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Elaine Haataja 1941 – 2023

Elaine Marcella Haataja was born July, 16, 1941 in Runeberg Twp, MN to Eino and Lillian (Ollila) Simi. She attended country school in Midway and graduated from Menahga Public School in 1959. She married Wendell Haataja on November 28, 1959. They were blessed with five children.
Elaine and Wendell lived briefly in Minneapolis before moving to Buhl, MN. Elaine held various jobs during her life including retail work, daycare provider, and security at the mines. She made hundreds of Care Bears and Cabbage Patch dolls, which she sold over the years at craft fairs. When Wendell retired from the mines due to health reasons, they moved back to Menahga in 1991. Wendell passed away in 1993. Elaine returned to work at Candle Enterprises in Park Rapids where she retired from. After her retirement when her grandchildren were visiting, she always enjoyed making them her crispy pancakes that only Grandma knew how to make. When she wasn’t busy with family and making crafts she liked to visit the casino with her children. Elaine continued to live in the home her and Wendell moved and remodeled until 2019, when she moved to Woodside Manor Assisted Living, and most recently to Greenwood Connections.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents Eino and Lillian Simi, her husband Wendell, daughter Valerie Luedke, grandson Garret Schantzen, great grandson Elliot Kessler, brothers: Ebert (Sharon) Simi, and Robert Simi; brother in law Dean Swanson, in-laws Howard Haataja, Harvey and Donna Haataja, Gladys and Vernon Kimball, and Harold and Laila Haataja.
Elaine will be lovingly remembered by her daughters: Roxanne (Lynn) Johnson, Tammy Schantzen and Lisa (Kenny) Kako; and son Todd (Elaine) Haataja, son in law Steve Luedke, and her sister Gladys Swanson. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, with two more on the way, several nieces and nephews, and cousins.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at Wevley Funeral Home Sebeka, MN and continue one hour prior to the service at the Church.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Menahga, MN MN. Interment will be at Balmi Cemetery rural Wolf Lake, MN.
Arrangements were entrusted to Wevley Funeral Home of Sebeka. Online condolences may be left at

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