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Raymond W. Rikkola


February 15, 2019

Raymond W. Rikkola, 63, of Cloquet, Minn. passed away Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. He was born on Dec. 17, 1955 in Ashland, Wis.

Ray spent his early years in Marengo, Wis. with his 12 brothers and sisters. In true Finnish fashion, they enjoyed nightly saunas and competitions over who could take the most heat. He moved to Cloquet in 1985 and worked as a construction foreman for Johnson Wilson Constructors. In 1992, with the help of his father-in-law, he built the house he raised his three children in. In his spare time, he coached his son's wrestling, baseball, and basketball teams and was always his daughters' No. 1 soccer fan. After retiring, he was on the National Ski Patrol at Spirit Mountain, volunteered on the medical team at Grandma's Marathon, and participated in the Dragon Boat races. He also enjoyed ringing the Salvation Army bell at Christmas time. Ray loved to golf, spend time at the cabin, and travel - making frequent trips to Florida. Most of all, he loved his family and was a proud father to Kaitlyn (27), Andrew (25), and Emily (24).

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Ellen (Heiskala) Rikkola; sister Jan, and brother Jack.

In addition to his three children, he is survived by his wife, Cathy; six sisters, Annette Mattson, Jean Hepokoski, Rosalie "Goodie" Hauk (Jim), Mary March, Sheila (Don) Burnham, and Kim (Phil) Mayet; his four brothers, John (Val), Ron (Roxie), Brian, and Howard; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation: 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 until the 1 p.m. funeral service at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet. See the family online guest book at


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