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Lorraine A. Jokela

Lorraine A. Jokela

January 11, 1928 October 20, 2013

Lorraine Alice (Luoma) Jokela was born January 11, 1928, the first child born to Alice Nikula and Theodore (Ted) Luoma, of Red Lodge, Mont.

Lorraine spent her early childhood in the Roberts/Red Lodge area with her parents and two younger sisters, When Lorraine began first grade in Cooke City, Mont., she lived in a tent with her parents along the Beartooth Pass while her father did construction work building that scenic route. She has fond memories of the one room, log cabin schoolhouse she attended there.

She relocated to Minnesota and during her senior year at Frazee, Lorraine waitressed at a caf in Detroit Lakes and visited with a soldier, recently home from the war. It wasnt long before they were dating. Lorraine graduated from Frazee in 1946. She married Eddie Jokela on June 15, 1947, celebrating 62 years before Eddie passed on Jan. 12, 2010.

Lorraine and Eddie purchased land between his mothers and the original Jokela Homestead near Wolf Lake where they operated a dairy farm. Lorraine encouraged Eddie to use his First Sergeant voice to begin auctioneering in 1949. They also discovered their shared talents and love for music. In 1950, near the time their second child was born, they began a band which grew to be hugely popular, especially because of Lorraines musical abilities.

Lorraine carried the band through on piano, saxophone and vocals, performing all the latest hits of the time. Eddie played drums and the accordion. Performing weekends across northern Minnesota, Swing & Sway with M & J, was usually booked two years in advance, with Lorraine bringing new Western & Big Band music to this area.

The band performed for 12 years while Lorraine also hunted deer, was a league bowler, played softball, worked for Park Rapids Area Schools as a nurses assistant and secretary, baked her Finnish flatbread and downhill skied when not pregnant. She was a mother to six children over 17 years. She often would joke, "Theyre not cheaper by the half-dozen either!"

Lorraine and Eddie owned and operated the first Park Rapids Sales Barn, and worked at many others in Minnesotas northern region, Bemidji, Thief River Falls, Winger & others. In 1968, Lorraine began clerking and accounting services for Eddies auctions; hence Jokela Auction Company was formed as a result of her efforts.

Her children and grandchildren fondly remember her singing or reading them bedtime stories, checking on them with a flashlight late into the night, and waiting on them hand and foot like a waitress and nurse when they didnt feel well.

She was as good a dancer as a singer, and all her children (and older grandchildren) got private dance lessons in the farmhouse kitchen! She died peacefully Oct. 20.

Survivors include her children, Randy (Denise) Jokela, Jolene (David) Veo, Jody (Nick) De Carlo (Red Lodge, MT), Jon Peter (Deb) Jokela (Cold Spring, Minn.); 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Visitation for Lorraine Jokela will be held 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1 at Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids. Her funeral will begin with a viewing time at 11 a.m., followed by the funeral at noon at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, with Rev. James Neubauer and Pastor Tim Heinecke officiating. Interment will be at Green Valley Cemetery southwest of Park Rapids.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the MS Society are appreciated. To leave on line condolences please visit