FUNERAL SERVICES: 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 24, 2012 at the Spruce Grove Apostolic Lutheran Church in Wolf Lake, MN with Reverend Dennis Hannu officiating.
VISITATION: 5-8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 23, 2012 at the Cardini-Pearson Funeral Home in Menahga, MN and for one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.
INTERMENT: Balmi Cemetery near Wolf Lake, MN.
SURVIVORS: Her 8 step-children: Susan (JeRay) Buerkle, Diana Schultz, Ronald (Darlene) Saukkola, Carol (Bruce) Selin, Deanna (Lloyd) Scheeler, Douglas (Susan) Saukkola, Richard Saukkola and Shirley Saukkola; 23 step-grandchildren and 17 precious step-great grandchildren; her sister, Elsie Aho of Wolf Lake, MN and brother, John Raymond (Margie) Kumma of Menahga.
HELEN (KOSKINIEMI) SAUKKOLA
March 26, 1927 – February 16, 2012
Helen Margaret (Koskiniemi) Saukkola, age 84 of Menahga, MN formerly of Kimball, MN, peacefully entered the Loving arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus on Thursday evening, February 16, 2012 at the St. Joseph’s Hospital in Park Rapids surrounded by her loved ones.
Helen was born on March 26, 1927 in Spruce Grove Township of Becker County, MN to Matt and Eva (Wikman) Kumma. She was raised in the Wolf Lake Township area and attended the Pickeral Lake Country School. She was united in marriage to Steen Koskiniemi at the Aho Farm near Wolf Lake in 1949. The young couple moved to Minneapolis a short time later where Helen devoted herself to making a warm and loving home for her husband. She gained employment working for the Honeywell Corporation for a number of years. In the late 1950’s, they returned to the Menahga area where they engaged in farming near Midway. Helen furthered her education at Bemidji State University where she earned her teaching degree. Tragically, Helen experienced the heart ache of loss when Steen died unexpectedly from an aneurism at just 45 years of age. She devoted herself to teaching 3rd and 4th graders at the Park Rapids Elementary School in a career that spanned over 22 years. In October of 1989, Helen was united in marriage to George Saukkola of Kimball, MN. They enjoyed spending their winters in Mission, TX and spring through fall in the Menahga and Kimball areas. For a total of 19 years they enjoyed each others companionship until Helen faced the grief of losing George in May of 2008. Since that time she has made her home full time in Menahga. Helen was a woman who faithfully served her Lord and Savior. She was a long time member of the Spruce Grove Apostolic Lutheran Church in Wolf Lake where she taught Sunday School for many years. Helen was also part of the Kingston Apostolic Lutheran Church near Kimball during her marriage to George. She loved to worship the Lord through singing his praises in both English and Finn. She also drew great strength and wisdom through reading God’s word and spending time with the Lord in prayer. Helen enjoyed keeping herself busy doing embroidery and other needlework. She blessed many with her gifts of afghans and other handiwork. She was a wonderful cook and baker who will be long remembered for her delicious baking and canning.
Helen will be lovingly remembered by her 8 step-children: Susan (JeRay) Buerkle, Diana Schultz, Ronald (Darlene) Saukkola, Carol (Bruce) Selin, Deanna (Lloyd) Scheeler, Douglas (Susan) Saukkola, Richard Saukkola and Shirley Saukkola; 23 step-grandchildren and 17 precious step-great grandchildren; her sister, Elsie Aho of Wolf Lake, MN and brother, John Raymond (Margie) Kumma of Menahga; as well as many close and special in-laws, nieces, nephews and brothers and sisters in Christ.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents; lst husband, Steen Koskiniemi and 2nd husband, George Saukkola; her step-son, Larry Saukkola and step-granddaughter, Kali Jo Gilpatrick; five brothers: Alfred, Eino, Elmer, Harry and Matt; and one sister, Alice in infancy.
Funeral services will be held 11 AM Friday, February 24, 2012 at the Spruce Grove Apostolic Lutheran Church of Wolf Lake with Rev. Dennis Hannu officiating. Nieces: Debbie and Patty Aho will provide the music. The casket bearers will be: John Kumma, Elias Aho, Harvey Aho, Raymond Aho, Caleb Saukkola and Steve Estola. Interment will be made in the Balmi Cemetery next to her first husband, Steen Koskiniemi. Following the service a luncheon will be provided by the church family at Spruce Grove Apostolic Lutheran. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 PM Thursday, February 23rd at the Cardini-Pearson Funeral Home in Menahga and for one hour prior to the services on Friday at the church.