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Clifford Koskela


Clifford Donald “Cliff” Koskela, age 82, a longtime Menahga/Wolf Lake, MN area resident, peacefully entered Heaven on Monday, January 11, 2021, surrounded by his loved ones at the Green Pine Acres Nursing Home in Menahga, Minnesota.

Cliff was born on April 30, 1938 in Wolf Lake Township of Becker County, to William and Ethel (Wiirre) Koskela. He grew up learning the value of good hard work on his parent’s farm near Wolf Lake. He attended the District #1712 country school near his home through the eighth grade and then went on to attend high school in Menahga. As a young man, Cliff gained employment working for the Swift and Co. Turkey Processing Plant in Detroit Lakes. Later, he ventured to Minneapolis and worked at Neal’s Wood Shop where he learned the skill of cabinet making.

On March 3, 1962, he was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Irene Maninga at the Spruce Grove Apostolic Lutheran Church of Wolf Lake by Pastor George Wilson. Their marriage was blessed with four children: Davin, Tim, Stacy and Jodi. Cliff engaged in a 53 year long career as a commercial truck driver. He drove for United Van Bus of Minneapolis, which later became Wintz Trucking. Cliff and Irene made their home in Crystal, MN where they raised their four children and lived until his retirement in the mid-1990’s when they remodeled the country school house, where Irene was once a student in her childhood, into their residence where they have made their home since. In his retirement, he liked to keep himself busy and drove truck part-time for Steve Becker and for Kirk Bettis.

Cliff loved all sports and especially enjoyed following his favorite sports teams: The Vikings, Twins and Timberwolves. He also loved to be out in the woods hunting or out on the lake fishing. Cliff and Irene also enjoyed snowmobiling on the north wood trails. He enjoyed pulling his kids behind the family boat waterskiing or tubing. Cliff always took pride in caring for his yard and lawn. He and Irene also cared for the Midway Snurdbirds Baseball Diamond which they kept sharp for many years. Cliff was member of the Tall Pine Tom’s chapter of the National Turkey Federation and the Minnesota Finnish American Historical Society- Wolf Lake Chapter.

Most of all, Cliff was a follower of Christ. His family takes great comfort in knowing what he saw through faith he is now seeing by his own eye sight in the glory of Heaven. He was a long time member of the Spruce Grove Apostolic Lutheran Church near Wolf Lake where he loved to worship and fellowship with his church family.

He will be lovingly remembered by his precious wife for these past 59 years, Irene; his four children: Davin (Patty) Koskela, and Tim (Diane) Koskela all of Maple Grove, Stacy (Mike) Tadych of St. Hilaire, and Jodi (Jeff) Zabler of Punta Gorda, FL; ten dearly loved grandchildren: Kristin, Joshua and Nick Koskela, Cody and Haley Belanger, Grace and Olivia Koskela and Garret, Jenna and Colleen Tadych; seven precious great-grandchildren; three brothers: LeRoy (Joan) Koskela of Wolf Lake, Eugene (Geri) Koskela of Maple Grove, and Gerald (Deb) Koskela of Wolf Lake; and his sister, Hazel Aho of Arizona; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Cliff was preceded in death by his parents and a brother in infancy.

Private family services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, January 15, 2021 at the Spruce Grove Apostolic Lutheran Church near Wolf Lake, and will be livestreamed from the church website, which can be accessed at Rev. Dennis Hannu will officiate. Deb Aho will be the organist. Granddaughter, Olivia Koskela will play a flute solo, “Amazing Grace”. All of Cliff’s grandchildren will serve as his urn bearers.

Arrangements are entrusted to Jones Pearson Funeral Home.To view the video tribute or to leave online condolences please visit

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