Thief River Falls - Carl Onkka, 79, died Sunday, December 18, at his home in Thief River Falls.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, December 21, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, with Rev. Arlen Hermodson officiating. Honorary casket bearers include Carl’s grandchildren. Military honors will be provided by members of the VFW Post 2793 and American Legion Ecklund-Holmstom Post 117. Casket bearers included members of the VFW and American Legion.Interment will be held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20, at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, and one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday.
Carl Oscar Onkka was born on June 3, 1926 in Cokato, the son of William Edward and Esther (Mattila) Onkka. He was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran Faith and attended school in Cokato, graduating from Cokato High School. Carl entered the United States Army on August 10, 1945 and served as a clerk typist. He received the Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Army of Occupation Medal, Germany. He was Honorably Discharged on December 30, 1946.
Carl was united in marriage to Ruth Virginia McKay on June 23, 1951 at the Presbyterian Church in Litchfield. The couple made their home in Cokato, and in 1960 they moved to Thief River Falls. Carl became co-owner of the Family Bowl. He later went to work for the United States Postal Service, retiring in 1986. In his spare time he also laid carpet for many years. After their retirement Carl and Ruth enjoyed spending time at the American Legion and visiting with their friends, Pat Poole and Big Red.
Carl spent summer months at Springsteel Resort on Lake of the Woods with his family. He also enjoyed bowling, watching the grandkids play sports, watching sports on TV, and golfing. Carl and Ruth were very proud of their children and grandchildren.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Eagles Club, American Legion, and a lifetime member of the V. F. W.
Carl is survived by his children: Michael (Debra) Onkka, Pleasant Hill, Mo., Steven Onkka, Aberdeen, S.D., Cheri (Ron) Pula of Bemidji, Jon (Susana) Onkka of Winona, W.Va., David (Cyndi) Onkka of Thief River Falls; 19 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two sisters, Joan (David) Peterson of Front Royal, Va., and Dorothy Reisinger of Woodbury; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth on February 21, 2004; his parents and brother-in-law, Joe Reisinger.