Lila Evelyn Yliniemi, age 86, of Park Rapids, MN, formerly a longtime Ponsford, MN area resident, peacefully entered the gates of Heaven on Tuesday morning, September 25, 2018, at the Heritage Living Center with her children by her side.
Lila was born on February 5, 1932, in Toad Lake Township of Becker County, MN to John William and Ida (Kinnunen) Longfors. At a very young age, she moved with her family to the Snellman, MN area. As a young girl, her mother was remarried to Joseph Yliniemi and Lila knew him as a loving father. She attended the Shell Lake and later the Oakcrest Country Schools through the eighth grade and then went on to attend high school in Menahga from where she graduated with the Class of 1951. After high school, Lila ventured to Chicago where she gained employment working for the Oscar-Mayer Meat Company. After a year or so she returned to the Park Rapids area where she helped her father on the farm and also worked as a waitress for Bracken’s Café in Park Rapids. On June 6, 1953, she was united in marriage to Adolf E. Yliniemi and their marriage was blessed with a son, Alden and a daughter, Karen. Lila devoted her life to making a loving home for her husband and children. She was a wonderful cook and baker who will be long remembered for her homemade mojakka and rieska. She and Adolf purchased a farm in the Bad Medicine Lake area north of Ponsford where she enjoyed working right alongside Adolf in transforming the rugged land into a productive farm. She enjoyed helping care for their livestock and the twice a day milkings. She also enjoyed keeping busy working with handcrafts such as sewing, needlepoint and working with tri-chem paints until her hands became too crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. Although she was forced to stop doing the work and crafts she loved, she never complained about the intense pain she constantly lived with; but, instead sought to find joy in all her circumstances boldly telling others that she would be healed someday. She was a strong woman of faith and enjoyed worshipping at both the Spruce Grove Apostolic Lutheran Church of Wolf Lake and also the Ponsford Community Church. For many years Lila served as the clerk of the Forest Township Board and she enjoyed being a member of the Ponsford Prairie Partners. Her life was deeply saddened by the death of her beloved Adolf on December 29, 1998. Her failing health caused her to become a resident of the Heritage Living Center where her sweet optimism and deep love for the Lord positively impacted the lives of many staff and residents, including Gary Sitz, a dear friend, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lila would often have a calming effect on him as she comforted him with the assurance of Christ’s love. Lila received her healing in the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 25 when at the moment she was taken by the angels, a peaceful smile brightened her face and comforted her loved ones.
She will be lovingly remembered by her son, Alden (Lisa) Yliniemi of Park Rapids, MN and her daughter, Karen (Mark) Branstrom both of Park Rapids, MN; her nine dearly loved grandchildren and five precious great-grandchildren; her two sisters: Helen (Archie) Henderson of Park Rapids and Verniel (Bob) Latto of Anchorage, AK; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Throughout her life, her niece, Geraldine (Weaver) Christopherson was very precious to her and would often pray and share scripture with her.
Lila was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; three sisters: Mildred, Violet, and Elsie; her brother, Arlie and one great-grandson, Tucker Lee Branstrom.
Funeral services have been set for 2 PM Saturday, October 6, 2018, at the Spruce Grove Apostolic Lutheran Church near Wolf Lake, MN with the Rev. Dennis Hannu and Reverend Elmer Yliniemi officiating. The organist will be Deb Aho and the soloist will be Lynn Just. The congregational hymns will be “He the Pearly Gates Will Open” and “In the Sweet By and By”. Her casket bearers will be her grandchildren: Wil Craft, Tanya Yliniemi, Mickey Leigland, Lee Branstrom, Adam Branstrom, Jordan Yliniemi, Brooke Yliniemi, Kayla Branstrom and Olivia Yliniemi. Interment will be made in the Pickerel Lake Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 PM Friday, October 5, 2018, at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids and will continue beginning one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
To leave online condolences or to view the video tribute please visit www.jonespearson.com.