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Howard Marvin Karkela was born May 9, 1926 in Paddock Township to John and Alina (Paurus) Karkela. He passed away April 10, 2014 at Perham Living, Perham, at age 87.

Howard was a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran church, Sebeka, Minn., where he was baptized, confirmed and married. He attended a rural school through eighth grade. He attended Sebeka High School and graduated in 1944.

In 1945 he joined the Army, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division in Europe. He served in the Glider Corps as part of his service. After his discharge, he spent two seasons working on the Great Lakes Iron Ore Ships. He also attended Business College in Texas, but the farm kept calling him home to Sebeka.

In 1951 he met and married Joyce Roeske. They recently celebrated 63 years together. Howard and Joyce farmed west of Sebeka for over 40 years. Howard was among the first group of dairy farmers from the Sebeka area who had a bulk tank. He was also the first to use a milking parlor while selling Grade A milk to Fargo. Early on he bought a mechanical rock picker and designed and built a rock digger for removing big rocks from the soil. He used not only his innovation but his skills as a welder and mechanic to solve many farming needs. Later on he sold the dairy cows and raised beef cattle. It was on this farm that Howard and Joyce raised their four children.

Howard and Joyce enjoyed traveling with their family, and their cabin on Leech Lake. A highlight of their travels was the trip to Finland and seeing Howard's father's birthplace. Most of all, Howard enjoyed fishing, from Alaska to the Pacific Ocean, Great Slave Lake, to Crow, to Red, and the Pine Lakes. Even when dementia began to steal his memory, in his mind he was still farming and fishing.

Howard is survived by his wife, Joyce; children, Terry (Mary) Karkela, Kathy (Charles) Cavanagh, both of Perham, Gail (Dave) Silver, Maple Grove, Minn. and David Karkela, Las Vegas; grandchildren, Jarrod Silver, Maple Grove, Blake (Cassie) Riewer, Grand Forks, N.D., Katie (Doug) Hoffman, Fargo, N.D., Holly Karkela, Australia, Jay Cavanagh, Minneapolis, Jen (Ryan) Hendrickson, Perham, and Mike Cavanagh, Virginia; five great-grandsons, Isaac and Samuel Riewer and Jack, Sully and Briggs Hendrickson, Perham; two sisters-in-law, Lorraine Karkela, Savage, and Darla (Kent) Kirwin, Grand Rapids; and many nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held on April 14 at Grace Lutheran Church in Sebeka with Pastor Mark Hesse officiating. Russell Bunker was the organist. Andy and Daidre Klinnert and Andy and Janet Tumberg provided special music.

Casket-bearers were Todd Karkela, Timothy Paurus, Donald Obeidin, Treven Morehouse, Rodney Tuomi and Darell Richter. Berg Nylund American Legion Post 456 of Sebeka provided military honors. Interment was in Grace Lutheran Cemetery. Arrangements were with Wevley Funeral Home, Sebeka. For online condolences, go to