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Boomer Q&A Profile

Vida Jokela

Age: 73.

Live: Rural Brainerd.

What are you doing at The Center: “I joined the senior’s morning club. I met a friend through the Widowed Friends Club and she encouraged me to join this club.”

Your husband? “My husband, Jim, knew he was dying and he didn’t want me to know ... I took care of him for five years before he passed away on Oct. 3, 2011. The hospice pastor kept telling me to get out and he sent me a letter and told me I needed to start a new life since Jim is gone. Well after that I got a letter from the Widowed Friends and I went. It was the beginning; a step in the right direction.”

Family: “Jim and I were married for 26 years. I had four children and seven grandchildren.”

Hobbies: “Antiques. We collected railroad collections and my husband restored old John Deeres. We also collected all-Americana books. I also had a 200-piece Cobalt dish set that I sold.”

Oldest antique piece: “I had an 1896 wall clock with chimes. We restored it and I gave it to my daughter.”

Antiques you wouldn’t get rid of: “My jewelry. I store them all in my gun case.”

Favorite book: “I don’t know the name of it, but it was about the first woman who went to Alaska to find her dad and brother during the Gold Rush.”

Other thing about you: “I did hand gun safety training this year. My son is the owner of the Shooting Sports in Little Falls and I did it there.”

Funny story with your husband: “We were driving along Highway 6 looking for wildlife, looking to see a moose or a wolf. We didn’t see anything and then my husband was like, ‘Hey, look!’ and there was a mouse running across the road. He had a great sense of humor.”

— COMPILED by Jennifer Stockinger, Staff Writer. Follow me on Twitter at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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