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Obituary: Connie Marie Illikainen

Connie Marie Illikainen, 44, of Esko, passed away peacefully Feb. 5, 2022, surrounded by loved ones at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Connie was born Jan. 19, 1978, in Duluth to Gerald Schwoch and Laura (Bruneau) Dahms. She graduated from Barnum High School in 1996 and went on to marry Jon Illikainen on May 16, 2008, in Carlton.

Connie was very passionate about family. Some could say she was born to be a mother, and her three children were her absolute world. She was heavily invested in both their academics and sporting endeavors, and showed up to as many events as possible. When she wasn't taking care of her family, she indulged in HGTV and the Food Network, as well as romantic comedies.

Connie came from a rich musical background and enjoyed many genres of music, especially classic country. She was known to partake in many karaoke nights in her younger days and always brought a smile to everyone's face.

Most importantly, Connie was an extremely selfless and caring woman, and tried to help everyone she could, be it a simple gesture or the kindness of listening. Even in her own times of physical and emotional struggle, she tended to the needs of everyone else above herself, which made her one in a million.

She will be greatly missed by her husband, Jon; children, Isaac (14), Grace (12) and Carter (11); siblings, Jenny (Sam) Clark, Dusty (Melody) Schwoch and Jake (Tami) Schwoch; niece and nephews, Milah, Jeremiah and Isaiah; mother-in-law, Nettie Illikainen; and an endless abundance of extended family and friends.

Connie is preceded in death by her parents, Gerald Schwoch and Laura Dahms; stepfather, Fred Dahms; and sisters-in-law, Susan and Mandy Illikainen.

Visitation will be 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 12, followed by a memorial service at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cloquet. Arrangements are with McNearney-Schmidt Funeral and Cremation in Shakopee, Minnesota. Condolences may be shared at http://www.mcnearneyfuneralhome.com.

Pine Knot News Feb. 11, 2022