Cover photo for Erling "Erl" Emil Tokle's Obituary
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1928 Erling "Erl" 2016

Erling "Erl" Emil Tokle

May 29, 1928 — August 31, 2016

Erling Emil Tokle May 29, 1928 – August 31, 2016      Erling Emil Tokle was born on May 29, 1928 to Peter E. and Esther (Pederson) Tokle on his parent’s farm near Brook Park, MN.  He attended a country School near his home through the eighth grade and then attended high school in Mora, MN.  At the young age of about 15, Erl ventured to the west coast.  He hopped freight trains all the way to Longview, WA where he worked on several farms for a time.  Later, Erl gained employment with the Weyerhauser Lumber Company in Longview, working on the planer mill. At the age of 16, he was promoted to the position of crane operator.  Later, Erl signed on with the Longview Fiber Company and worked in the production of paper products.  At the age of 17, Erl took a plane to Anchorage, Alaska where he worked in building construction for six months before returning to Longview, where he continued honing his skills in building construction.  On August 18, 1951, Erl was united in marriage to Bonnie Hegstrom.  Shortly after they were married, Erl entered the United States Navy, serving his country at the Naval Station in San Diego, CA.  In 1952 their first child, a daughter, Penny, was born in the San Diego Naval Hospital.  Then upon receiving his honorable discharge in 1953, Erl moved his family to Yakima, WA.  The second child, a boy, Peter, was born in 1954 while residing in Yakima, WA.  Then Erl and the family moved to Decatur, Illinois where he worked for two years as a salesman.  His last two sons were born in Illinois, Michael in 1956, and then Terry in 1958.  In 1959, Erl and the family returned to Minnesota, where he worked in construction as a career that spanned over 40 years.  Erl was united in marriage to Twyla Johnson in St. Paul on May 25, 1973 whereby he was blessed with a step-daughter, Sheryl, and two step-sons, Andrew and Clayton.  Erl built a new home for his new family near Isanti, MN where they resided until 1999.  He was a member of Joy Lutheran Church in Cambridge, being active on the building and grounds commission, as well as ushering.  During his construction career, he became an executive foreman for Belgarde Construction Company.  Then from 1976-1997, he established his own business as Tokle Construction Company, specializing in remodeling.  He was a skilled craftsman.  Then Erl and Twyla retired and moved north near Boot Lake north of Park Rapids.  Erl built two more homes for him and his family, the last home built at the age of 75.  He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Park Rapids for many years.  Erl loved the outdoors, especially when he could be hunting deer, moose or elk.  He was an excellent wood worker and made all the trim and furniture for his retirement home.  He made many wooden stools for his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, each with their name engraved on it and received for their first birthday.  Above all, Erl will be remembered for his love and devotion to his wife and family who he loved with all his heart.       Erl will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Twyla of Park Rapids; his four children: Penny (Bill) Zimmerman of Foley, MN, Peter (Kathy) Tokle of Coon Rapids, Michael (Madeleine) Tokle of Lake Forest, CA and Terry (Cheryl) Tokle of Temecula, CA.  His three step children: Sheryl (Luke) Grimm of Portland, OR, Andrew (Ana) Johnson of Bogota, Colombia, and Clayton (Laura) Johnson of Park Rapids: eight grandchildren and eight step grandchildren: 26 great grandchildren and six step great-grandchildren; his brother, Roy (Joan) Tokle of Mora, MN; and two sister-in-law’s, Ellen Spear of Wadena, MN and Bonnie Birch of Sherburn, MN.  He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters: Jennie, Helen, and Edith and one brother, Alf.       A Memorial service celebrating Erl’s life will be held 11 AM Wednesday September 7, 2016 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, with Pastors, Tim Heinecke, and James Neubauer officiating.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to his service beginning at 10 AM at the church.  Military honors will be provided by Star of the North Marine Corps League, and burial will be at Lakeside Cemetery near his home.  To leave online condolences or to view his video tribute please visit www.jonespearson.com.
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