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Ida Cecilia Toffle

Ida Cecilia Toffle

Ida Cecilia Toffle (nee Wickstrand) passed away at age 98, Friday, April 13, 2018 at Gold Pine Home in Bemidji.

Graveside services will be held this summer at Arlington Cemetery in Boy River, MN under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji.

Ida was born on August 4, 1919 in Leonard, MN, the daughter of the late Arvid and Nanna (Johannson) Wickstrand, in Leonard, Minnesota. At age 1, her family moved to Eden Township in Polk County near Gully, Minnesota, where she attended a rural elementary school. She graduated from Fosston High School, attended Bemidji State Teachers College for one year and then entered Nursing School at UND and Deaconess Hospital in Grand Forks. She joined the Army Cadet Nursing Corps in 1943 and subsequently served as an operating room nurse in Belgium, France, and Germany. After completion of her military service, she returned to Bemidji State and completed her Bachelor's degree in Nursing. She then obtained a Master's Degree in Neonatal Nursing at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and did Public Health Nursing on the Maryland Eastern Shore.

She returned to Bemidji, became married to Howard Toffle, and worked as a surgical nurse at the Bemidji Hospital. In 1953, the family moved to a farm in Boy River where she interrupted her formal nursing career but essentially serviced as a nurse practitioner and veterinary technician for the surrounding community. She eventually returned to nursing at the Deer River Hospital followed by serving as a school nurse in Remer and working at Ag-Gwah-Ching from which she retired. After the death of Howard in 1986, she sold the farm and moved back to Bemidji. Because of her fluency in multiple languages (Swedish, Norwegian, and German) she worked as a camp nurse for the Concordia Language villages emersion camps (also did Russian and Spanish camps). She travelled throughout the Midwest and West with her sister, travelled to Alaska, the British Isles, and the South Pacific with Elderhostel, and toured Scandinavia with her granddaughter.

She did hospice, volunteered in Nursing homes, served as a lobbyist for aging matters, made solo fishing trips to cast for Northern Pike below the Clearwater Lake Dam and started making baby quilts with her sister, which are now located throughout the United States and in foreign countries. She took introductory flight lessons at age 80, remained a formidable Scrabble opponent until her 98th birthday which she celebrated by making one final trip to fish off the old Boy River bridge.

She is survived by two sons, Mark and his partner Margo and Roger and his spouse Connie, Four grandchildren (Nicholas Toffle, Sommer Toffle, Jeremy Toffle, Allison Toffle), 5 great grandchildren (Isla Goddard, Bowie Goddard, Tala Goddard, Gavin Toffle, and Beckett Toffle) and Tim and Betty Goose who Ida considered a part of her family.

She was predeceased by her husband Howard Toffle, her brother Gustave Wickstrand, and her sisters Pearl Jones, Emma Wickstrand, and Erma Stelter. Condolences may be left at