Ina Persons

Ina Persons " 1910-2006 Funeral services were held for Ina Persons on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights, Minnesota with Pastor Tom Carlson officiating. The hymns were sung by the congregation, ...

Ina Persons " 1910-2006

Funeral services were held for Ina Persons on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights, Minnesota with Pastor Tom Carlson officiating. The hymns were sung by the congregation, accompanied by Pete Carlson. The pallbearers were Mark Persons, Michael Persons, Matthew Persons, Donald Ruikka, Bill Ruikka, Paul Ruikka and Joseph Sturdevant. Ina was laid to rest in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ina Anna Aurora Ruikka Persons was born on March 10, 1910 on her parents farm in rural New York Mills, MN. She was the fifth child of 11 children born to Gust and Hannah Ruikka. She went to primary school and began high school in New York Mills. She attended Eveleth High School for a year while working as a housekeeper for a railroad executive. Her Eveleth yearbook lists her favorite song as Breakfast in Bed on Sunday Morning; her most common characteristic or appearance was listed as giggling; and her highest ambition was, to become a country school teacher. Ina went on to graduate high school from North High School in Minneapolis, then graduated several years later from Saint Cloud State Teachers College. To earn money for College, she wrote and published an art book that became a part of the curriculum at Saint Cloud State. After graduating from Saint Cloud, she became a country schoolteacher in school district 175 and worked in several one-room schools teaching students from kindergarten through 12th grade. She married Harley Persons, a friend of her brother Reuben, in 1935. Harley and Ina Persons moved to Minneapolis. In January 1944, while Harley was in Navy boot camp in Idaho, Ina gave birth to their only son, Warren Lee Persons. Ina and Warren moved to San Francisco to be closer to Harleys Navy base. After the war, Ina, Harley, and Warren moved back to Minnesota and eventually settled into a new home in Fridley, MN. Ina continued working as Warren graduated from high school and married classmate Carol Chizek. Ina and Harley had 4 grandchildren: Mark, Michael, Mary, and Matthew; and five great-grandchildren: Katie, Sarah, Adam, Lauren, and Korrina. Ina and Harley treasured their close relationship with their grandchildren. Ina had many interests. For the past 40-50 years, Ina researched and gathered genealogy information on her and Harleys family. She and Harley took driving trips around North America with a travel trailer, often gathering genealogy information along the way. In retirement, they spent over 25 Minnesota winters living in their trailer near Padre Island, Texas. In the summer they would bring their trailer back to New York Mills to be near Inas family. Ina enjoyed being close to her brothers and sisters. She was an avid photographer, and rarely could be found without a camera within reach. She enjoyed reading, writing, board games, and time spent with grandchildren. Ina was a Christian with a strong faith in God. Throughout her life, she was involved with the church. Much of her time was spent at First Lutheran Church of Columbia Heights, MN. She served in various capacities, including Ladies Guild president, Deaconess, church council member, and as a Sunday school teacher. Her faith in God especially helped her in later years to remain strong as she watched her family and friends pass away one by one. Her husband Harley died in 1998 after several years of declining health. Her son Warren died unexpectedly in 2003. As devastating as it was for her to lose Warren, she kept her faith strong and turned to God for comfort. She was an extraordinarily strong woman in many ways. In the late 1980s she underwent open-heart surgery to replace a faulty valve. After the surgery, Ina was supposed to live only 5 years. In 2004, 15 years after the heart surgery, doctors implanted a pacemaker to help keep her heart functioning properly. Only after a fall in which she broke her hip, did she succumb to complications of the injury. Ina passed away at Innovis Health Care Center in Fargo, North Dakota on January 3, 2006 at 95 years of age. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends. Preceding Ina in death were her parents; her husband, Harley; her son, Warren; 3 sisters: Lillian Benjamson, Imbi Johnston and Mimmi Saarela; 5 brothers: Ahto, Rueben, Wilbert, Edmund and Ervin Ruikka.

Ina is survived by four grandchildren: Mark (Kellie) Persons of Plymouth; Michael Persons (Veronica) of Fridley; Mary Persons (Steve) of Mound; Matthew Persons (Brandy) of Columbia Heights; five great-grandchildren: Sarah, Adam, Lauren, Katie and Korrina; a brother, Woodrow (Audrey) Ruikka of Redondo Beach, California; many other relatives and a host of friends.

Arrangements were provided by the Karvonen & Son Funeral Home in New York Mills, Minnesota.

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