Gladys Dorothy Pekkarinen, 101, of Markham died Saturday, October 05, 2019 at Essentia Health-Northern Pines in Aurora.

She was born on August 1, 1918 to Harry and Edith (Nelson) Anderson in Duluth. Gladys was a survivor of the 1918 Cloquet Fire when she was an infant. She grew up in Twig and graduated from the Proctor High School at the age of sixteen. After high school, she went to work for Elliot Meats. On January 19, 1946, Gladys was united in marriage to Alvin Pekkarinen. The couple lived in Duluth for a few years until moving their family to Markham. Gladys was a member of the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and their Circle 4 and a local Book Club. Gladys and Alvin took great pleasure in being caretakers of the Wiirtenen Farm. She was a devoted mother and wife, and helped maintain the family dairy farm. She enjoyed reading, gardening, picking blueberries, crocheting, and baking. During their retirement, Gladys and Alvin enjoyed road trips and annual trips to Las Vegas. She enjoyed watching the MN Wild and was an avid Twins fan, having enjoyed attending several games in Minneapolis. Gladys will be remembered as a natural caretaker who loved her family and friends dearly.

Survivors include her two children: Karen (Michael) Secola of Britt and Ron (Debbie) Pekkarinen of Markham; four grandchildren: Kelly (David Dailey) Bakk, Joseph (Amanda) Secola, Cory (Melissa) Pekkarinen, and Alena (Kevin) Hull; four great-grandchildren: Benjamin and Cooper Bakk, Nora Secola and Eli Pekkarinen; many special nieces and nephews; as well as numerous friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband; a daughter, Linda Paulsen; son-in-law, William Paulsen; Alvin; siblings: Clifford Anderson and Lorraine Therrien; her parents; and her furry canine friend, Buster.

Gladys’ family would like to thank the entire staff of Essentia Health-Northern Pines Care Center for the loving care their mother received.


Memorial service will be 11 am Saturday, October 12, 2019 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Palo with Pastor John Dietz officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will be in the Rauha Cemetery in Palo at a later date. Arrangements are by the Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home of Aurora. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.


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