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Obituaries: Connie Nelson-Rajanen


July 5, 2019

Connie Nelson-Rajanen, 67, of Cloquet, died surrounded by loved ones at St. Luke’s Hospital on June 16, 2019, after a hard fight with cancer.

Connie was born March 31, 1952, to Beverly Rajanen and Clinton Carrignan in Duluth. She was adopted by Donald Rajanen when she was a year old. Connie attended Central High School. She married and had a beautiful daughter, RaeAnn, the pride of her life.

Connie was the eldest child of five and cared for her siblings, including leading them to church and school. She taught them the difference between right and wrong — well, at least in her opinion; Connie knew she was the boss, and didn’t let her siblings forget it. After her parents passed away, Connie’s many aunts and uncles often took on the roles of mother and grandmother and, in passing it along, Connie treated her nieces and nephews as her own. Connie was in a relationship for many years with Stuart, a huge support in her life. He stood by her as she went through some of her hardest times, including the very end. Connie’s best friend, Heidi Lantz, was there too, and held Connie’s hand during her final moments. Heidi and her daughters and grandchildren, and Nathan Kovach, whom Connie viewed as the son she never had, and his children were all family to her.

Every holiday we would find Connie cooking meals for everyone; she never turned anyone away. She decorated her whole yard and house for Halloween, and made sure she had enough candy for all the children coming by. Every family member received homemade gifts at Christmas, and she always had extras for anyone else who would show up; in her eyes, everyone was family. Connie baked the most amazing cookies that the family fought over. Holidays will definitely not be the same without her.

Connie made many different things with her crafting and sewing skills, including baby doll clothing and clothes for her grandchildren and other family, and she never turned away friends who asked her to mend their clothes. Her work was always impressive.

Connie was preceded in death by her parents, Beverly and Donald Rajanen, who passed away in 1991, and her grandparents Hazel Prouty, Lyle Prouty, Mayme Rajanen and Adolph Rajanen.

She is survived by her daughter, RaeAnn; grandchildren Tirsa and Adelin, who meant the world to her; siblings Troy Rajanen (Lana), Joane Rajanen, Keith Rajanen (Lynn) and Monica Rajanen; eight nieces and nephews, Holly Bevan, Amanda Olson, Derrick Kovach, Jeremy Rajanen, Brandon Kovach, Sarah Rajanen, Leandra Rajanen and Trent Hanson; seven great-nieces and great-nephews, Cole, Haley, Charlie, Eloise, Baxter, Colin and Parker, and two on the way; and many cousins and friends.

Connie taught us all the importance of love, and lived each day making others happy. She blessed many lives, and will be missed by all.

Gathering of family and friends: 3-5 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at Sampo Beach on Little Grand Lake, 7095 Saginaw Road in Saginaw.


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