Frederick Elmer Halonen, 93, of Cokato, MN, passed away March 22, 2023, at his home.
He was born Dec. 7, 1929, in Linton, ND, the fifth of 14 children, to Charles and Tyyne (Oikelmus) Halonen.
Fred was a lifelong member of the First Apostolic Lutheran Church.
Fred graduated from White Bear Lake High School in 1947.
He was united in marriage March 10, 1951, to Thelma Marian Haataja.
They were blessed with 13 children. They resided in Wolf Lake, MN, and Cokato.
Upon returning home from their honeymoon, Fred received a draft notice to serve in the US Armed Forces in the Korean War. During his service, he was injured, received a Purple Heart, and was then discharged to go home.
He was a farmer, and at the age of 40, attended St. Cloud State University, where he graduated in 1970 with a degree in speech pathology.
Fred continued farming, was employed by the Lester Prairie and Silver Lake schools as a speech pathologist, and served as a part-time lay minister for his church until his retirement.
Fred was preceded in death by his wife of almost 72 years, Thelma Halonen, in February of 2023; three sons, infant Anthony in 1959, Brent in 1988, and Blair in 2019; son-in-law, Ronald Corbin; three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; his parents; his step-mother, Anna Jurmu; siblings, Carl (Eunice), Judith (Mervin) Mattila, Gladys (Paul) Kariniemi, Mildred (Paul) Raisanen, Paul, Edward, George Douglas, and Sharen Anderson; brother-in-laws, Walter Muhonen, Ernest Lehtola, and Paul Ylitalo; stepbrothers, Clifford (Carol) Jurmu and Robert Jurmu; his parents-in-law, Gustav and Anna Haataja; and 21 brother-in-laws and sisters-in-law.
He is survived by his children, Peter (Debra) of Cokato, John (Becky) of Hanover, MN, Tyyni (Duane) Salmen of Osage, MN, Thea Corbin of Cokato, Gregg (Suzanne) of Cokato, Tamara (Jeffrey) Pietila of Chassell, MI, Teresa (Kenneth) Johnson of Sedar Bay, MI, Anna (David) Aho of Cokato, Avis (Eric) Sheffer of Fenton, MI, and Scott (Kathleen) of Cokato; daughters-in-law, Kristin Halonen of Cokato and Julie (Arvi) Impola of Calumet, MI; 101 grandchildren and 246 great-grandchildren; his siblings, Sylvia Muhonen, Virginia Lehtola, Raymond (Betty) Halonen, Lillian Ylitalo, and Donald (Florence) Halonen; sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws, Lorraine Hilluka, Connie Halonen, Martha Halonen, Jerry Anderson, and Miriam Jurmu, and a host of relatives and friends.
A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, April 3, 2023, at the First Apostolic Lutheran Church in Dassel, MN, with visitation one hour prior. Visitation will also take place Sunday, April 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the church.
Arrangements are by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home, www.swansonpeterson.com, 320-286-2534.