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Niilo Raisanen, 81

Niilo Raisanen, age 81, of Cokato, died Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010, at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis with his family at his side.

The funeral service will take place Monday, Feb. 15 at 10:30 a.m. at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church in Cokato, with interment at Riverside Cemetery of French Lake.

Visitation was Sunday, Feb. 14 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the church, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.

The Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato is handling the arrangements.

Niilo was born April 27, 1928, to Nels and Mary (Juusola) Raisanen on the farm in rural Annandale. He grew up there, and graduated from Annandale High School in 1945.

Niilo graduated in 1950 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in agricultural engineering.

He was united in marriage to Dorothy Tormanen of rural Cokato May 26, 1951. The couple lived and farmed on the family farm until 1959, at which time Niilo became employed as a farm structures engineer with Lester Building Systems in Lester Prairie.

The family resided in Lester Prairie from 1959 to 1966, at which time they moved to rural Cokato.

In 1972, Niilo became an owner/partner in Agri-Aide, a farm ventilation equipment manufacturer. The business was moved to Cokato, and he was with the company until 1977.

In January 1978, Niilo founded Raydot Incorporated, based in Cokato, a manufacturer of ventilation systems for confinement livestock, as well as a line of air-to-air heat exchangers. Niilo retired from Raydot in 1993, at which time his son, David, took over the company.

After retiring, Niilo and Dorothy enjoyed living in their home on Lake Erie in rural Hutchinson.

Niilo enjoyed spending time with his family, gardening/hobby-farming, attending grandkids’ school and sporting events and traveling with Dorothy.

Niilo is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Dorothy; children: David (Karen) of Dassel, Keith (Heidi), Nancy (Gary) Mattila, Mary and special friend Jay Piepenburg, all of Cokato, Mike (Tracey) of Dassel, Mark (Jodi) of Buffalo, and Katie (Luke) Bonawitz of Richfield; 44 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; a brother, Paul (Millie) Raisanen of Cokato; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by an infant son, Charles; his parents; and sisters Martha (Mrs. Bob) Cress, and Mary Ann (Mrs. George) Kivisto.