Ronald M. Nikkola, 84

Ronald Milo Nikkola, age 84, of Cokato, died Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.

A celebration of life will take place at a warmer time of the year, per Ron’s wishes to not have people driving in winter weather.

Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato is handling final arrangements.

The son of Julius and Ida (Peterson/Pulkkinen), Ronald was born July 1, 1933, in Kettle River.

He attended Moose Lake High School.

Ron served in the Navy on the USS Shields during the Korean War.

After discharge, he married, and worked as a steam locomotive fireman for the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway.

Ron graduated from the Minnesota State Patrol Academy in 1963. He then moved his family to Cokato, where he resided for more than 50 years.

He retired from the State Patrol in 1988, with the rank of station sergeant.

Following retirement, Ron kept busy ferrying cars for Cokato Motors, and liked to have coffee down at the dealership.

He was also a member of American Legion Post 209 in Cokato, Disabled American Veterans, and the Minnesota Retired Peace Officers Association.

Ron enjoyed restoring a house in Two Harbors, fishing on Lake Superior, and attending reunions with his Navy shipmates.

He is survived by his wife, Velma (Rajala) Nikkola, of Cokato; son Gordon Nikkola of San Diego; and daughters Loretta Nikkola of Jacksonville, and Heather (Doug) Karsko of Las Vegas.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Bernice (Nere) Torkelson; brother, Milton (Dorothy) Nikkola; and sister, Beverly (Virgil) Sperl.

© Herald Journal Publishing, Inc.