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James David Sillanpaa, 62 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
    Mansfield, Texas - James David Sillanpaa, 62, of Mansfield, Texas, formerly of Floodwood, died Friday, April 6, 2012, in Vernon, Connecticut.  May his memory be blessed.
    James David Sillanpaa was born on Nov. 17, 1949 in Cloquet, to Toivo and Helen Sillanpaa. He was raised in the Cloquet area and started his first couple of years of schooling there.  After the passing of his father, Toivo, Jim’s mother married Wilho Hill and to this marriage a new family was formed, so Jim along with his mother and two brothers relocated to Floodwood where he started school at the age of 8.  Jim was active in the 4-H club, FFA, played football and helped on the family dairy farm.
    In 1967, Jim married Connie Erdmann and to this union they were blessed with two children, Tracy and Philip.
    Jim worked for a redi-mix company in Cloquet right out of high school, then went to work in the iron mines.  He also had a snowmobile repair shop in Floodwood for a short while, but found a passion for the open road and began trucking in the early 1980s.
    In 1985, Jim married Linda Weyandt in Iron River, Wisconsin, and to this union three step-children came into Jim’s life: Jenny, Mary, and Robert.  They made their home in Maple, Wisconsin, for a while but decided to try something new and moved to Mansfield, Texas, which they have called home ever since.
    Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, football, snowmobile racing and Nascar, but most of all visiting with just about anybody. He had a story for every ear and the memory of an elephant. He loved to hear about his grandchildren and how they were doing in school and sports and would brag about them every chance he got.
    He is survived by his wife, Linda of Mansfield; daughter, Tracy (Wayne) Hjelle of Thief River Falls, son, Philip (Lisa) Sillanpaa of Newfolden, step-daughters, Jenny (Brian) Blackburn of Alvarado, Texas, and Mary (Jason) Malicoat of Mansfield, Texas; step-son, Robert (Annie) Makkela of Maple, Wis.; brother,  Ted (Sue) Sillanpaa of Floodwood; step-brother, Roger Hill of Floodwood; step-sister, Kathleen (Ed) DeMenge of Cloquet; special family friend, James Pavlek; grandchildren, Sammi, Travis, Jessica, and Austin Hjelle, and Jeffrey, Emily and Blake Sillanpaa; step-grandchildren, Jamie and Brooke Malicoat, and Kendra, Kimberly and Kayla Blackburn; two great-granddaughters, Isabella and Aubrey; and aunts, Margaret Berglund of Cloquet, Lila Fox of Longmount, Colo., Pearl Braiser of Porum, Okla., and Wilma Snyder of Lander, Wyo.
    Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Toivo Sillanpaa in 1953 and Helen Sillanpaa in 2007; one brother, Toivo Sillanpaa Jr., in 1962; and his step-father, Wilho Hill in 2003.
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