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Verna J. Seikkula
Verna Seikkula

RED LODGE - Verna J. Seikkula, 85, of Red Lodge, passed away Tuesday evening, Nov. 4, 2008, at Cedar Wood Villa, due to complications of an autoimmune disease.

She was born on Aug. 23, 1923, at Roberts, a daughter of John and Laura Kivikangas. Verna attended the Roberts School and graduated from Carbon County High School in Red Lodge in 1940.

On Oct. 4, 1941, Verna married Eugene Prinkki, and they had two children, Marcella and Benny. They lived on the Prinkki family farm at Fox. Mr. Prinkki died unexpectedly on Jan. 8, 1949. Verna and her children remained on the farm until her marriage to Wilho "Willix" Seikkula in 1951. Verna, Willix and the children made their home in Red Lodge.

Verna was a homemaker and also helped at their store, Bloom & Co. In 1966, Verna and Willix both began working at Marchello IGA and later Downing IGA. She retired in 1980. Mr. Seikkula died in 2003.

Verna was proud of her Finnish heritage and participated in the Festival of Nations for 50 years. She was an active member of the Kaleva Lodge since its reorganization in 1978, and was a lifetime member of the Eagles Auxiliary. Verna also belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star.

In addition to her husbands, Verna was preceded in death by her son, Benny Prinkki in 1979.

Survivors include her daughter, Marcella Prinkki of Billings; one brother, Marvin Kivikangas of Red Lodge; three grandchildren, Michael (Jen) Mogen of Redding, Calif., Pam (Justin) Knight of Ponca City, Okla., and Kristy Mogen of Billings; six great-grandchildren; three sisters-in-law, Ruby Hyvonen, Frances Hyvonen and Beth Prinkki; and numerous nieces and nephews of the Prinkki and Hyvonen families.

Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Red Lodge Community Church, with interment to follow in the Red Lodge Cemetery. Cremation has taken place. Smith-Olcott Funeral Chapel of Red Lodge is assisting with arrangements.

Memorials may be given to Beartooth Hospice & Home Care, PO Box 590, Red Lodge MT 59068; or to Kaleva Lodge, c/o Martin Mikkola, 1215 Fifth Ave., Laurel MT 59044.

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