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Richard Luoto, 84 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
 Thief River Falls - Funeral services for Richard Luoto, 84, were held on Monday, Oct. 25 at First Lutheran Church in Middle River, with Pastor Curt Matz officiating. Casket bearers included Christian Luoto, Cameron Luoto, Meegan Luoto, Steve Larson, David Beito and Lonnie Peterson. Interment was held at Finnish Lutheran Cemetery in Middle River. Military honors were provided by the Middle River American Legion Post 444.
 Richard Alan Luoto, the son of the late John T. and Olga (Wilson) Luoto, was born on July 15, 1920, in Hibbing. As a child, he moved with his family to Middle River, where he grew to manhood, graduating from Middle River High School in 1939. Richard was a member of the “5 Rs”  Middle River High School basketball team that played in the state tournament in 1939. On July 7, 1945, Richard was united in marriage to Arlene Swenson in Middle River.  Following marriage, he entered the U.S. Army, serving in the European Theatre where he guarded German prisoners of war, some of whom he has maintained contact with to this day. Following discharge, they moved to Longview, Wash., then to Minneapolis where he graduated from Dunwoody Institute in automobile electric studies. 
 In 1953, the family moved to the family farm in Spruce Valley Township near Middle River where they farmed until retirement in 1992. Richard was instrumental in originating the former Spruce Valley Telephone Co. He was a life-member of the Middle River American Legion Post 444, and was a member of First Lutheran Church of Middle River. In 1992, they moved to Thief River Falls and later to Proctor, returning to Thief River Falls in 2003.     Since June he resided at the C.N.C. Unit of Northwest Medical Center in Thief River Falls, where he died on Thursday morning, Oct. 21, 2004, at the age of 84 years, 3 months, and 6 days.
 He is survived by his wife, Arlene;  son, Alan of Thief River Falls; former daughter-in-law, Kim and six grandchildren, all of Duluth;   three great-grandchildren;  one brother, John (Evelyn), Thief River Falls;   three sisters, Karina Mickelson in Washington State,  Sylvia (Robert) Clark of Corning, Calif., and Rosalie Chase of Andover; in addition to several nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
   He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter in infancy; one son, Randy and brother, Martin.
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