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Ralph Raino Barberg

Ralph Raino Barberg, age 92, of Cokato, died Saturday, March 18, 2006 at Meeker County Memorial Hospital in Litchfield, one day short of his 93rd birthday.

He was born at Cokato March 19, 1913, to Isaac and Hannah (Bajari) Barberg. He grew up on the farm north of Cokato, and attended Ojanpera School. He later graduated from Cokato High School.

After high school, Ralph helped his father farm.

Ralph married Laina Marie Koivu March 19, 1939. The couple purchased a farm north of Cokato, where they raised five children; and had a part in raising more than 20 foster children.

Ralph farmed and worked as a machinist in Minneapolis at Vic Manufacturing and D.W. Onan, commuting for 23 years.

He lived at Edgewood Gables in Cokato for the past two years. Ralph said he spent his last years as a “recliner engineer.”

In the summer of 1949, Ralph gave his life to the Lord after hearing the preaching of George Mensika, a former henchman of John Dillinger.

Ralph’s sense of humor, positive attitude, and infectious smile were an encouragement to all, and brought him and his family through the tough times of life. He enjoyed playing games and traveling, and could build anything,

Ralph is survived by five children: Grace Pierre-Louis of Cokato, Peter Barberg of Hutchinson, Keith (Janet) Barberg of Detroit Lakes, Marianne (Phil) Nelson of Burleson, Texas, and Colleen (Terry) Milford of Edgewood, N.M.; 15 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren, and a sister, Beatrice Kruger of Meteetsee, Wyo.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Laina; nine brothers; two sisters; and one great-grandchild.

Funeral services were Thursday, March 23 at 2 p.m. at New Life Assembly of God Church in cokato. Pastors Al Jones and Pastor Keith Barberg officiated, and music was provided by Bonnie Jones. Interment was in the Cokato Finnish Cemetery.

Casket bearers were Kevin Barberg, Kirk Barberg, Pascal Pierre-Louis, Gabriel Nelson, Micah Nelson, Jeremy Barberg, Brian Barberg, Chad Barberg, Tim Barberg, and Isaac Milford.

Arrangements were by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.

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