Kayo Dokken, 93, and Lavona Nelson, 94

Two Cokato, MN, sweethearts, Kayo Russell Theodore Dokken, 93, of Vancouver, WA, and Lavona Amanda Nelson, 94, of Vancouver passed away, with Kayo passing away May 7, 2020, in Vancouver, and Lavona following him Aug. 24, 2021, in Ridgefield, WA.

Lavona was born to A. W. and Amanda (Hanno) Nelson at 2016 2nd Ave. N, Minneapolis, MN, Jan. 21, 1927. Kayo was born to Elmer and Altha (Hetherington) Dokken in St. Paul, MN, Aug. 8, 1926.

Both families moved to Cokato, with A. W. working as manager of the Farmer’s Store for many years, and the Dokkens operating the Dokken Funeral Home.

Kayo and Lavona were schoolmates and friends. Often times, Kayo would visit at the Nelson home waiting for Lavona to return from a date.

After WWII, Kayo was off to college, and Lavona was stationed in Germany with the Red Cross.

They were married in Cokato Sept. 1, 1951.

Kayo served in both the US Navy in WWII, and the US Army in the Korean War. He worked as a hospital administrator at several locations.

Lavona went back to school and earned her teaching degree.

Looking for a change, they bought and operated a Coast to Coast Hardware store in Silverdale, WA, and The Dalles, OR.

Retirement brought them to Vancouver, where they enjoyed countless activities and interests, entertaining visitors, neighbors, and friends. A favorite was the Finnish Club that met frequently, and very often at the Dokken home.

Throughout their lives together, kindness, gentle humor, and a little sass were at the center of Kayo and Lavona’s relationship.

Their home was filled with good food, puzzles, canasta, bridge, and Lavona’s collections. Throughout her life, Lavona valued family histories and related memorabilia.

Kayo and Lavona shared their home with their beloved dogs; Lady, and then the faithful and devoted rescue dog, Rufio.

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