Simonson, Esther Elaine 94

Esther Elaine Simonson of Cokato, Passed away on March 24, 2018 at Cokato Manor.
Funeral Service: 11:00 AM Friday, March 30, 2018 at Cokato Laestadian Lutheran Church
Visitation: 5-8 PM Thursday, March 29, 2018 at Cokato Laestadian Lutheran Church, and 1 hr prior to funeral service on Friday
Prayer Service: 7PM Thursday at Church
Interment: Cokato Finnish Cemetery

Esther Elaine Simonson was born December 2, 1923 in Cokato, the daughter of Charles & Wilhelmina (Tuominen) Aho. She grew up with five siblings on the family farm northwest of Cokato, attending the local country school and Cokato Public High School. As a young girl, Esther always wanted to be a teacher. Following high school, she attended Litchfield & St. Cloud Teacher’s Training for two years. Among other schools, she taught at the one room school house at Temperance Corner north of Cokato.

At age 19 she was engaged to Eddie Koivisto, who was called overseas shortly after, to serve in WW II. He never returned. About ten years later, Esther was married to Alfred Hannus on June 13, 1953. They were blessed with two children and were expecting their third when Alfred died suddenly of a heart attack. Esther was left to raise their three young children as a widow.

On September 7, 1974, Esther married Edwin Helmer Simonson, gaining 12 stepchildren, the youngest 7 years old. Together they raised their children in Cokato, enjoying their lake place and traveling during retirement. Esther loved gardening, flowers, and treating their many grand and great grandchildren to fresh bread, canned peaches, pears, and applesauce.

With loved ones by her side, Esther was called to her heavenly home on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Cokato Manor. She is preceded in death by her fiancé Eddie, husbands Alfred (1956) and Helmer (2004), parents, brothers Eino & Melvin Aho, sisters Ellen Tormanen & Lempi Koivisto, stepsons Mark & Kevin Simonson, step son-in-law Paul Kariniemi, and one granddaughter.

Survivors include her children Christine (William) Josephson, William (Lynn) Hannus, and Ruth (Gordon) Raisanen all of Cokato, her step children Ronald (Melba) Simonson of Buffalo, MN, Harley (Roberta) Simonson of Snohomish, WA, Dale (Diane) Simonson of Deer Park, WA, Sandra Kariniemi of Wayzata, MN, Karen (Vaughn) Lundeen of Monroe, WA, Maureen (Bradley) Mattila of Monroe, WA, Gary (Lisa) Simonson of Cokato, Patricia Davison of Chattaroy, WA, Kent Simonson of Menahga, MN, and Chris (Jodi) Simonson of Deer Park, WA, daughters-in-law Ilona Simonson of Deer Park, WA, and Janet (Mike) Stonelake of Prescott, AZ. Esther is further survived by her sister Lorraine Wisuri of Cokato, many dear grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Her gentle nature, patience, and love for children will be greatly missed.