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Richard E. Filpula, 61 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
    Chaska - Richard E. Filpula, 61, of Chaska, formerly of Middle River, died peacefully, with his family by his side, at the Marie Steiner Kelting Hospice Home in Chaska, after a brief one month, courageous battle with cancer.
    Funeral service were held Friday, March 23 at First Lutheran Church, Middle River, with Rev. Curtis Matz officiating. Casket bearers included Bill Weckman, Clayton Troskey, Miles Smith, Harry Nelson, Jeff Kezar, Steve Muma, Jon Muma, Steve Holm, Randy Rose, and Frances Koehmstedt. Honorary casket bearers included Carver County Public Works Employees, the Greenbush/Middle River School Board Members, and the Middle River Ambulance Squad. Interment was held at First Lutheran Cemetery, Middle River.  
    Richard Ernest Filpula was born on July 27, 1950 to Ernest and Nina (Ryoppy) Anderson in Crookston, and he was later adopted by Ray Filpula.  He attended school in Middle River, graduating in 1968 as class salutatorian. He was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Middle River.
    After graduating from high school, Richard attended Northland Community College in Thief River Falls for two years and went on to attend the University of Minnesota where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
    Upon completion of college, Richard returned to Middle River to begin working on the family farm. He also worked at RV Sports in Thief River Falls.
    In 1980, Richard met Amy LuAnna Schroeder, and they were married on April 3, 1982 in Thief River Falls. They lived on the family farm near Middle River, and Richard continued to farm and work at Farmer’s Home Administration in Thief River Falls. Richard was an appraiser and owned and operated Agassiz Appraisal and Consulting Service Inc., where he performed appraisal and consulting services in northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. He worked with many different farmers, landowners, homeowners, and enjoyed traveling and seeing the countryside. He knew every shortcut or back road to anywhere he needed to go that day.
    Richard and Amy welcomed two beautiful daughters into their family – Kelsey and Ashley.  Richard was very proud of them and attended all of their church, school, and community activities growing up.  Likewise, he was excited to become a grandpa in May.
    Even though he was very busy with work and family, Richard was very active in the Middle River community. He and Amy were active in the Middle River Community Club, and Richard served as president for many years. He was also a member of the Middle River Ambulance Squad from 1985 to 2001. Richard was elected to the Middle River School Board in 1985, and served until 2001.  During this time, he served in many capacities, including Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Clerk, and Treasurer. He was an active member of First Lutheran Church, serving as an usher and Church Council member.
    In 2001, another new opportunity opened up for Richard, and he accepted a position as Right of Way Agent with Carver County in Chaska. Once again, Richard was able to meet and work with several farmers, homeowners and landowners, only in a different area of the state. He thoroughly enjoyed going to work each day.
    Richard’s favorite past times included hunting, fishing, and spending time outdoors. He hunted for over 40 years, many of those years with lifelong friend Harry Nelson.  Even after moving to Chaska, he enjoyed the annual hunting trip to Middle River and the traditional Sunday evening spaghetti feed with family and friends.  Richard also enjoyed helping his son-in-law, Thor, on the farm during spring planting and fall harvest.
    Richard enjoyed living in the Twin Cities metro area. Amy moved to Chaska in 2007, and since that time, they have enjoyed visiting the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, making regular trips to Cabela’s and Gander Mountain, and watching the Minnesota Twins and Timberwolves. A proud University of Minnesota alum, Richard always enjoyed following all Gopher sports.
    Richard is survived by his wife, Amy of Chaska; two daughters, Kelsey (Thor) Didrikson of Roseau, and Ashley of Detroit, Mich.; brother, David Filpula of Bethesda, Md.; brother-in-law, Gary (Carolyn) Schroeder of Salol; niece, Kara (Kyle) Lee and their two children – Keston and Kambria of Bemidji; special foreign exchange student from Brazil, Rita Macedo; as well as numerous cousins, friends, and colleagues.
    Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Nina Filpula and Ernest Anderson; father and mother-in-law, Paul and Mae Schroeder; godfather, Howard Young, as well as several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
    Family condolences may be sent to www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.
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