Wuollet of Cokato, Daniel of Dassel, Barbara (David) Wuollet of Plymouth, Maria Bratt of Becker, John (Rita) of Cokato, Mary (Joe) Lehtola of Buffalo, Nancy (Trevor) Simonson of Saskatchewan, Canada, Linda (John) Parks, Sara (Chuck) Wuollet, Samuel (Annika), Eric (Juliana) of Cokato, Mother n law, Dorothy Raisanen of Cokato,Brother and Sister in laws, David (Karen), Mike (Tracey) Raisanen, of Dassel, Keith (Heidi) Raisanen, Mary (Jay) Peipenburg of Cokato, Mark (Jodi) Raisanen of Buffalo, Katie (Luke) Bonawitz of Richfield, nieces, nephews, godchildren and many relatives and friends.

Gary was preceded in death by Brothers, Steven and Robert, and father in law, Niilo Raisanen.

Visitation, Sunday, Nov. 16, 4-8 PM with 7 PM prayer, and 1 hour prior to services on Monday.

Funeral, Monday, Nov. 17, 2 PM, all at Cokato Laestadian Lutheran Church.


Knutson, Lynn Ann 63

Lynn Ann Knutson passed away at her home in Howard Lake on November 12, 2014
Funeral Service will be at 2:00 PM. pm Saturday, November 15 at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake

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