Paul Stokke, 80Paul Raymond Stokke, age 80, of River Falls, died Thursday, August 4, 2011, at his home.
Paul Raymond Stokke of River Falls, Wis., died at home, with his family at his side, on Aug. 4, 2011, at the age of 80.
He was born Sept. 1, 1930, on the family farm in Sherman Township, rural Menomonie, Wis. Paul was the younger of two sons born to Carl and Bertha (Dahler) Stokke. As did many farm kids at the time, Paul and his brother Charles attended Clack grade school, a one-room country school. Paul graduated from high school in Boyceville, Wis. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed at Parris Island, S.C., during the Korean War. Sgt. Stokke was a rifle marksmanship instructor and was honorably discharged in 1952.
Paul married Marjorie Strombeck on Sept. 4, 1955, in Racine, Wis. They lived in Rice Lake for a short time before moving to River Falls in 1956. They were soon joined by daughter, Susan, and son, Scott.
Paul worked for Thorp Finance in Menomonie and Rice Lake and then as manager of the newly opened River Falls office before taking the position of River Falls city clerk in 1961, a job he truly enjoyed. After a half dozen years, Paul was hired as manager for River Falls Federal Savings & Loan. He remained in the lending business until 1994 and saw many changes in banking during those years. A few months after retiring from banking, Paul took a part-time job at SpeedTech in River Falls, saying he couldn't just sit around the house. He would work 5 days a week and stop in to "check on things" on weekends and holidays, finally retiring for good last October, just after his 80th birthday.
Participation in sports was always part of Paul's life - baseball, softball and basketball in his early years, later it was golf and bowling. Paul enjoyed the many hunting and fishing trips that were taken with good friends and his son, Scott, to northern Wisconsin and Canada and an especially memorable fishing trip to Alaska. He bowled on the men's league for several decades in River Falls, first for Ginger's Texaco and then Filkins Brothers. Paul would joke that when he first moved to River Falls, he found a bowling team before he found a house. He also played on the men's pool league for many years for Bud's Lanes. During the summer months, Paul spent time at the River Falls Golf Club. He finally had to give up golfing when health issues interfered but joked that he didn't miss it that much because in 40 years he never did seem able to shave a stroke off his scorecard.
Not content to be idle for long, Paul kept busy serving on various city boards and committees and on the city council. He was especially proud to have served with the volunteer fire department and was chief from 1967-1974. Paul served as treasurer for the Congregational Church, the Greenwood Cemetery Association, and the Shriners, was a member of the Masonic Lodge, and was active in the St. Croix Valley Shrine organization. With the Shriners, Paul participated in countless parades over the years.
Paul could often be found in his basement workshop or the garage, "putzing around" as he liked to describe it. He was of the generation of fixer-uppers and would never consider replacing an item until he'd tried to repair it himself. After taking something completely apart, he was occasionally bemused to see several pieces left sitting on the work bench after the item was put back together - and working again, minus the apparently unnecessary parts. And no weekend project was complete without a half dozen trips to Lund's Hardware.
Paul was a man of integrity, patience, and subtle humor. He had many strong friendships, was always interested to hear about other people's activities, and he loved any food containing peanut butter. Throughout his life Paul maintained his kind, even temperament and was particularly reassuring to his family during his illness.
His family would like to thank everyone for their visits, phone calls, and cards, and special thanks to Adoray Hospice for their expert care and support. Paul chose to spend his last weeks at home and Adoray helped make that possible.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Bertha Stokke; in-laws, George and Hazel Strombeck; and sister-in-law, Luella Stokke.
Paul will be deeply missed by Marge, his wife of 55 years; daughter, Susan, and her husband, Jerry Hoch, of River Falls; son, Scott; daughter-in-law, Dawn of Hudson, Wis.; grandchildren, Meghan and Richard Stokke of Hudson, of whom he was so proud; dear brother, Charles of Menomonie; niece, Dawn (Lee) Ullrich; nephews, Michael (Sue) and Steven (Gina) Stokke; and many extended family members and very good friends.
Memorials preferred to the River Falls Fire Department or St. Croix Valley Shrine.
Visitation 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, at Cashman-Hill Funeral Home in River Falls, with Masonic service at 5 p.m. Memorial service 2 p.m. Monday at St. Bridget Catholic Church with visitation 1 hour prior to service.
Online memorials can be made at www.cashmanhillfuneralservice.com. Cashman-Hill Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
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