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Earl Keskey


Earl Edward Keskey, 88, of Sebeka Minnesota, passed away on September 1, 2019 in Marquette, Michigan.

Earl was born in Wakefield, Michigan on April 16, 1931 to Ernest and Mamie (Bajari) Keskey. At the age of six, his family moved to the family homestead farm on Cokato Lake in Cokato, Minnesota. He attended Temperance Corner country school (District 117), north of Cokato through grade 8. He continued on to high school and graduated from Cokato High School in 1949.

After high school he went to work at First National Bank in Cokato. At the age of 20 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served 18 months in Korea during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1954 from the Army and returned to work at the First National Bank.

Earl was married to Rhita Marie Seppala on September 10, 1955 in Wakefield, Michigan; they were married for 64 years.

In 1958, Earl moved his young family to Sebeka and went to work for Security State Bank. In 1964, Earl and Rhita purchased the bank and owned it for 41 years before selling it and retiring in 2005. The bank became a central part of the daily life in the family and it was important to him that it became a family business. Through working at the bank his children were given the opportunity to learn the lesson of putting in an honest day’s work.

Earl had many interests in life and shared those interests with his family. From the many camping and fishing trips to the various lakes in Northern Minnesota, deer hunting in the fall, to assisting his children with school projects. He always had a different project happening around the home and his family commonly referred to him as “perpetual motion.” He loved to travel and traveled many places with his family and his wife, including trips to Finland and Europe. He spent many winters in Phoenix with Rhita, but the highlight of the year was spending the summer in Rabbit Bay, Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior. Every year he waited for family and friends to come to Rabbit Bay and enjoy all that the “cabins” had to offer. It was there that he enjoyed plying the waters of Lake Superior, spending countless hours fishing for Lake Trout and endlessly searching for that perfect blueberry patch. With all of this travel and various interests, Earl always felt that Sebeka was home and felt blessed that he was able to raise his family in a small community. Earl will be remembered by many for his witty jokes and one-liners, which his grandchildren fondly refer to as “Earlisms”. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all who knew him.

Earl was a member of the Laestadian Lutheran Church of Menahga. He supported the church in many ways throughout his life and his faith was important to him. In the end, through his faith in the merit works of Christ, he gained his eternal reward in heaven.

Earl is survived by his wife Rhita of Sebeka; children: Ann (Steve) Kariniemi of Phoenix, Arizona, Douglas (Julie) Keskey of Corcoran, Daniel Keskey of Waverly, Karen (Michael) Kariniemi of Corcoran, Barbara (Bradley) Simonson of Outlook, Saskatchewan, Donald (Jodie) Keskey of Zimmerman, and Patricia (Chad) Wuollet of Epping, North Dakota; Brother Roger (Janet) Keskey; Sister Lavona Keskey; Brother and Sister-in-law, Karl and Inez Seppala, and Sister-in-law Susie Keskey; 63 grandchildren; 111 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild and many family and friends.

Earl was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Mamie Keskey; parents-in-law, Ernest and Lempi Seppala; Son Kenneth Earl Keskey; brothers: Melvin Keskey and Clifford Keskey; grandchildren: Shelly Simonson and Donald Simonson; and great-grandchild, Hayden Simonson.
Funeral services were held on September 8, 2019 at the Laestadian Lutheran Church in Menahga. Burial was at Sebeka West Cemetery.

Active pallbearers are his sons and son-in-laws; Douglas Keskey, Daniel Keskey, Donald Keskey, Steve Kariniemi, Michael Kariniemi, Bradley Simonson, and Chad Wuollet.

Arrangements were entrusted to Wevley Funeral Home of Sebeka. Online condolences may be left at 9-11c

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