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.