The funeral service for Raymond Hillukka of Menahga, was held on Saturday, June 9, at the Laestadian Lutheran Church of Menahga with Pastor Jon Bloomquist officiating. Visitation was held at the church on Friday with Ron Honga officiating during the prayer service.
Raymond Harvey Hillukka passed away at Green Pine Acres Nursing Home in Menahga, Minnesota, in the early morning hours of June 5, 2018, at the age of 84 years 10 months and 19 days, with family surrounded.
Ray was born in Wolf Lake, Minnesota on July 18, 1933 to Walter and Lyylie (Hendrickson) Hillukka as the fifth of seven children. He attended the Wolf Lake School through the 8th grade. He served in the United States Army February 20, 1956-December 18, 1957 and was stationed in Germany. He then returned to the family homestead. Ray married Dorothy (Haverinen) on October 18, 1958; together they were blessed with 11 children, the first four of which were born while living on the homestead. In 1965, they moved to a farm just east of Wolf Lake, where the remaining seven children were born. Ray was left to raise the children on his own when Dorothy passed away in 1978.
On August 9, 1986, Ray was joined in marriage to Lorraine (Ylioja) Halonen. With this marriage he gained five step-children and many grandchildren. In 1997 Ray and Lorraine moved from the farm to their home in Menahga. In August of 2012, they moved to Brainerd, returned to Menahga in May 2014. Due to declining health, Ray was admitted to Green Pine Acres Nursing Home in December 2014 where he was lovingly cared for by Lorraine and the nursing home staff up until his death.
Ray was always a farmer, doing either dairy or field farming or both until his retirement. During this time he also worked in the forest service and drove school bus. He enjoyed hunting and fishing his whole life. He always enjoyed spending time with his family and visiting friends. With his friendly personality, he became known to and will be missed by many. He was loved by all who knew him.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Ruben, Arnold (and Francelia), Wesley (and Florence), and Kenneth; his first wife Dorothy (Haverinen) and infant son; and step-daughter Arlene Halonen.
Ray is survived by his wife Lorraine of 31 years; 11 children: Jeffrey of Menahga, Kerry (Deanna) of Menahga, Karlo (Peggy) of Menahga, Kristin (Gregory Waldack) of Big Lake, Joni (Aimo Vaatainen) of Elk River, Janelle (Peter Jarvi) of Menahga, Rebecca (Brian Wikman) of Menahga, Darla (Eric Korpi) of St. Michael, Peter (Kathryn) of Delano, Gina (Daniel Haapala) of Maple Grove, and Kaisa (Kari “Sam” Wuollet) of Menahga; grandchildren raised by Ray and Lorraine: Stephen, Daniel, Jacquelyn, and Jared Halonen; step-children: Nealen (Jean), Keith (Rebecca), Leslie (Kari), and Perry (Melanie). Ray is also lovingly remembered by 176 grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Norma Hillukka, brother Norman (Charlotte); sister Mildred (Ernie Kallinen); nieces and nephews; and a host of friends.
Pallbearers were Jeffrey, Kerry, Karlo, and Peter Hillukka, Keith and Stephen Halonen.
Following the funeral service interment was held at Balmi Cemetery in Wolf Lake with Dan Parks officiating. A luncheon was served following the funeral service at the church.
Military honors provided by Post 6206, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Menahga, and MNAGHG.
Arrangements with the Schuller Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, Wadena, MN (www.SchullerFamilyFH.com).