Richard Jokela

Richard Jokela, 88, of Appleton, passed away peacefully on March 8, 2024, with loved ones by his side. 

Richard was born on April 28, 1935, in Tripoli, Wis., to Eino and Florence Jokela. Richard served his country in the U.S. Army from 1953-1955. On Aug. 30, 1958, he married his best friend, Mary Ann Peterson. They made their home in Appleton, working and raising three children. Richard graduated from UW-Stevens Point with a degree in music education. He taught high school band before returning to UW-Superior on the GI bill, where he earned his master’s degree in psychology. Over the years, he served several Fox Valley area school districts as a school psychologist.

After retirement, he and Mary Ann spent time traveling and staying close to attend their grandchildren’s events. Mary Ann preceded him in death on Nov. 24, 2006. He married Carol Peterson on March 10, 2011. He and Carol lived in Tomahawk and enjoyed their time together until her passing on Sept. 3, 2022.

He was a racing fan, attending the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 multiple times. He enjoyed vacationing in Gulf Shores during the winters. Alaska was a favorite destination as he enjoyed the long days. He attended Pulaski Polka Days 33 consecutive years, the last being 2023. He was proud to be one of the owners of the Green Bay Packers.

Richard was an avid walker during his later years. He spent many hours walking the trails in Tomahawk and Appleton. He rarely missed his goal of 20,000 steps per day. He enjoyed playing Sheepshead, an occasional trip to the casino and visiting with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his three children, Jill (Dan Lickel) Jokela of Madison, Jane (Steve) Garrow of Appleton and Roger Jokela of Big Pine Key, Fla. Other survivors include his five grandchildren: Katie (Jack) Kasten, Laura (Jim) Johnson, Liz (Joey) Mullaney, Kirsten (Travis Vander Hoop) Lickel, and Aaron Lickel; eight great-grandchildren: Jovie, Crosby, Jett, and Nova Johnson, Kip and Beau Kasten and Owen and Greta Mullaney.

Richard was preceded in death by Mary Ann and Carol, his parents and brother, Roger Jokela. A celebration of Richard’s life will take place on Saturday, June 8, 2024 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Brantwood Community Center. He will be laid to rest next to Mary Ann at Somo Cemetery in Tripoli, Wis. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Richard’s memory to The Tomahawk Open Arms Soup Kitchen or a charity of your choice. 

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